Register now to get rid of these ads!

Vintage Speed Boats

Discussion in 'The Antiquated' started by Ryan, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. FANTM58
    Joined: Apr 24, 2009
    Posts: 403

    FANTM58
    Member

    The first picture is of a small hydro
    hanging in the rafters in Grand Lake , Grand Lake Marina
    it is the owners first boat, and I was told with a small 15 hp merc
    it could reach 60 mph ?
    The red 1960 Glasstron StarFlite I found
    and have brought her back to life, she is in for upholstery now at Jesse Lee`s
    she will be wet in no time now !!!!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. HealeyRick
    Joined: May 5, 2009
    Posts: 563

    HealeyRick
    Member
    from Mass.

    So suppose a British sports car maker decided to produce a speed boat.

    You'd end up with the Healey Sports Boat:

    [​IMG]

    With an MGA motor:

    [​IMG]



     
  3. Good to see some new posts on this thread. I like the video of my old Miss Bardahl, the restoration came out great. It's complete and the only thing out of place that I can see are the exhaust stacks. A little point of interest. When I donated the Miss Bardahl to the Unlimited Gold Cup Hall of Fame and Museum in 1983 I removed the rudder and steering box. I carried the parts around with my other stuff for almost thirty years. When the Miss Bardahl was being restored sometime in 2000 if I remember correctly I offered the parts to the new owners, but I never got a response. Just this Spring in 2012 I sent the Rudder and steering assembly to Washington State and the parts are going on the restoration of the 1971 Gold Cup Champion Miss Madison. I think it's interesting that Miss Madison will have the Miss Bardahl steering when the two will be running in the West Coast Vintage Hydroplane events.

    A few pictures of some of my hydroplanes from back in the 1970's. The car guys had nothing on my hydroplane transporter. It had two bed rooms and a garage for my motorcycle and sidecar. The upholstery in the truck, hydroplane, and motorcycle sidecar all matched. Under the sides were draws that I could carry two extra engines. Depending on the event I could be running a blown injected engine on methanol, or just injected methanol tickled Nitrous oxide in the Grand Prix Class. In some cases a stock 427 open chambered engine on gas with a carburetor, the J Class.
    When we would arrive at an event/race the transporter would sometimes get boxed in in the pits for the entire weekend, so that's when I started bringing along the motorcycle and sidecar. We would have a way around the town/city if we wanted to go out and get supply's or just wanted to see the sites. One thing about racing hydroplanes at that time in history we got to see almost all of North America. We raced from The East Coast of Canada to Miami Florida, all the way across the continent to Acapulco Mexico by way of armed guards. It was an interesting time to say the least, a time that will never be again with all the regulations, insurances, and bull crap that today's powers that be require an organization to go threw to play.

    Johnny Sweet



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
  4. Was just talking with a colleague today about Chris Crafts and what a great inspiration they've been to rodders. Must be something in the water, no pun intended.
    .
     
  5. There is a mid thirties Mullins Sea Eagle sitting in my buddy's junkyard. Minus the trim and 4 banger.....
     
  6. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,410

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    I Googled a Mullins Sea Eaglel image for you!
     

    Attached Files:

  7. sr808
    Joined: Aug 4, 2007
    Posts: 129

    sr808
    Member

    I've always admired these boats. Subscribed.
     
  8. My hydroplanes with the GP-4, and F-98 number came in all sizes and shapes. Depending on the length I ran both Big and Small blocks. The bigger boats weighed 1,700, and 2.400 lbs, and the smaller boats came in at 1,300. I did have one rig that I ran only one time that weighed 1050 lbs less driver, and I ran a 400 block with a 350 crank methanol injected roller cam putting out 645HP with a power to weight ratio of a little over two to one. It was a rocket ship on the water. The bigger blown boats had over a 1,000 HP. Sometimes bigger isn't always better, the little boats sometimes can come off the corners quicker, and are more agile in the turns. "Agile" that's a joke, these hydroplanes are a cross between a bucking bull and a fighter plane on water. You never know what there going to do. One second your bouncing and flying along and the next your upside down. The most unpredictable contraptions ever built. They will and have thrown a driver out and ran over them in a split second. At three hundred feet a second the accident is behind you before you can react, and by that time it's to late. With no seat belt, roll bar, or brakes they were a hand full.
    We would tell the drag boat guys that we new that they ran over 200 MPH in a 1/4 mile, and that we only ran 175, but at the end of the straightaway we turned left and went racing. Needless to say we always got a " you fuckin assholes". Anyone can drive a hydroplane in straight line but dancing it into a left hand turn at over 150 MPH isn't for everyone. The meek need not apply.
    Just a few more pictures of different boats.

    Johnny sweet




    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]





    [​IMG]
     
  9. HealeyRick
    Joined: May 5, 2009
    Posts: 563

    HealeyRick
    Member
    from Mass.

    Jeez, Johnny. How big did your balls have to be to pilot one of these things?
     
  10. southerncad
    Joined: Feb 5, 2008
    Posts: 786

    southerncad
    Member

    Just got a new "wet hot rod".... a 1953 Chris Craft 22' Sportsman.
    One of the best things is that it has a '56 Chrysler Hemi in in ! ! !
    Had a 2 x 4 set up on it, now just an AFB, but I got the 2x4 set up...
    ...so might just see if it's faster with the old set up:eek::D
     

    Attached Files:

  11. I thought the Allison's and Rolls engines weighed around 1,500 lbs? How much did the engines weigh?


    So big they don't fit under the Fighter canopies of today's boats!!!
     
  12. Hydroplane Starts:

    Some of the things that can happen on a typical start in a hydroplane race. All the starts were what's called flying unlike drag racing that starts from a stand still, circle track hydroplane racing is done with a start at full speed. They have a clock and as the clock reaches 12 O,clock on the fifth minute the race starts. It's up to the driver to be going at full speed at the time the clock reaches 12. O, I forgot to mention you have to be at the starting line timed to a split second at the start. If your early and go over the starting line before the clock hits 12 your disqualified. So the timing of a start at full speed is a talent only learned from experience, like cutting a light on the drag strip. In hydroplanes If your late you loose,and if your early your disqualified. New guys to the sport will follow the old timers down to the start. Many a new comer has been sucked into lane opening only to have the door closed on them. The old guys know the new guy is in back coming down so they move over and open up a lane and the new guy because of inexperiance will try and move into the hole and the old timers move over a bit and the new guy is running up the rooster tail. The rooster tail is water coming off the propeller with enough force that the new guy will run right up the rooster tail with one sponson, the surfaces that the hydroplanes run on. If there running wide open they can and do run up the rooster tail and flip themselves over in a matter of a split second.


    Check out the pictures of some interesting starts from back in the day.
    This was a race in Valleyfield Canada in 1977. The yellow boat was a little early and had a blown Kieth Black Hemi in it. The orange boat ran a injected small block on methanol, and the third boat ran an L-88 tickled with N2O. The cab over boats on the end were big blocks injected on methanol. Everyone tried a different combination to get around the course the quickest. Note in the picture three other boats would be running late. The Grand Prix class would always have eight boats running in a heat.



    [​IMG]


    The late Joe Gimbrone a few years earlier than the picture above, Joe was the third boat above and the one almost on it's side bellow. He never lifted his foot and went on to win the race. It was a situation that the two inside boats were early and attempted to slow down and Joe was running balls to the wall and ran into them. Racing at it's best back in the day.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    Things had been know to get on the wild side!


    [​IMG]
     
  13. Please don't mix up the two types of hydroplane racing boats. The Unlimited's ran the fighter plane engines and were 30' in length. The limited hydroplanes ran car engines. Hot Rod engines in hydroplanes. The GP class boats ran up to 500 cubic inches and were around 2/3 the size of the Unlimited hydroplane. We would draw around twenty GP hydroplanes at an event and the unlimited's at the time were lucky to get twelve. There were also dozens of hydroplanes that ran the smaller stock engines and at many events as many as thirty five 280 class boats would show up. Then there were the 145 class that ran in the early years the V8-60 Flathead and then the Falcon six engines, in later years the Pinto 4 cylinder.
    The GP hydroplanes never failed to put on a great show with speeds above 150 MPH on every straightaway.
    When I moved up into the GP class I thought my speedometer was broke because the speedometer would read up to150 MPH and I would peg it in a few second coming off the turns, and the boat just kept pulling. I sent it back for recalibration twice and it was always the same thing. It's OK!
    The records for the straightaway in the record books are lower than what we raced at every weekend. To win races or just to keep up you had to run way over a buck and a half or you would be sucking hind tit.

    To answer your question a small block Chevy in racing trim with a Hilborn injection weighted 525 lbs. The big block injected and blown with cast iron heads weighed in at around 650 to 675 lbs. If we ran the aluminum heads I think we saved 40 lbs per side, but gave up some HP. At least that's how it felt. I could be a little off on the big block weight, it's been over thirty five years.
    The one boat that I mentioned weighed 485lbs and with the injected small block and related parts came in at that 1050 lbs.


    A picture of the hydroplane that I only raced once. Note the extension on the nose of the boat. The boats for the GP class had to be 18'6", and this one came in at a little over 16', that's the reason for the extension to get it to 18'6". The guys I raced against were sure that I was going to kill myself with this one. It was considered the blood and guts error with us loosing twelve drivers in a five year period. We had twenty to twenty two of us with the GP license to drive these things. When we would loose one some one new would be ready to fill there shoes. After driving these things for many years I looked around and they were all strangers. It was time to get out and hang it up.



    [​IMG]
     
  14. Some day's it's not even worth getting up:

    I thought I would post this picture to show that not every day at the races was a good day. When running my F-98 hydroplane at Lowell Massachusetts I was running out front and of all the little pieces in the engine that failed, the sheer pin that holds the magneto drive gear flew out. I wouldn't know that until I took the engine apart but it still didn't make my day any better. I beleave the sheer pin was around sixty cents and it put me out of the race.
    The picture tells it all, I received the "Golden Tow Rope Award" that day.




    [​IMG]












































































     
  15. robber
    Joined: Nov 25, 2011
    Posts: 1,910

    robber
    Member
    from Colorado

    Cool and crazy pictures and stories ,Johnny! ...and drivers too! Eddie hill once told me that it costs 3x the amount to race on water versus the land. Do you agree? Also, he told me he quit running on water and went to land racing because it was safer ...Robber
     
  16. Ya, hydroplanes are one wild ride. I later drove and built Super Modified race cars but could never get acclimated to them. Not that I can't run above a buck and a half all day long, but that to be a winner you have to have a delicate feel for the car. I spent to many years being kicked around in the boats and could never get the feel of the cars running just a few inches from each other. My mind would tell me that the car was going to jump six feet sideways like the hydroplanes. The speed wasn't a big thing, anyone will get comfortable at speed. The more you do it the easier it is. You can be running at over a 150 MPH lap after lap and when you slow down to a normal speed like what we drive on the interstates you feel like your crawling. I had the best equipment and instruction that was available when running Super Modifieds but would have never been a champion. It's something a person knows, and for those that don't their just wasting their time.

    One time I had a husband and wife come to me that wanted me to try out their new hydroplane. The guy had been running it but wasn't sure if he was driving it hard enough, or if he was doing it the way it should be done. They just didn't know, and the wife wanted me to take it out and "air it out" as we called it. They brought the boat down to the river and I show up with all my safety equipment. Life jacket with the parachute, bullet proof pants, funny car boots, gloves and helmet. The guy had been running the boat with a child type life preserver and a helmet that looked like it should have been used when riding a bicycle. They put the boat in the water and I put on my equipment and ask for a pieces of tape. Someone in the crowd hands me the tape and I have someone tell me when the rudder is in the forward position, like having the front wheels on a car headed straight ahead. I then wrap the tape at twelve O clock on the steering wheel. The lady inquired as to what the tape was for. I explain that if the engine should blow up when I'm running down the straightaway I have but a second to get the steering wheel straight ahead, or Ill be upside down or backwards going end over end. At this point I think that they both were thinking that posable they were in way over their head.

    I got in the boat and they turned me around and I head out down river. I ran down river for about a mile and got everything warmed up and turned and headed up stream. Interstate 93 runs over the river and from their vantage point was around a half mile. I was another half mile below the bridge and came flying at them. When I came under the bridge the rooster tail hit the bottom side of the bridge and as I past threw the water from the rooster tail dropped on the roadway like rain. I headed straight towards them as the river turns to the left and never lifted, I had my leg right in it. I past them at way over a 150 MPH and went up river and turned around and brought it in. When I arrive on the shore line his friends held the boat and I just got out and started taking off my gear. They were looking at me like " WTF ". The wife said I don't think this is for us. The poor guy that was just a spectator couldn't light his cigaret his hand were shaking so much.

    About that time an old childhood friend that was a police officer off duty came over and told me the story about the local restaurant and what had just happened. Just below us on the river front was a high class restaurant called "Sky Port". Next to the restaurant they have Sea Planes and they teach people how to fly and also give plane rides. The restaurant has windows that face the water with a breathtaking view of the river looking towards the bridge and down stream. It was a Sunday afternoon and the restaurant was full to capacity. As I came up the river at over a buck and a half my buddy told me it looked like I was going to come right threw the windows into the restaurant. The patrons panicked and were jumping over tables, it was pandemonium. I was told that the restaurant was a wreck. Of course the cops were called and would arrive soon.
    By this time the owners of the hydroplane loaded up their boat and thanked me. I just got on my motorcycle and my girlfriend loaded my equipment and herself into the sidecar and we were off to another adventure putting this sorted buisness behind us.

    I was told later that the boat was sold and the guy took up golf or something.

    This is the equipment that we wore at the last of my hydroplane racing.
    Note the blood type written on the back side of the helmet just in case the emergency people needed it.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012
  17. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,954

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That is an awesome story Mr Johnny Sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  18. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,410

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    Johnny, send me contact info on the owners of the Miss Madison if you would, I would love to take a short trip to see it in person. Just watched the movie "Madison".
    Seems funny someone other than a Madison fan would be restoring it!
     
  19. The Miss Madison was in Madison Indiana back in the 1990's the last time I saw it. I was told that it was purchased as a display boat for the movie Madison, and later set next to the Race boat museum in Kent Washington for many years. It was then purchased by the gentleman and his late wife who owns it today. Plans are to restore the boat in the next years. I put a deal together and made arrangements to send the parts on to him.

    It's my opinion when it's all said and done many, many years in the future that the only thing that will be mentioned in history about boat racing will be about Ken Warby the world speed record holder and the Miss Madison. The reason I say that is think about it, if they have fifteen sentences describing Abraham Lincoln in today's history books then boat racing wont even be mentioned, and if it is they will need a reference to go by and the movie Madison will be the one used. So if a few start to think about it they may, and I say "may" start to think about just how fast has someone gone on water. That's when the Warby story will come into play. Look none of us know what the future has to hold, but I'm betting no Hot Rods of hydroplanes will be legal in one hundred years.
    I have friends in Madison that own the museum and run the vintage hydroplane part of the July race and I bet if the Miss Madison ever makes it back to visit and run the vintage event it will be a big hit. If and when it happens I'm hoping to be part of it.
    It will be funny when the Miss Madison is running next to the Miss Bardahl and the parts are a miss match of sorts.

    Lon when you get your hydroplane out in the water with that group you too will also have Miss Bardahl parts aboard. Talk about spreading the history around.

    Ill PM you with the information you asked for.

    Johnny
     
  20. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,410

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    "Lon when you get your hydroplane out in the water with that group you too will also have Miss Bardahl parts aboard. Talk about spreading the history around."

    Yep, but I don't have any Madison parts "yet"!
    I still want your "Dragon Care Taker" Jacket (or whatever you call it) when your gone, than I could be the care taker of Johnny Sweets Dragon Care Taker or something like that! Now the balls in my court as I have to outlive you that will be a chore! Hope your having a great 4th ........................
     
  21. It's called "Keeper of the dragon", remembering that the Miss Bardahl was called the Green Dragon. When I donated the Miss Bardahl to the Unlimited Gold Cup Hall of Fame and Museum in 1983 Loe Vandenberg the former crew Chief was so over whelmed that he wanted to give me something in appreciation. he owned the copyrights to the Keeper of the Dragon, not Ole Bardahl. Leo had buisness cards printed with his drawing of the little Dragon with the helmet, life jacket, goggles,and even a propeller on it's tail.
    Leo was the true Keeper and he gave me the rights to also carry the little Dragon on my buisness cards, or embroidered on clothing. Today a new group are the present day " Keepers of the Dragon" and they take the responsibility very seriously as all of us down threw the years have done. I believe all of us new that the Miss Bardahl was a part of history and it's preservation was important. Myself I owned Miss Bardal from 1976 until 1983 and Ill be honest with you people just didn't give a damn about such things at that time in history. It was a full time job making sure that the hull was under cover and in a safe place that wouldn't burn down. Once I new that I would never race her (that story for another time) I still had the responsibility of protecting the asset. As it turned out the best thing I ever did was placing it in the hands of the Late Bob Williams, no relation to the head of the race boat museum, and also to the late Roger Newton. The Roger Newton story and how it changed his life, a movie could be made about that story. Today the Miss Bardahl is restored to exacting detail and a tribute to Leo and all that made it one of the most famous hydroplanes of all time, for that I'm truly grateful. It would have been a shame if along the way just one of us had shirked our responsibility and not taken care of the old boat. To many pieces of history are lost because people just don't care.

    Check out 50 years of the Green Dragon back then and today.



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
  22. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

    I haven't visited this thread in a long while, I missed some good stuff. Excellent posts Johnny!:cool:

    [​IMG]
     
  23. fleetside66
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,696

    fleetside66
    Member

  24. A few pictures Grand Prix Hydroplane racing from back in the day.


    [​IMG]

    Bobby Cabana was always fast when driving the Hurricane.


    [​IMG]


    Art Asbury was Canada's fastest man on water.
    [​IMG]

    The late Gentleman Joe Jimbrone out of Tonawanda New York was one of the best at his trade. Joe lost his life driving a GP hydroplane called the Nordec while chasing the elusive GOLD in 1979. Every August when that time of year rolls around all of us that are still around remember the day the music stopped and we lost our dear friend.


    Joe aboard his JOY BOY hydroplane that he built in his cellar in 1973, and went on to become a GP World Champion.

    [​IMG]
     
  25. moefuzz
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 4,950

    moefuzz
    Member

  26. Johnny Sweet's Hydroplane Transporter:
    An interesting picture of the Hydroplane, Motorcycle and Sidecar, Super Modified Race car, and Transporter from 1979. The boat was the former 1975 Grand Prix World Champion, the Super Modified was the 1979 Canadian/American NESMA Super Modified Champion and the sidecar was a Sweet SL-110 designed by Master Designer/Modeler Dick Lion, and Johnny Sweet. The transporter was built to sleep 4 and the sidecar had it's own garage in the aft end so that it could be transported to all the races for convenience. The down time at some of the week long events made it possible for many a mile to be put on the motorcycle sidecar rig while taking in the sites. The transporter also had enough room for two extra race engines and tools. At this time in history a second transporter was being built for the Super Modified race car but was never completed.




    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


     
  27. 2club
    Joined: Feb 2, 2011
    Posts: 26

    2club
    Member
    from California

  28. unclescooby
    Joined: Jul 5, 2004
    Posts: 4,976

    unclescooby
    Member
    from indy

    That Johnny Sweet rig is ultimate. SO cool.
     
  29. farmergal
    Joined: Nov 28, 2010
    Posts: 2,074

    farmergal
    Member
    from somewhere

    i think ive discovered a new love for very old wooden water craft...wow....
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.