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Speeds from Offshore Racers in the '60's and '70's

Old 05-17-2012, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by CAL500
Thanks Mr Olli ,levi's designs were fantastic,but using wood in offshore wide body designs were hard to keep together . even mr satullo's gara in wood sank in the 80's.
Here is some pic's of the Gara on that eventful day, before and after.. I believe the year was around 1974 75 though.
Attached Thumbnails Speeds from Offshore Racers in the '60's and '70's-ohio-1.jpg   Speeds from Offshore Racers in the '60's and '70's-ohio-4.jpg   Speeds from Offshore Racers in the '60's and '70's-ohio-gara-2-h2o.jpg  

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Old 05-17-2012, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by h2oboater
Here is some pic's of the Gara on that eventful day, before and after.. I believe the year was around 1974 75 though.
Mr h20 ,thanks for the photos . I think that the gara in wood was the last try to do this for a big offshore hull.My contract carpenter , Mr Nick Chapman built this hull for sandy ,as to be a faster boat at that time.then a heavy glas hull.later they made a glas model.
sonny miller thanks
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by JP-8
One of the most interesting threads to come along in a while. Kudos, Sprink!

The history of offshore racing is, by far, the most obscure of all motorsports. A shame, too, as it is arguably the most interesting.

For the true history buff, there's nothing like watching the old films from back in the day.

One of my favorites is the 1963 Cowes Torquay. Lots of Levi designs in this one.

The 1968 Bahamas 500 race

1972 Cowes - this one is unique for the lack of commentary and features many close-ups of the boats.

Ride the White Horses is probably the best-filmed offshore race I've ever seen. Very cinematic.
The Bahamas 500...now that was a SERIOUS boat race!!!
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by JP-8
One of the most interesting threads to come along in a while. Kudos, Sprink!

The history of offshore racing is, by far, the most obscure of all motorsports. A shame, too, as it is arguably the most interesting.

For the true history buff, there's nothing like watching the old films from back in the day.

One of my favorites is the 1963 Cowes Torquay. Lots of Levi designs in this one.

The 1968 Bahamas 500 race

1972 Cowes - this one is unique for the lack of commentary and features many close-ups of the boats.

Ride the White Horses is probably the best-filmed offshore race I've ever seen. Very cinematic.
Thanks JP...I come up with stuff that is ...I guess is as interesting to others as it is to me. I remember reading little bits and pieces about this sport when I was a kid in the '60's pouring through the pages of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics. Now I'm talking to the guys that were doing all the cool stuff that I was reading about.
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by sprink58
Thanks JP...I come up with stuff that is ...I guess is as interesting to others as it is to me. I remember reading little bits and pieces about this sport when I was a kid in the '60's pouring through the pages of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics. Now I'm talking to the guys that were doing all the cool stuff that I was reading about.
Thanks for that post,I raced at cowes in the 60's with merrick lewis in a 28 thunderbird and in the Bahama 500 with doc magoon in a 27 magnum ob and again with bob rautbord in a 36 cig Fino red. I have really enjoyed those films.
sad but a lot of races in the US were not filmed much around that time. The first Benihana grand prix , i have not found any films. sonny miller
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by sprink58
Thanks JP...I come up with stuff that is ...I guess is as interesting to others as it is to me. I remember reading little bits and pieces about this sport when I was a kid in the '60's pouring through the pages of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics. Now I'm talking to the guys that were doing all the cool stuff that I was reading about.
Your threads always manage to be some of the most fascinating.

I started poking around here back in 2003, and I've never seen any other member so well-versed in Formula's early Porter years.

Those Popular Science and Popular Mechanics articles are still available. Some great reading.

Here's a boating magazine article on the '65 Cowes race.

Originally Posted by CAL500
Thanks for that post,I raced at cowes in the 60's with merrick lewis in a 28 thunderbird and in the Bahama 500 with doc magoon in a 27 magnum ob and again with bob rautbord in a 36 cig Fino red. I have really enjoyed those films.
sad but a lot of races in the US were not filmed much around that time. The first Benihana grand prix , i have not found any films. sonny miller
Three isn't much I wouldn't give to have been there. You guys are a dying breed that we probably won't see the likes of again.

It is a shame that the sport has drifted so far from the early days of what was essentially a self-financing R&D program of sorts.

Those early races are particularly fascinating in their (initial) emphasis on advancing the design of high performance cabin cruisers. I could never understand why the concept never made it to mass production in America.

The Fairey Huntsman would have been a home run in the States.

Much as I appreciate a nicely proportioned flat-decked sport boat, I would sooner have a trunk cabin deck on top of a Deep-V hull with some stout power.

Am I correct in assuming that the Thunderbird 283 was just an extended 233? Looking at that photo in the 1965 Cowes race, the strake placement appears identical.

Aside from the '68 Bahamas 500 film, I've never seen another race from the 60's in the US. I would love to see some of the Miami-Nassau races from that time. I had always assumed someone must of had an 8mm rolling on shore or in a chopper. Strange that no one thought to film it.
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Old 05-19-2012, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by JP-8
Your threads always manage to be some of the most fascinating.

I started poking around here back in 2003, and I've never seen any other member so well-versed in Formula's early Porter years.

Those Popular Science and Popular Mechanics articles are still available. Some great reading.

Here's a boating magazine article on the '65 Cowes race.



Three isn't much I wouldn't give to have been there. You guys are a dying breed that we probably won't see the likes of again.

It is a shame that the sport has drifted so far from the early days of what was essentially a self-financing R&D program of sorts.

Those early races are particularly fascinating in their (initial) emphasis on advancing the design of high performance cabin cruisers. I could never understand why the concept never made it to mass production in America.

The Fairey Huntsman would have been a home run in the States.

Much as I appreciate a nicely proportioned flat-decked sport boat, I would sooner have a trunk cabin deck on top of a Deep-V hull with some stout power.

Am I correct in assuming that the Thunderbird 283 was just an extended 233? Looking at that photo in the 1965 Cowes race, the strake placement appears identical.

Aside from the '68 Bahamas 500 film, I've never seen another race from the 60's in the US. I would love to see some of the Miami-Nassau races from that time. I had always assumed someone must of had an 8mm rolling on shore or in a chopper. Strange that no one thought to film it.
yes the 23 formula hull was lengthened to 28, and also the deck. I race first with dick genth in the 28 thunderbird formula gold finger, with twin Chrysler marine v 8 hemi head engines and v drives in miami / nassau later with merrick lewis miami key west.where are these flims . I also ran cowes 66 with merrick in the 28 thunderbird formula #250 with twin daytona 427 turbo charged engines, a photo is on the cover of HORA running off miami. sonny miller . 60's thunderbird racing team
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:12 PM
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Sonny,

Tell us about your first encounter with Merrick Lewis.

Jeff
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by hallj
Sonny,

Tell us about your first encounter with Merrick Lewis.

Jeff
Well I was working in thunderbird products race shop, on biscayne blvd.in north miami.I had just had came home from the US Navy. just bought a new house and with a new wife.The first time i saw merrick , he had just walked in to the race shop and was asking to see the new 28 formula race boat that was under construction. red hull and deck ,his other boat was coming back from europe 283 holman moody ford engines. I went to europe on his race team to compete in 8 offshore races that year. me the engineer/throttle man and buck carlton /navigator and merrick driver. I have to say he was tuff and was taking a beating at every race , but always was tying to finish the race. he paid his bills ,and keep every business deal that I saw, and was totally honest. again it seem there will be only one like him ever. I also worked on his moma maritime. sonny miller thunderbird 60's
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