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Old 09-28-2002, 02:24 PM
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Switzer Wings were all 2 seaters due to the fact at the time they were developed seating for 2 was required; similar to the CANAM car racing series requiring 2 seats and 2 doors. Many racing boats favor carrying wieght on the left which is the inside side for turning. By today's standards the Switzer Wings were heavy boats. I think Bob Switzer is quoted saying one of them they actually weighed was 1,000 lbs fully loaded. With all that area in the fuselage you could easily put fuel tanks and batteries on the right side if you needed to improve weight distribution.

I am waiting to hear back from Jeff Bowman regarding posting his letters from Bob Switzer here or getting them back on the Fiberglassics site.
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Old 09-28-2002, 02:37 PM
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Mark75H,I hope you are successful in getting Jeff Bowman's article back up. It is a most interesting read. I printed all of it a couple of years ago but all I can find now is Bob's account of"The day I flew a Boat",his account of the maiden voyage at 100mph with 80hp stock Mercs.This thread is becoming one of the best on OSO. Keep it going. MagicFloat.
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Old 09-28-2002, 04:13 PM
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Thanks a million, Mark!
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Old 09-29-2002, 01:20 AM
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Baja:

There actually was one single seat Wing. Dave Craig's Miss Skyway was modified (Mutilated) at the Lake. Both Dorsal fins were cut off and the cockpit moved to the center of the wing. The boat had a vast flat deck affixed , was painted white and raced in the 9 hour Orange Bowl Regatta in and out of Miami Marine Stadium and Biscayne Bay in January, 1966. The boat no longer performed as well as the other Wings., and was not a competitive factor. There was a red wooden Wing copy in the race called "Miss Subway" out of Chicago which performed dreadfully as well.

That is the same event at which Hank Bowman was killed after being run over by his own boat repeatedly, and created the rules which mandate kill switches to this day.

The race was eventually won overall by Bob Nordskog in a Modified Rayson Craft called "Shark's Tooth"...... Nordskog later took a mold off this boat and created his Viking Spirit marathon hulls. That boat featured the first hydraulically dampened seat shock absorbers.

Second place in twin engine outboard went to a 17 foot factory Glastron (K&K Outboard) driven by the late Ken Kalibat Sr. and his impetuous employee, Rich Luhrs. Someday, I'll post the story about Luhrs losing his temper at Ol' E.C. during that event.

A second year racer named George Linder DNF'd with his twin Merc ,Carlson skateboard.........er boat named "Challenger I". HMMM Makes you wonder where he got the name for his later award winning 21 footer.......eh?

There were so many starters in that race that a helicopter was used to drop white flower as a start signal. It took over 6 minutes for all the boats to cross the STARTING line....kind of like the NY Road Runner Marathon today.

That's why all this malarky about bold new large fleets in racing is so insulting to veterans.....who know better.

T2x

P.S. The wing you refer to in N.J. was probably one of the original wooden ones. Billy Martin......... the Champion Offshore Racer......had one on Lake Hopatcong, but never got it to run right....... This was well before his first offshore race.....in 1965. The boat sat, for sale in a Gas Station up there for quite a while. Billy preferred a modified inboard hydro he had with twin modified 100 hp Mercs and a couch bolted in as a back seat. He and his cohorts, Bob Davis and co., would get drunk....go for wild rides in that thing(called "The Beast" as I recall) and come back to the dock at Northwood Boat and Motor Co........... Most of the time they neglected to tie it up and the boat would float off into the cove.......only to be retrieved the next time someone wanted a ride......

You can't make this stuff up....and yes.....I was there too.

Last edited by T2x; 09-29-2002 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 09-29-2002, 01:38 AM
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Remind me to tell you the story about the night Billy, Bob, and I launched a hapless racer's 13 foot Allison into a Motel pool in Lake George...before the 1966 OPC Nationals......

T2x.......... Grateful for the Statute of Limitations
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Old 09-29-2002, 02:21 AM
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That is a pretty sophisticated Flying Machine for being designed in the Late Fifty’s .Switzer from what I have seen was at a level far above the rest!

Gee even one of our Cat copy Cat or Cat Molders or whatever advertised a “Speed break thru”
This a couple years back. The Speed Rail!

I have seen that on a couple Boats by Allegedly Innovating People, but Switzer got it right the first time! The later Geniuses never could!! Only ending on their Heads! And you know why!

The first moveable tunnel flap I saw was on Bill Sirois’s Boat.this Much later on.

I worked with Bill, His Wife Made lunch for us sometimes which was also Story Time. Great Lady and a lot of Racing Stories Man time has flown!

Speaking of EC Did you hear the Story of him pushing his Car into a Hole and covering the thing with a Bulldozer at the Lake, Guess it did not start.
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Old 09-29-2002, 09:24 AM
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T2x,

Thank you very much and LMAO. Great info, Keep it coming...Now that pool story sounds intriguing.

Lake Hopatcong was the place, though it was much later. I don't think it was the same gentlemen you're referring to.
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Old 09-29-2002, 09:29 AM
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Steve:

Vida Sirois, Bill's wife, remains one of the great ladies of racing. She, and Bill, always made time for Darren at every event he attended................and drowned him in Popeye paraphernalia.

Back to the '66 Orange Bowl..............One of the factory Wings was driven by Odell Lewis. I don't remember what Sirois drove.
John Stenback was in a yellow cut down Vee bottom...... possibly an early Magnum. I think I recall Ron Hill in an Evinrude powered Glastron................with Hubbell lower units.

It was also the first race that Chrysler's racing outboards were entered in under Racing Director, George Thompson (ex Mercury).
They had these cute little "quickie" lower units.......and ran like crap.


T2x

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Old 09-29-2002, 11:17 AM
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Default the car buried at Lake X story

Back when they started at Lake X Kiekhaefer had a car phone set up there. I don't know the reason, maybe there were no phone lines out that far at that time...maybe having a phone would tip off the exact location...maybe he was paranoid about being wire tapped... anyhow word got out that this phone was not actually mounted mobile in a car and he got a nasty letter from the FCC........use it correctly or lose your license.

Just for spite he had an old junker dragged out there and put the phone in it. The story kinda snowballed from that.

Here's one they told on him at a dealer meeting just after he quit in the early 70's: One day back in the mid 1960's at Lake X he was walking from one building to another and saw a young guy just standing watching the boats go around. He marched up to the guy and asked "How much do you make a week, son?" The guy replied "$30 a week"........Kiekhaefer reached into his pocket and whipped out $30 and told him he never wanted to see him there again (thinking he was firing him). When the guy was done watching the boats he got back on the Coca-Cola trunk and he and his boss went to their next delivery.

Jeffery Rodengen's book "Iron Fist" has a few stories like these...but if you don't mind my literary criticsm.....has a lot of redundant material just to make more pages. Rodengen is an excellent business history writer who makes his living writing business magazine articles. Very good articles. When you write a freestanding article you have to include the history pertinent to that article. In a book there are some history things that only need to be mentioned once, or fully explained once and then briefly refered back to where appropriate. When the same thing came around the third or fourth time being explained as if the reader knew nothing about it, I got a little confused. After it happened three or four times with different facts I got used to it, but was a little put out by the wasted paper and ink (I wanted more pictures!).

Just the same I do recommend reading Iron Fist, Legend of OMC and Legend of Mercury Marine. Armed with my critique hopefully you will be happier with the books than I am.

Can anyone who has a copy of Legend of Mercury tell me what is unusual about the motor on page viii?

Last edited by Mark75H; 09-29-2002 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 09-29-2002, 12:46 PM
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It's a 45 hp Merc 400 with a Quicksilver lower unit maybe from a Mark 30H?
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