‘Fastest Boat’ Is Too Tired
Miss U.S. I, the fastest boat on a straightaway and usually one of the quickest to drop out in a competitive race, is headed for the scrap heap.
Owner George Simon revealed Wednesday that he plans to replace his world record-holder next year with a new Miss U.S.
"The hull is five years old and is ‘too tired’ to risk placing a driver’s life in it," Simon said. "We will save it for testing until the President’s Cup in Washington next month and possibly the Lake Tahoe Race, but that’s it.
Miss U.S. I has been the "Novi" of powerboat racing.
Like the Novis at Indianapolis in the 1950s, Miss U.S. I was usually the most powerful and the fastest entry. But her drivers and crews couldn’t keep Miss U.S. I run in the hard going.
Miss U,S. I topped the qualifiers for the Gold Cup Race for three straight years, but never finished one of the races.
"The boat hasn’t run right since Roy Duby set the world’s record with it last April when he bettered 200 miles an hour for the first time," Simon said.
"Duby went to an alcohol fuel-injection system to give more speed at the top end for the mile trials. We switched back to our regular carburetors for the racing season, but were never able to hit the right combination.
"We blew two engines and three races trying with no luck."
Simon’s announcement that he would retire his boat followed Willard Rhodes’ decision to scrap his National champion, Century 21, this winter.
Century 21 with Bill Muncey at the wheel ran its victory string to five straight races and nine straight heats in last weekend’s Spirit of Detroit Race. Century 21 is four years old, but has completed 50 straight heats.
In addition to Miss U.S. I, Detroit’s Gale V and Gale VII have been scratched from the next race, the Governor’s Cup at Madison, Ind., Sept. 8-9.
Owner Lee Schoenith said that Gale V may be entered in the President’s Cup Race if they can lick its supercharger trouble, but Gale VII is through for the year and possibly for good.
"We will continue to test both boats," Schoenith said. "The tests will hold the answer for each boat."
(Reprinted from the Detroit News, August 1962)
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