Pacific Coast Racing History Associated with PMB Trophy [1951]

The most venerable speed boat trophy on the Pacific Coast is the Pacific Motor Boat perpetual challenge cup. It was dedicated in 1923 by the magazine, Pacific Motor Boat, as a perpetual challenge cup to be emblematic of the free-for-all unlimited speed boat championship on the Pacific Coast.

The first race for the trophy was held in August, 1923, on a 3-mile triangular course at Terminal Island, Long Beach, California. It was won by Frank A. and Frank L. Garbutt in their unlimited boat, Mystery, a famous racer and winner in those days. It was a 63-mile struggle of three heats of 21 miles each.

In 1924 the trophy was won by Two Fellows, owned and driven by Joe Fellows and his son, "Rusty" Fellows. The 1.925 race was won by Miss Los Angeles, owned and driven by Dustin Farnum.

Unlimited class racing languished in the following years and the PMB trophy remained undisturbed in a glass case in the lounge room of the Los Angeles Athletic Club until 1936, with the deed-of-gift remaining in the name of the California Yacht Club. In that year Dan Pratt, editor of Pacific Motor Boat, arranged after several conferences to make the race open to boats having 722 cubic inches of piston displacement or under, with the races held on Newport Harbor.

Dan Arena with his Gold Cup racer, Miss Golden Gate, won the revived race in 1936 and repeated his victory in 1937. In 1938 it was won by A. L. Bobrick in his Gold Cupper, El Torbillino II.

In 1939, 1940, 1941, and 1942 Lou Fageol dominated the PMB trophy races, winning with his So Long and later his So Long, Jr., the latter a 225-cubic-inch hydroplane. Because of overcrowding in Newport Harbor, the race was held at Salton Sea in 1942.

The trophy again lay dormant during the war years, but was revived again in 1946 and won by Eddie Meyer in his Avenger at Salton Sea. In 1947 it was won by California Kid, a Div. II, 225-cubic-inch hydro, driven by George Matucci with his partner, Lon Gradite as mechanic, at Newport. Reathel Bush won it in 1948 in his 135-cubic-inch hydro, Scamper, also at Newport.

In 1949 the trophy was idle, but in 1950 the series went back again to the Salton Sea where Kenny Ingram in his 135-cubic-inch, Ranger II, took possession of the trophy.

Under a new deed of gift and under the control of the American Power Boat Association, permission has been granted to race for the trophy on Lake Washington during the city's Seafair. This will be the first time the Pacific Motor Boat Trophy has been raced for in the Northwest. The new deed-of-gift provides that it can be raced for anywhere on the Pacific Coast. Drivers from other localities may compete for the cup. It is expected that the competition for this trophy will be the hottest for many years with new course records posted under the ideal racing conditions offered on Lake Washington.

(Reprinted from Pacific Motor Boat, July 1951, p.22)


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