Lee Taylor & Hustler
Lee Taylor Hurt in Jet Run
Lee Taylor, Downey, Cal., was critically injured Apr. 14 when his jet hydroplane, the Harvey Aluminum Hustler, hurtled up a sloping shoreline at Lake Havasu, Ariz. The 30' boat was making trial runs preparatory to an assault on the 260.35 m.p.h. record which Donald Campbell's Bluebird set in 1959 on Lake Coniston, England.
The 4500-pound Hustler, constructed of wood and aluminum-covered, was built by Rich Hallett, and housed a Westinghouse J-46-WE-8B turbo-jet engine capable of producing 10,000-hp (from 6200-lb. thrust at 10,150 r.p.m.).
After some slow passes, Taylor gunned the boat on the particular return run. At 2½ miles from start, Hustler passed "pretty close to" a patrol boat in which Hallett was an observer, doing approximately 200 m.p.h. Lee continued to accelerate for another half mile, then cut off. At that point the boat was doing at least 300 m.p.h., according to Hallett's estimate.
Then for 1½ more miles, Hustler coasted. At about 90-100 m.p.h. it hit and jumped over a spit of land jutting from shore, then again went into the sloping shore and skidded for some 75 yards before coming to rest. Taylor, as the boat neared shore, had jumped clear then was hurtled on the beach.
Had the ex-drag racer elected to ride it out his injuries might well have been minor in Hallett's opinon, for damage to the boat was not too great. A sponson was torn off but there was only moderate impact damage, due to the slope of the beach.
(reprinted from Yachting, June 1964, pp.28, 197)
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