1940 APBA Gold Cup
More R. P. M.[July 1940]
As this is being written, entries for the 1940 Gold Cup (Northport, Long Island, on August 17) are streaming in with the speed of S.A.E. 70 at zero, Fahrenheit. The moguls are highly optimistic, however, that a modicum of craft will be on hand to fill the pits when the fateful day arrives. The following may fairly be considered as prospects.
My Sin, the defender, is owned and driven by Z. G. Simmons, Jr., of Greenwich, Connecticut, and will represent the Indian Harbor Yacht Club. The hull is of Ventnor design and construction, and is powered by the old 16-cylinder Miller once campaigned by the Shibe crew. Zal has done a thorough face-lifting job on her, and even without a supercharger she still seems to be pulling plenty of horses for a 12-liter engine. Power is transmitted through a vee-drive gear box. My Sin must definitely be considered the favorite to capture the ugly old mug again this year. At Detroit, in 1939, her victory was conclusive in that she proved her ability to take over each of her competitors at will. Her reliability appeared to be of high order for such a "hot" class. Simmons, who was driving high speed boats when many of the current crop of drivers were yet babes in arms, has proven himself to be a competent and courageous chauffeur. Last, but far from least, in importance, is the fact that My Sin was competing at Lake Hopatcong on July 6, an earlier date than many Gold Cup owners even start thinking about overhauling their motors after the previous year's race.
Gray Goose III, owned by George Cannon of New Rochelle, New York, is the official challenger, under the standard of the Indian River Yacht Club of Rockledge, Florida. The Goose is also a Ventnor hull, considerably larger than My Sin because she must provide storage space for her mammoth power plant, consisting of three Lycoming 225's, with special built-in gear boxes. There are three separate shafts and propellers. The Cannon entrant has turned in an official mile trial in the neighborhood of 93, and is rumored to be capable of plenty more on demand. Hugh Gingras, a familiar 225 driver, will be at the wheel. Gray Goose has been worked on for more than a year under the meticulous supervision of Mr. Cannon and may make a lot of the boys sit up and take notice. Her weakest spot is a total lack of running in competition.
Miss Canada III, owned by E. A. Wilson of Ingersoll, Canada, is the only foreign prospect. Her hull is of von Patten design and was built by Gravette. She is certainly the prettiest looking boat to appear in this class in years. Her motor is a 12-cylinder, supercharged, Miller which has seen some four seasons of use and has undergone rebuilding often and by varied mechanics. The Wilson entrant has a victory in last year's President's Cup to her credit. Mr. Wilson's son is the driver. Miss Canada's bete noir has been unreliability, which seems to dog her almost constantly. An easy riding, good turning hull, she stands her best chance in rough water, but cannot seem to hold the Ventnor's in decent going.
So Long, Lou Fageol's Los Angeles representative, holds the record for the class of 97 m.p.h. plus. Here is another of the Ventnor hulls, this one being the smallest of the three. Motive power is provided by a V-6, which is the result of sawing a Curtiss Conqueror in twain athwartships. The whole job is assembled according to the newest aircraft practice, even to a built-in gear drive. So Long ran into one difficulty after another in the 1939 Gold and President's Cup races, but Lou has had the entire winter in which to work her out and may have her even able to stand up against the driftwood which played hob with her last year. This looks to be the fastest of the fleet and will be a very dangerous contender given calm water and good starts.
Notre Dame the (?) will be the hope of Herb Mendelson of Detroit, Michigan. The hull was designed by his driver, Danny Arena, and built in the Mendelson shops. The old 24-cylinder Duesenberg, which was transformed from an early flopperoo to a highly efficient machine under Herb's ownership, will do the pushing through a gear box and with the help of a big blower. This boat has had no competition as yet and is a thoroughly unknown quantity. Danny is a capable chauffeur and the power plant is aces high. If the hull is good, she may show to advantage.
Art-Eff, Dr. A. L. Harbarger's craft from Akron, Ohio, may finally put in her threatened appearance. Twin motors of a type used widely in automobile racing are said to be under her hatches. No dope on her hull has reached these curious ears, nor do we know who will drive, although Gib Bradfield's name has been mentioned in this connection.
Juno, belonging to Port Washington, Long Island's Jack Rutherfurd, may come out of retirement for the occasion. Her hull, too, is by Ventnor, and an old reliable Packard six "gives" through a vee-drive gear. Juno held the unsupercharged Gold Cup record for several years. She has been campaigned throughout the east and south, and in Italy, with moderate success. The last time we saw her she seemed in pretty bad shape, but not beyond hope. Jack is an old hand at driving and might yet coax his old Packard into the money if the hull would stay together.
The winner will beóno, that belongs in the September issue.
(Reprinted from The Rudder July, 1940)
History Home Page
This page was last revised Thursday, April 01, 2010 .
Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
© Leslie Field, 2005