1947 APBA Gold Cup
Jamaica Bay, New York City, NY, August 10, 1947

By Fred Farley - APBA Unlimited Historian

The APBA Gold Cup was run on extremely rough water at Jamaica Bay, New York. Notre Dame won the first heat of 30 miles, but Miss Peps V rebounded to win the next two. Heat Three featured a good battle for first and second between Peps and Miss Great Lakes with owner/driver Al Fallon. Foster did 56.256 to Fallon's 55.667 in the almost ocean-like chop.

Fred Farley. For reprint rights to this article, please contact the author at <fredf@hotmail.com>

Casualty Course

47_gold_cup_thumbnail.jpg (5324 bytes)With a bone-rattling roar, seven lowslung speedboats charged down Long Island's Jamaica Bay to start the first of three 30-mile heats in the International Gold Cup race. Most eyes were on 45-year-old bandleader Guy Lombardo, the defending champion, half obscured by his helmet and Mae West as he hunched in the cockpit of his 600-h.p., red-gold-&-mahogany Tempo VI. More than a famous name and expensive pressagentry made Lombardo the favorite. Other speedboat drivers had to admit that he was "a hot chauffeur" with a well-balanced boat that should have plenty of staying power in a long race.

For all their thunderous noise, the finely tuned machines soon began to show signs of fallibility. Once around the three-mile course and slightly in the lead, Tempo VI hit a floating obstacle in the rough water, ripping the fragile skin off its starboard front sponson; Lombardo had to slow up to prevent shipping too much water. Notre Dame, the 1937 Gold Cup winner, went on to win the first heat, then had engine trouble and missed the second entirely. Albin Fallon's Miss Great Lakes had engine trouble, fell behind; three other boats dropped out altogether.

By the start of the third heat, only two boats were left seriously in the running: Lombardo's limping Tempo and a Detroit entry which had stayed out of trouble, Miss Peps V. Lombardo dropped out with a fouled oil line, and Miss Peps finished the winner by quasi-default, a sort of streamlined version of Aesop's tortoise. Miss Peps, however, had not exactly plodded. With a converted Allison engine (from a Lockheed P-38) under her hatch and a converted Army pilot in her cockpit. she had averaged 54.88 m.p.h. Curlyheaded Driver Danny Foster finished after being temporarily deafened by his engine, but not bleeding at nose & mouth, as drivers sometimes do after a bumpy, rough-water race.

(Reprinted from Time August 8, 1947)

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