1950 APBA Gold Cup
Detroit River, Detroit MI, July 22,1950
Slo-Mo-Shun in Smashing, Decisive
By Harry LeDuc
Faster for a straight mile than any other boat in the world since June 29, Stan Sayres' Slo-mo-shun [IV], of Seattle, Wash., showed it was also the fastest in competition for 90 miles when it lifted the Gold Cup from Detroit to the Pacific Coast, smashing heat and race records on the Detroit River Saturday afternoon.
Slo-mo-shun sandwiched in its 2,000-point victory (every possible point it could score) over a three-mile course of smooth water, under a blue sky and before crowds that filled both the Detroit and Belle Isle shores.
Between the three-deck sandwich of three 30-mile Gold Cup heats was the victory of wounded war veteran Bob Bogie, who drove one heat of the Gold Cup in his Blitz II and then won the last two heats of the 225 Div. 1 three-heat 27-mile race to take the Edenburn Trophy.
There have been some good and bad Gold Cup races but this was a good one, with the first heat an excellent demonstration of straightaway speed by Slo-mo-shun; the second heat an exciting contest between the winner and My Sweetie, and the third heat a foregone conclusion.
When the gun sounded, the checkered flag went out and sirens of every boat on the river shrieked, the arms of Ted Jones, driver, and Mike Welsch, mechanic, waved to all as they brought the victorious Slo-mo-shun to a stop.
Their worries were over and joy was theirs. They had boosted the heat record from 78.64 mph (My Sweetie, 1949) to 80.897 mph, set in the surprising second heat and the race mark from 75.559 (Skip-A-Long, 1949) to 78.216 mph.
But the lap record remained with My Sweetie which Lou Fageol, driving in place of an aching Bill Cantrell, sped around the course at 86.2 mph on the fourth lap as he was leading Slo-mo-shun in a desperate drive to snatch America's oldest trophy from the eager Westerners. The old lap record was set by the same My Sweetie at 85.73 mph last year.
The foregoing seems necessary prelude to a race that began with eight boats and ended with only two running, Guy Lombardo in his Tempo VI being the only other finisher -- a mile behind.
In their wake were the two Such Crusts, unable to the finish the final heat because of mechanical troubles; Philadelphia's Dee Jay V, which turned over and injured a mechanic; the Blitz II, which retired from the race after finishing fourth in the first heat; the My Sweetie which broke its oil line while leading on the last lap of the second heat; and the Chaz, of Long Beach, N.Y., which sank off the Whittier Hotel on the first lap of the final heat.
James Crudden, of Haddenfield, N.J., an auto dealer, was the mechanic hurt when Dee Jay went over near the upper turn on its fourth lap of the second heat. He is in Evangelical Deaconess Hospital. His condition was reported "not serious."
There was no questioning Slo-mo-shun's victory, a triumph that took the Gold Cup farther westward than Detroit for the first time since 1915.
But the race left a question:
It was: Would the result have been the same had Bill Cantrell been in condition to drive it out with Slo-mo-shun in the first heat?
Cantrell, injured Wednesday when Horace Dodge's Delphine turned over in a test run, started My Sweetie still stiff and sore from the bruising he had received. He drove the first heat hunched over, virtually a cripple. Every foot of the 30 miles pained him.
Though Cantrell had qualified My Sweetie at better than 89 mph, he never was able to turn a lap faster than 78 mph (his second). Meanwhile, the smoothly performing, pencil perfect Slo-mo-shun, never pressed, took the turns at her leisure and hightailed the straightaways at better than 80 miles an hour for six of the 10 laps -- and won the first heat easily.
My Sweetie was second, Tempo VI third and Blitz II fourth.
Cantrell hardly could get out of the My Sweetie's cockpit after the heat. "It was the most foolish thing I ever did to try to drive--I should have known better," said Cantrell as he turned the boat over to Lou Fageol for the second heat.
Fageol, of Kent, Ohio, always has been recognized as a good pilot but he never drove better than in the second heat.
Fageol put My Sweetie over the line first, with Slo-mo-shun second and Lombardo in Tempo, third. Dee Jay got a late start. Only four boats started.
Fageol's foot surprised Jones and that was obvious. He put My Sweetie around the turns faster than Slo-mo-shun could negotiate them. Fageol set an even 80-mile-an-hour pace for the first lap, upped it to 83 for the second and 83 for the third.
Even for Slo-mo-shun this was a serious pace. Jones was in a chase and he didn't seem able to do too much about it. Slo-mo-shun's high spray grew higher and higher and Jones opened it up more on the straightaways and dived farther into the turns.
But Fageol footed My Sweetie around the fourth lap at 86.2 mph and stretched his lead to a full length of a straightaway. Keeping his lead through the seventh lap, Fageol driving alone, had convinced Slo-mo-shun's crew that they would have to risk their boat to catch him. Slo-mo-shun had 400 points for its first-heat victory, My Sweetie 300 points.
Jones evidently decided to wait for the final heat to risk it all. He shut Slo-mo-shun down and did only 79 mph on the ninth lap.
Then it happened. The green flag was given My Sweetie as it finished its ninth lap. It swept around the upper turn and dashed down the Detroit side of the course. They had the checkered flag waiting for it at the judges' stand.
Suddenly, down near the Belle Isle bridge, My Sweetie was seen to "go down" and down with it went all hope of the Gold Cup staying in Detroit. They towed it off the course. Slo-mo-shun, inheriting second-heat victory, came on to get the checkered flag and Lombardo in his Tempo VI got second place. They were the only boats to finish the heat.
Later Fageol said: "I saw my oil pressure quit just as I got the green flag and my heart jumped. Gee, how I hoped I could get around that last lap. But I couldn't. The oil line broke and My Sweetie was through."
The "foregone conclusion heat," the third, went to Slo-mo-shun without too much struggle. Lombardo's lengthened Tempo (5 1/2 feet added to its stern) was drawing too much water. It was not getting up.
Guy put Tempo across the line first but went wide on the upper turn and Slo-mo-shun moved inside and took a lead it never relinquished. Jones turned the first lap at 83 mph and then settled into comfortable riding at speeds between 71 and 75 miles an hour.
Slo-mo-shun won going away, with Lombardo the only other finisher. Chaz, Charles Klein driving, was the only other starter but as already reported the Chaz sunk on the first lap.
While Bob Bogie won the Edenburn Trophy, the most consistent performance was done by Bill Muncey and his Mi Son. Muncey won himself a second and two thirds for 759 points, to miss beating Bogie by only 50 points. Muncey, son of the auto dealer, has a new racer this year.
Bogie's Blitz II averaged 61.884 mph in the second heat and 66.491 in the third heat. Lou Butler's Barracuda was third.
All the boats, both unlimited and 225 Class, will remain in Detroit for the Detroit Memorial Regatta next Saturday, which has its start in front of the Whittier. Slo-mo-shun's owner, Sayres, also stated definitely that it would be in the race.
Asked if he would help defend the Harmsworth in September, if Slo-mo-shun is picked on the team (as it surely will be), he replied: "I'm certainly hoping it will be chosen, and if it is I will drive it."
(reprinted from the Detroit News, July 22, 1950)
[Note: Bob Bogie's boat is listed in this article as Blitz II; it is in all probability Blitz III. Similarly, Slo-mo-shun is, of course, Slo-mo-shun IV. --LF]
|3.||U-3||My Sweetie (1)|
|DNF||U-1||Such Crust (1)|
|DNF||U-11||Such Crust II|
|DNF||G-66 [U-66?]||Dee Jay V|
|DNQ||U-4||Miss Great Lakes|
|DNQ||U-99||Miss Pepsi (2)|
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