1964 APBA Gold Cup
More Power to You : Prospects for the Gold Cup Race
Late in the afternoon of July 5 a group of unlimited hydroplane owners and drivers will gather on the banks of the Detroit River to be presented with the American Power Boat Assn. Gold Cup and $40,000 in coin of the realm. Division of this loot will be based on points earned by each competing boat in four 15-mile heats run that day.
Favorite to capture top honors is Miss Bardahl, 1963 winner of the Gold Cup and national championship. During the winter the champ has been treated to several hull and engine modifications which have been extensively tested on her home waters in Seattle. At her wheel will be Ron Musson, now recovered from injuries suffered in the middle of last season. After three successful years as the Bardahl pilot Ron says, "We're ready for our best year yet."
Rounding out the fleet of challengers from Seattle will be Miss Eagle Electric (former Miss Spokane), probably driven by Norm Evans, and Milo Stoen's Exide with Bill Brow in the cockpit.
A lone but potent representative front Nevada is Bill Harrah's new Tahoe Miss. Her driving chores will be handled by graying veteran Cluck Thompson. Thompson; who drove the former Tahoe Miss to victory in last year's Seafair Race at Seattle and took third spot in the season's high point standings, is well into a second decade of gunning for his first Gold Cup twin.
The new Notre Dame represents mixed geographical interests. Owned by Detroiter Shirley McDonald, she will be driven by Bill Muncey who carried Seattle's colors to four Gold Cup wins in Miss Thriftway (alias Century 21). The influence of Michigan builder Les Staudacher is offset by the fact that she is nurtured by former Thriftway crew chief Jack Ramsey and many of his former cohorts.
From the opposite corner of the nation comes Bernie Little's Miss Budweiser. This Tampa, Fla., contender is to be handled by Bob Schroeder.
Detroit will present an imposing fleet to "defend" the Cup whose 56th running was awarded to the Motor City on a highest bid basis. Most discussed campaigners on the home-town team will be two W. D. Gale Co. boats masterminded by APBA Vice President Lee Schoenith and Senior Driver Bill Cantrell. Their Gale V, second in 1963 point winnings, is long overdue as a first-place boat. This camp will lave a new challenger, some 800 to 1,000 lbs lighter than the "Five," to be named Miss Smirnoff in deference to her sponsor.
Rich and Paul Gordon, operating as the Blue Chip Racing Team, lave been working hard to uphold the honor of Detroit. Under the direction of Crew Chief Walter Kade, Blue Chip's Allison engine has undergone modifications of its supercharger and fuel induction systems. Knowledgeable, experienced Fred Alter is to drive.
Jim Herrington's new Mariner Too was given initial tests in early May. Warner Gardner made several laps of the Detroit course at speeds up to 135 m.p.h. The crew, leaded by Marv Henrich, was ostensibly pleased.
Persistent campaigner Jack Schafer is expected to enter his mammoth Detroit-based, twin-engined Such Crust. The driver is unknown at this time (mid-May).
(Reprinted from Yachting, July 1964, p.76)
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