1966 APBA Gold Cup
Detroit River, Detroit MI, July 3-4, 1966


Boat Race Field Completed
Gold Cup Cast: Daring 12

bullet Grand Daddy of All Races
bullet '66 Gold cup to Run in Detroit
bullet Muncey Hits 115: "U.S." Fastest Ever
bullet Boat Race Field Complete
bullet Detroit Powerboat Races Postponed After Exploding Craft Kills Thompson
bullet Miss Smirnoff Disintegrates Once Again, Death Takes the Wheel
bullet Hydroplane Driver Dies in Gold Cup
bullet Hydro Racing Takes Another
bullet Hydroplanes Claim No. 4
bullet Slovak Drives Tahoe Miss to Victory in Slowest Gold Cup Time in 12 Years
bullet Mira Slovak Pilots Tahoe Miss to Victory in Gold Cup Race
bullet Investigation of Hydroplane Accidents Ends
bullet How the Western Circuit Will Continue

Tomorrow thousands of spectators will be on hand for the running of the Gold Cup race, the major event of the unlimited hydroplane racing season. Twelve boats will roar around the three-mile Detroit River course. Who are the men who pilot these sup speedboats at speeds in excess of 100 miles and hour? Following are brief sketches of the daring dozen who will take to the water in quest of the famous trophy.

66_muncey_thumb.jpg (13198 bytes) Bill Muncey, Miss U.S.—The 39-year-old former Detroiter won the Suncoast Cup at Tampa this year. This was the first  regatta won by any of George Simon's Miss U.S. boats in 10 years. Muncey drove limited hydroplanes for several years before he made his unlimited debut in 1951. From 1955 to 1962 the Seattle driver had phenomenal success with three separate Miss Thriftways as he dominated the sport. He has won the Gold Cup four times and hopes to equal the five victories of Gar Wood in the early '20's. Muncey won the Cup in 1956, 1957, 1960 and 1962. He was seriously injured in 1957 at Madison, Ind., in an accident at 175 m.p.h. He hit and sank a Coast Guard boat in 1958 at Seattle. During his Thriftway career Muncey won more heats, more races and broke more world records than any other driver in history. Honors include receiving the President's Cup from Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. Muncey was named to Gulf's Marine Hall of Fame four times, the American Power Boat Association's Honor Squadron and won the Brussels world medal in 1962 as the world's top speedboat driver.

Bill Muncey
The Man of the Hour

Four-Time Gold Cup Top Qualifier

66_thompson_thumb.jpg (12121 bytes) Chuck Thompson, Miss Smirnoff—a 54-year-old driver who gets everything out of a boat, Thompson has won everything in unlimited hydroplane racing except the Gold Cup. He lost the Gold Cup in Detroit in 1964 by one second. Thompson started racing outboards and began as an unlimited driver with Miss Pepsi in 1947. He has won the President's Cup four times. He shares with Bill Muncey the distinction of being the most respected driver in the Gold Cup. No driver knows the egg-shaped three-mile Detroit River Gold Cup course better than Thompson.

Chuck Thompson
Miss Smirnoff

66_brow_thumb.jpg (11544 bytes) Bill Brow, Miss Budweiser—The 39-year-old Seattle milk distributor started his racing career as and outboard driver and switched to unlimited in 1958 as pilot of Miss Burien. When that boat disintegrated in the 1959 Diamond Cup race, Brow took over Miss Bardahl and consistently finished in the top four in all his races. He briefly piloted Seattle Too in 1962 and starting in 1963 with Miss Exide he won the Diamond Cup twice, the President's Cup and the Governor's Cup. This year he joined Bernie Little, of Tampa, as the driver of Miss Budweiser (formerly Miss Exide). He injured his shoulder at Tampa in the first 1966 regatta and was replaced by Don Wilson who died along with Rex Manchester in a collision in the President's Cup race.
Bill Brow
Miss Budweiser
66_slovak_thumb.jpg (12085 bytes) Mira Slovak, Tahoe Miss—The 39-year-old former Czechoslovakian Air Force pilot has a person history that reads like a James Bond novel. He commandeered a plane and flew a group of fellow defectors out of his homeland in the early 1950's and eventually migrated to the United States. He became the person pilot of William Boeing, who bought Miss Wahoo. Slovak was installed as the driver and won the President's Cup, the Sahara Cup and other races. When Boeing left unlimited racing, so did Slovak. He came back to drive Miss Exide in 1963 and placed third in the Gold Cup, but the boat later blew up at Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and he was injured severely. He quit boat racing again and went into unlimited air racing and won the national title in 1964. Slovak, known as a heavy-footed driver, returned to the water this year when Buddy Byers, Tahoe Miss driver, was injured in an Orange Bowl regatta race of limiteds
Mira Slovak
Tahoe Miss
66_schoenith_thumb.jpg (12242 bytes) Jerry Schoenith, Gale's Roostertail—Coached by Wild Bill Cantrell, the 22-year-old Schoenith was rookie of the year in unlimited racing in 1964, a year in which he placed third at the Dixie Cup and fifth in the President's Cup races. He finished 13th in the national standings last year. This is the second year he has driven the Roostertail, built for him. Known as the quiet little man of racing, he won the respect of the racing fraternity in his rookie year when he drove his Gale V, running with an engine that refused to shut off, onto the beach to avoid hitting two other boats. The next day he drove the repaired Gale V again and finished in the money. He is the younger brother of J. Lee Schoenith, winner of the Gold cup in 1955.
Jerry Schoenith
Roostertail
66_alter_thumb.jpg (10706 bytes) Fred Alter, Dixi Cola—The 39-year-old pilot has been driving unlimiteds since the early '50's when he took over Such Crust III. He captured the Governor's Cup with Miss U.S. I in 1956 and also won the Detroit Memorial races in 1956 and 1957. He took the South Shore Trophy race with Such Crust last year at Lake Tahoe. He bought Blue Chip II from Jim Ranger last year and renamed it Dixi Cola.
Fred Alter
Dixi Cola
66_sterett_thumb.jpg (9229 bytes) Bill Sterett, Miss Chrysler Crew—The Owensboro, Kentucky, construction company owner has the only boat using automotive power—two Chrysler hemispherical head engines in tandem. (The other boats use World War II surplus aircraft engines.) Miss Chrysler Crew, designed by Henry Lauterbach, a top limited class creator, was built at Sterett's Kentucky headquarters last winter. Lauterbach designed Sterett's seven liter limited class Miss Crazy Thing, holder of all seven-liter speed records, including the straightaway mark of 151.403 m.p.h. The 41-year-old Sterett won the International Grand Prix in the Miami Orange Bowl regatta the last three years and was named to the gulf Marine Hall of Fame in January.

Bill Sterett
Chrysler Crew

66_mccormick_thumb.jpg (9879 bytes) Jim McCormick, Miss Madison—This is the first year as driver of Miss Madison for the 32-year-old McCormick, who has a rich background in limited class racing with 266 and 280 cubic-inch boats the last four seasons. McCormick place third in the Sun Coast regatta at Tampa and was leading in his heat of the President's Cup regatta until Miss Madison was forced out of competition. The boat is owned and sponsored by Madison, Ind., and was built in 1958 for Sam Dupont as Nitrogen II. It was driven only six times that year and wasn't raced again until 1963.
Jim McCormick
Miss Madison
66_ranger_thumb.jpg (9665 bytes) Jim Ranger, My Gypsy—A new driver this year, the 28-year-old Ranger was formerly active in auto racing. He has been coached all spring by Wild Bill Cantrell and performed creditably in the Sun Coast regatta and President's Cup race. He qualified My Gypsy, a new boat, as the ninth boat for the gold cup. The name of the boat is taken from the name "My Sweetie," the late Horace Dodge's famous boat. Ranger's wife, Yvonne, is Dodge's niece and is called "Gypsy" by her husband.
Jim Ranger
My Gypsy
66_loomis_thumb.jpg (9891 bytes) Red Loomis, Savair's Probe—A jolly chauffeur, Loomis, 34, came out of limited class racing to pilot Bill Schuyler's $ Bill in 1961 before returning to the limiteds. He joined Detroiter Mike Wolfbauer in 1964 as driver of the second SavairSavair's Mist. Loomis drove Savair's Probe in every race last year and his next showing came in the Governor's Cup race at Madison, Ind., where he finished fourth. The boat formerly was known as Miss Michelob and Roostertail and was built in 1959. It has never been a winner, but did manage a second-place finish to Miss Madison in the 1961 Seattle Trophy race.

Red Loomis
Savair's Probe

66_fendler_thumb.jpg (10330 bytes) Bob Fendler, Wayfarer's Club Lady—The 30-year-old California attorney was 1965 rookie of the year in unlimited racing after finishing 14th in the national standings. A former track star (high jumper), he also is a rodeo calf roper and holds the brown belt in judo. His boat, built in 1957, formerly was known as Miss San Diego and Miss Coral Reef.
Bob Fendler
Wayfarer Lady
66_evans_thumb.jpg (10135 bytes) Norm Evans, $ Bill—The 36-year-old driver has had a varied career as pilot of Miss Burien, Miss Bardahl, Miss Lapeer, Miss Spokane, Miss Eagle Electric and Coral Reef. He won the Apple Cup at Lake Chelan the first time it was offered, but has had some bad luck, too. One year he virtually won the President's Cup when his boat, Nitrogen, caught fire. He survived a collision with Roy Duby, piloting Miss U.S. during the gold Cup race at Seattle last year. $ Bill was built for Bill Schuyler in 1962 by Les Staudacher and formerly was driven by Rex Bixby and the late Rex Manchester.
Norm Evans
$ Bill

(Reprinted from the Detroit News, July 2, 1966)


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