1967 UIM World Championship
Detroit River, Detroit MI, July 2, 1967
Boss Vetoes Speed Bid by "Crew"
By George E. Van
Bill Sterett was primed to shoot for a 117 mile an hour qualifying time yesterday which would have put Miss Chrysler Crew at the top of the ladder for Sunday's World Championship on the Detroit River.
But the boss was around and he had another suggestion. Lynn Townsend, chairman of the board of Chrysler Corp., has been watching the unlimited hydroplanes and the company-sponsored Miss Chrysler Crew this week along with other company brass. Miss Chrysler Crew and her twin-engine 426 hemi-head motors have been getting special attention.
"Save it until Sunday," Townsend told Sterett, who suddenly realized that the waters of the Detroit River had grown too choppy after three days of perfect conditions.
Still there was jubilation on the Chrysler Crew's racing team which includes Jim Hay, crew chief, and such experts as Keith and Jim Black.
"This was a rewarding day for all of us," said Sterett. "We've finally got the air mixture that will give us increased speed."
Miss Chrysler Crew, now in her second season, has won heats and placed second in points, but has yet to win a trophy as the high-point boat in a race.
Chrysler Crew is in third place among the qualifiers with a 113.307 mph which Sterett registered Monday. Billy Schumacher with Miss Bardahl, of Seattle, is on top with 115.384 and Jim McCormick has Notre Dame in second place with 114.164 mph.
For the first time in four days no boats qualified yesterday although 18 of the thunderboats were on the course during the seven hours the river was open for trials.
Bill Muncey, who had plans to raise the Miss U.S. qualifying time from 112.500, gave up the idea because of the choppy conditions.
Jerry Schoenith pulled the new stepped-hull hydroplane, Gale's Roostertail, from 89.256 to 93.58 mph. Bob Fendler's Wayfarer's Club Lady, of Los Angeles, got up to 86.956 in her first appearance on the course.
Mike Wolfbauer drove his Savair's Probe at 78.374 after taking a ride in this two-seater with Walter Kade, who drives Savair's Mist. Wolfbauer then introduced 34-year-old Bob Miller, an experienced driver from Everett, Wash., as the driver of "Mist."
Roy Duby took over the newest Miss Budweiser for Bernie Little, and stopped with a broken accelerator after two trips around the course. Miss Budweiser was Shirley Mendelson McDonald's first Notre Dame, brought out originally in 1962. Warner Gardner, the driver then, finished 27 out of 29 starts and took three thirds and one second in races that season.
In 1963, this Staudacher-built hydroplane burned to the waterline in Seattle with Muncey driving. Mrs. McDonald had the boat rebuilt with two seats and with the name Shu-Shu. Little bought the boat when his other Miss Budweiser was wrecked in the mishap that killed Bill Brow in Tampa June 11.
Staudacher rebuilt the boat into a conventional single seater last week.
Jack Schafer's Such Crust, with Bud Saile -- out of retirement after five years -- driving, was tested again yesterday.
Such Crust, Probe, Wayfarer, Miss Budweiser and Roostertail must attain 100 mph speed for the three-mile course in today's final trials to be eligible for Sunday's race. No trials are scheduled Saturday when the river will be open all day to traffic.
The 100 mph requirement is an American Power Boat Association rule. All unlimited hydroplanes must attain this speed for a lap sometime during the season before they can start in a race. After making the grade the boat is eligible, although the ground rules for a specific race may be lowered. It's only 90 mph for the World's Championship here.
(reprinted from the Detroit News June 29, 1967)
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