Galloping Shingles [1949]

Boat Racing Official come up with one of the most unusual rules in modern motor racing — A Claiming Race — to keep a certain class as the "Poor Man’s" phase of the sport.

When it comes to speedboats, veteran builder John (Pop) Glazier holds to a couple of ideas that sound haywire.

In the first place, he says, he doesn't think non-trip chines are necessary. No Glazier runabout has ever been equipped with non-trips. If some also-ran driver or plain pit stooge made the remark, I, along with a lot of other speedboating enthusiasts, would he inclined to scoff, but when Pop Glazier makes the statement, then I listen and say, "Sure, Pop."

Pop Glazier's boatworks is housed in a ramshackle one-story brick building about the site of two 4-car garages back to back — in fact that's just what it used to be. Tucked in behind the six-foot high iron fence surrounding the playground of a dingy red brick public grade school on Richmond Street, Philadelphia, Pa., Pop's boatworks is to the speedboating fraternity what Paterson, N. J.'s converted garages are to auto racers.

At last count, Glazier inboards held more one-mile speed records than any other type inboard hull, holding five of the 10 different type runabout titles.

Frank Foulke's Saganna VIII and Saganna IX; two of the outstanding racing runabouts in the country are, along with Edmund Thompson's T-M Special, Pop Glazier's most successful boats.

Saganna IV, however, is Pop's favorite racing hull of the scores he has created since he turned racing boat designer and builder hack in 1937. That year she was powered by a 100-c.i. Gray, and with Tracy Johnson helming her, she set the world's class A racing runabout one mile standard. She was then known as the Jim-Jam and was the first successful monoplane-bottom, single-planing surface runabout in the East. Prior to that time the hot runabouts were V-bottomed. Tracy Johnson's successful handling of Glaziers' Jim-Jam started Pop Glazier to speedboating fame. Essex, Md., racer Frank Foulke, the present owner of the old Jim-Jam, changed power plants, installed a Studebaker Champion that incorporated a few of auto racing mechanic Carl "Pop" Green's refinements, and with his wife Mildred at the wheel, the Saganna IV cracked the old world's C record, pushed it to 82.555 MPH in September of 1947.

Twice last season Mrs. Foulke's C record was bettered by Edmund Thompson, and although Pop Glazier hated to see the record slip away from his rechristened Jim-Jam, the new record-holder was another Glazier boat, T-M Special, a 287-pound hull originally designed: to be powered by a 48-ci and now housing a 165-ci engine. .,

It was to track down some data on the new 48-ci class that I dropped in on Pop and his three sons. Rumor had it that the T-M Special was a 48. Anyone who saw Thompson turn in a mile average of 58.083 MPH at New Martinsville, W. Va. knew no 48 could push a 13-foot hull at that speed. Rumor had it also that Pop Glazier was working on a new 48-ci racing runabout. That's one strictly for the birds, too, because Pop isn't working on one new 48 — nope, he intends to finish at least 30 before the first regatta of the coming season.

Two of the tiny 10-foot long hulls are already completed and three others are in varying degrees of completion. For the first time, I am in a position to pass along a bit of dope on the new class.

If you haven't already seen the 48s in action during the past summer, you will during 1949 because the 48s,hold promise of putting new blood and vigor into speedboating which, as any inboard speedboat fan knows, has suffered for years from too few entrants in any given class. Frequently regatta committees have placed as many as four different. Classes of boats in a single event in order to present a sufficient number of contestants to make a passable spectacle.

In recent years it has been commonplace to view 40 or more boats in the pits at a regatta and still find certain classes represented by only one, two or three entrants. Some few drivers, anxious to line their trophy cases with silver plate, have purposely chosen classes in which the competition was known to be slim.

However, far more of the speedboat racers honestly want to stack their rigs against the best available and the tougher, the competition, the better they like it.

Last: season as many as 12 of the tiny 48s hit the starting line in the same heats—a real novelty in inboarding. And with Pop .Glazier and other racing boat designers turning out the new class in baker’s lots, the 1949 regattas shou8ld draw as many as 20 starters in a single heat — and that at better than 40 miles an hour. Wave-skipping without brakes — that will mean real competition.

As most power-boating fans are not familiar with the new class, I will cover some of its standout features.

Under an American Power Boat Association's (rules formulating body) resolution to consider that class as experimental during 1948, the following qualifications and restrictions were ordered:

Piston displacement of engines is limited to 48 c.i.; only 4-cycle non-supercharged engines are eligible; the power plant may not exceed $350 and must be of a type made available on the open market for a sum not to exceed that amount; propulsion and steering must be by submerged screw and rudder; runabouts carry the number prefix "Z" and hydroplanes the number prefix "Y."

As the purpose of this racing class is to provide an evenly contested group of racing boats at a moderate cost, one obvious loophole appears in the above regulations — the $350 limitation on price of motor. To date the power plant most generally used is the Crosley Cobra. A stock block with generator

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(Reprinted from Speed Age, February 1949)