1946 Season Summary

Statistics

  March 2-3 Biscayne Bay Regatta [non points] Miami, Florida
1. July 4 Webb Trophy Keokuk, Iowa
2. August 17-18 National Sweepstakes Red Bank, New Jersey
3. September 2 A.P.B.A. Gold Cup Detroit, Michigan
  September 2 O.J. Mulford Silver Cup Detroit, Michigan
4. September 21-22 President's Cup Washington, D.C.
5. September 29 Viking Trophy New Martinsville, W.Va.

 

  Winner Crew Chief Designer Builder Engine
7/4 Seabiscuit Al Brinkman Arno Apel Ventnor Lycoming
8/18 Tempo VI Werner Maeder Arno Apel Ventnor Miller
9/2 Tempo VI Werner Maeder Arno Apel Ventnor Miller
9/22 Miss Great Lakes Al Fallon Dan Arena Dan Arena Allison
9/29 So-Long Jr. Lou Fageol Arno Apel Ventnor Fageol

 

  Built Boat High Points Total Team High
1. (1938) Tempo VI 1100 (1)
2. (1946) Miss Great Lakes 625 (2-400)
    Miss Golden Gate III   (4-225)
3. (1941) So-Long Jr. 400 (3)
4. (1938) Pepsi Cola III 225 (5-225)
    Dukie   (10)
5. (1939) So-Long (3) 169 (6)
6. (1938) Miss Canada III 000 (7)
7. (1941) Why Worry (3) 000 (8)
8. (1942) Miss Cincinnati IV 000 (9)
9. (1946) Miss Windsor DNS (10)
10. (1936) Hotsy Totsy III DNS (12)
11. (1946) Lion Bar Special DNS (13)

 

  Driver High Points Total
1. Guy Lombardo 3300
2. Danny Foster 1200
3. Dan Arena 600
4. Lou Fageol 400
5. Bill Stroh 225
6. Henry Slocum 169
7. Bill Cantrell 000
8. Harold Wilson 000
9. Lou Schafer 000

 

World War II was over and one of the positive things to come out of the conflict was the availability of new engines for the Gold Cup class. Since the jet age was rapidly approaching these engines were available at relatively low cost. This caused the rule makers to open up the Gold Cup class which for all intents and purposes was the province of the very rich. In addition the traditional Gold Cup engines were in decreasingly short supply.

Moreover the 225 class, which fancied themselves at least the equivalent of the Gold Cuppers, were allowed by the A.P.B.A. to compete for the most famous of motor boat trophies. However the little fellows were not used to 30 mile heats and had to be altered to carry enough fuel to get the job done - their longest heats being 15 miles long.

Prior to the War Gold Cup class trophies included the President's Cup, the National Sweepstakes, the west coast Pacific Motorboat Trophy, the Auerbach Trophy, and the Webb Trophy as well as the Gold Cup. All but the Pacific Motorboat Trophy were scheduled for 1946.

In the late 30’s and early 40's four Gold Cup boats stood out: Alagi (1938 Gold Cup winner). My Sin (1939 Gold Cup champion ), Miss Canada III (1939 President's Cup winner) and Notre Dame (1940 President's Cup victor) - a predecessor had won both the 1937 Gold Cup and the 1937 President's Cup as well as the 1935 President's Cup.

Notre Dame was the pre-Season favorite, but an illness in the Mendelson family precluded her entry on the circuit. Alagi, the Italian entry of Count Rossi, was a victim of allied bombing during the World War.

This left Miss Canada III and the My Sin which had been sold to Guy Lombardo in April and renamed Tempo VI. Lombardo had distinguished himself in the 225 class in 1942.

Dan Arena, who had driven the Notre Dames in 1939-40, built a new boat to accommodate the Allison engine which was war surplus and had about twice the horsepower of the pre-war Gold Cup entities. Due to Arena's involvement and the horsepower, the new Miss Golden Gate III had the attention of the Gold Cup crowd.

The top 225's figured to be the new Tomyann IV and Top's Speedliner. A previous Tomyann III had set a 15 mile record of 73 m.p.h. and only the Notre Dame had exceeded this mark at 76 m.p.h. Prior Tops entries had won the National Sweepstakes in 1937 and 1940 not to mention equaling the Notre Dame's 76 m.p.h. lap at the last referenced National Sweepstakes.

Five 725's (Mississippi Power Boat Association Gold Cup class equivalents) entered the Webb Trophy at Keokuk, Iowa in July, but only one made an appearance and she failed to start. The 225 Seabiscuit won the contest.

One Gold Cupper Tempo VI showed at Red Bank, New Jersey for the National Sweepstakes and Auerbach Trophy. She didn't enter the Auerbach Trophy, but beat the 225's soundly in the Sweepstakes to capture the trophy. However neither Joe Taggart's Tomyann IV nor Pop Cooper's Top's Speedliner were there.

Unfortunately for the Gold Cup Committee the Pop Cooper entry was unable to compete due to damage in a previous race. In addition Why Worry which had dominated the 725 circuit in the early 40's was without an engine and had to withdraw. Again only Notre Dame had turned significantly faster speeds. However in mile trials Why Worry had nearly matched her 99 to 100 m.p.h.

The Gold Cup drew over 12 starters so the first heat had to be divided into two sections. Miss Canada III led Miss Golden Gate III, the ultimate winner of heat 1-A, for a number of laps before expiring. Tempo VI won the B section in a breeze. Just as at Red Bank the 225's were not a factor.

Five boats survived the first heat to start the second heat. Miss Golden Gate III matched Tempo VI for one lap and then fell back due to engine trouble. As a result of bonus points for the fastest heat and the fastest race Tempo VI had an overwhelming advantage heading into the final heat.

Lombardo and Tempo VI played it cool therefore and Miss Golden Gate III ran out in front for nine laps before going dead in the water. Her best lap was 4 m.p.h. faster than Tempo VI. However the latter won the regatta. Golden Gate set a 3 mile lap record at 77.911 m.p.h.

After the Gold Cup Golden Gate owner Dan Arena ran out of money and sold his boat to Al Fallon. Fallon renamed the entry Miss Great Lakes and replaced Dan Arena and his brother Gene in the cockpit with himself as riding mechanic.and former Arena foot soldier Danny Foster as driver.

The Arenas, possibly due to a shortage of testing time, did not prevail in the Gold Cup, but Foster and Fallon took all three heats to win the President's Cup. However in competition lap times the Great Lakes had only 2 m.p.h. over Tempo VI on the 2½ mile course.

The final race of the year was the Viking Trophy scheduled for New Martinsville, West Virginia. Tempo VI was there, but was unable to start. This opened the door for So-Long Jr., a 225 hull built in 1941, powered by a 404 cubic inch bus engine pioneered by the Fageols. Since she was no longer a 225 she had to be a Gold Cupper.

So-Long Jr. won the Viking Trophy against a bunch of 225's. The race was limited to one heat due to inclement weather. Reportedly So-Long Jr. turned a lap at 72 m.p.h. on a 2½ mile course during this regatta. Miss Great Lakes had been clocked at 74.259 at Washington, D.C.

At the end of the season some thought the Allison engine was the wave of the future. Traditionalists found solace in the fact that both Notre Dame and Tops III had beaten the Miss Great Lakes best 2½ mile competition lap in 1940. So-Long Jr. appeared to be in the ball park and the 725 Why Worry was right on the Great Lakes tail during the President's Cup.

Miss Great Lakes tried for the mile record in October at Detroit, but flew off the handle sending driver Danny Foster and his riding mechanic to the hospital. The Al Fallon entry's fastest reported speed for the mile was 113 m.p.h. This was 11 m.p.h. short of Miss America X's United States record and 28 m.p.h. down to Bluebird's world.record of 141 m.p.h.

[Statistics and comments from Greene, V.1]