1949 APBA Gold Cup
42nd Holding of Gold cup Race Set at Detroit Saturday
Two Kaiser Boats Among 27 Entered
20 Fastest Craft to Qualify in Trial-Run Plan Adopted for the Gold Cup Race
Rebuilt Tempo VI Tuned
1946 Winner Listed Again by Lombardo—Skip-A-Long of California in Field
by Clarence E. Lovejoy
This is Gold Cup week, at Detroit, two months earlier than usual and it will culminate Saturday afternoon with the forty-second running of the famous ninety-mile race that will bring together the country's leading fleet of unlimited power craft. At least twenty-seven nominations have been received by the American Power Boat Association, constituting perhaps the largest fleet in the forty-five-year history of the Gold Cup classic, which last year was won by Albin Fallon's Miss Great Lakes on a turbulent Detroit River so rough that nearly every other boat was wrecked.
The 1948 holocaust resulted in several rule changes, especially one that provides for qualifying trials to be held between Tuesday and Friday. This year in order to be eligible for the Gold Cup race the entering craft must run at least three laps over the official three-mile oval course and in at least one lap must maintain a speed average of sixty-five miles an hour or better.
This plan has been adopted to shake out any slow-moving boats that would needlessly and even dangerously clutter up the course. From among the twenty-seven nominees the twenty fastest craft will constitute the starting field and all will race together in the three heats on Saturday.
Aluminum First in Fleet
Lured from many parts of the country, the fleet, which will represent an investment of at least $2,000,000, includes new and as yet non-victorious craft, including Henry J. Kaiser's 32-foot double Allison Aluminum First and his 28-foot single Allison Hot Metal which earlier this month were taken to Lake Placid, NY, for one-mile speed trials but which had assorted breakages and stoppages and have since been in Detroit for new tests and tuning.
Presumably Guy Lombardo will not drive either Kaiser boat as he has entered his own Tempo VI, the rebuilt little speed ship which won the 1946 Gold Cup but which was wrecked at Detroit last summer and cost Lombardo a broken left arm. Now powered with a single Allison, Tempo VI will be one of Saturday's favorites.
Tempo VI's former motor, the complicated Miller-Zumbach, has recently been acquired by Joe Van Blerck of Freeport, LI, for his Aljo, which in an early test this year at Ocean City, NJ, won the John Fite Memorial marathon handily. One of the last to enter the Gold Cup was Van Blerck's runner up at Ocean City, Daniel J. Murphy's Dee-Jay IV, which will run under the colors of the Ocean City YC and which if victorious would bring to Jersey waters next year's Gold Cup.
Both Kaiser boats as well as the heralded Skip-A-Long of California owned and driven by R. Stanley Dollar Jr. have been entered from the Lake Tahoe YC, which means that there is a good chance the 1950 Gold Cup may be moved to California's Sierra Lake. The majority of other entered craft will have Detroit sponsorship either by the Detroit YC or the Detroit River Association.
Fallon Expected to Drive
Instead of engaging a more experienced driver as he did last year Fallon is expected to pilot the defending Miss Great Lakes himself. Jack Schafer of Detroit will have two entries, Such Crust I and Such Crust II, and another serious contender will be Walter Dossin's Allison-powered Miss Pepsi.
A couple of New Jersey boats are included in the large fleet, Harry Lynn's Lahala II from Lake Hopatcong and Mel Crook's Betty V, which is a rebuilt displacement boat with new Allison power and which long before World War II was retired from speedboat racing as the undefeated champion of the National Red Bank Sweepstakes. Although a member of the New York Yacht Club, Crook, whose home is in Montclair, NJ, will race at Detroit under the entry of the New Jersey Outboard Association.
Probably only one foreign entry will appear, E. A. Wilson's Miss Canada IV of Ingersoll, ON, driven by his son, Harold. Latest word from Italy has indicated that Achille Castoldi will be unable to have his Sant Ambrogio II available as expected.
(Reprinted from the New York Times, June 26, 1949)