1953 Silver Cup
Bartley Sr. Wins On Detroit River
Leads Son in 7-Liter Speed-Boat Test
Slo-mo-shun Qualifies for Silver Cup
By Clarence E. Lovejoy, Special to the New York Times
DETROIT, Sept. 5,  — A white-heat boat-racing town, if there ever was one, Detroit, which has had spectator throngs as large as 400,000 watching Gold Cup and Harmsworth classics, is on edge again this weekend.
The first of the "Big Four" of September unlimited class races will be contested Monday before the scene shifts to Red Bank, Washington and New Martinsville.
This will mark the initial appearance on its eastern invasion, of Seattle's Slo-mo-shun V, owned by Stanley Sayres and to be driven against the nation's top rivals by Lou Fageol. An early Slo-Mo took the Gold Cup away from here in 1950 and Sayres fleet of speed boats has kept it in Seattle ever since.
Labor Day's race will be for the Silver not the Gold Cup. Detroit has been building up the event and is intent, on beating a Slo-Mo regardless of the color of the prize
Today Fageol qualified twice with the Rolls-powered Slo-mo-shun V, once at 68.877 miles an hour and later at a sizzling 80.538. The requirement is that all Silver Cup contestants must be clocked at better than 60 miles an hour. Another entrant, Bud Saile's Wayne, formerly the Gale I and driven by Doc Terry, also qualified with runs of 64.056 and 76.163.
These were morning excitements. The afternoon was given over to ten racing heats of five limited inboard classes and because the Detroit River between Belle Isle and the mainland usually kicks up in the afternoon, especially when an upstream wind bucks a downstream current. The crowds saw daredevilry at its best and some spills.
The Bartleys—B. G., Sr., of Pittsburgh, driving Gangway, and B. G., Jr., of Columbus, Ohio, piloting Wildcatter—were the headliners in the seven-liter class.
This is the so-called "junior gold cup class," but at that it is not very "junior." It calls for boats nineteen feet long and its engines, mostly Fageol truck motors, are of 427 cubic inches but must not cost more than $2,000 unsupercharged.
The elder Bartley, with a first-heat triumph and in second place in the final test, led in the point scoring with 700, defeating his son, who had 525.
The seven liters are plenty fast even for Silver Cup or Gold Cup ranks. A speed of 67.871 miles an hour won the second heat.
A Test of Seamanship
On a rough river the seamanship of the tiny 48-cubic-inch class was amazing. Victory for the event went to Gordon Harper in his Why Worry with 700 points. These water skimmers, only nine feet long, are powered with Crosley engines costing a maximum of $550. Eighteen of them, instead of the usual limit of sixteen to a heat, entered at the last minute. The field, however, was cut to thirteen actual starters by motor failures and rough water.
The other racing classes this afternoon were the 266's, which burn methanol in converted auto engines for their high speeds; the 225's, which use Fords costing under $600 and which burn 100-octane gasoline; and the 135's, which also use Fords but the motors can cost up to $1,000 and most of the drivers use alcohol for fuel.
Bob Lueckenhoff of Detroit wound tip winning the 266 cubic inch division, Bob Schroeder of Niagara Falls, N. Y., took the 225 class with a perfect score of 800 and Don Ziegler of Detroit captured the 135 on points.
This rough Detroit River has been a jinx to Guy Lombardo more than once. Back in 1949, on another raging afternoon, the Long Islander broke his arm in a capsizing maneuver to avoid steering into another Gold Cup rival. Today Lombardo's seven-liter craft Tempo Jr., with Danny Foster at the wheel, suddenly stopped and almost as suddenly sank, stern down, scarcely 200 yards after the flying start.
Coast Guard patrol craft tried in vain to make fast a line to Tempo's bow. She will be grappled for and probably recovered in the twenty-foot depth off the Detroit Yacht Club piers. Foster said: "I don't know what happened. The boat just suddenly went out from under me."
Although there will be no racing Sunday, most of the speed boat fraternity will gather for three events at the Detroit Y. C.
First will be a breakfast of the Yachtsman's Association of America, the body that handles the Harmsworth or British international races whenever a challenger is in sight. Curiously enough the new commodore of the Y. A. A. is R. Stanley Dollar Jr., of San Francisco. He drove Sayres's Slo-mo-shun IV, which defended for America in 1950 the Harmsworth Trophy brought to this country by Gar Wood in 1920.
The rest of Sunday will be devoted to two marine engineering clinics when some of the leading former drivers and industrialists will discuss propellers, carburetion, ignition, gear boxes and a thousand and one other topic important to speed boat people.
135 CUBIC INCH CLASS
First Heat, Six Miles: 1. Chromium, Bob Lueckenhoff, Detroit; 2. Revel II, Tommy Turner, Kenmore. N. Y.; 3. Holiday, Lloyd Maddock, Pontiac. Mich.; 4, Who Dat, Don Wilson, Dearborn, Mich.; 5. Little Schmaltz, Don Ziegler, Detroit; 6. Miss Wiggle, Tom Rex, Detroit; 7. Little Audrey, Harry Vogel, Dearborn. Mich.; 8. Lauterbach Special, Louis R. Bales, Oak Park, Ill.; 9, Cannon Ball, Joe Hannon, Washington, D. C.; 10. Mi First, John Conway, Farmington. Mich.; 11. Hit-N-Miss, Henry Clifford, Mt. Clemens, Mich. Speed—58.464 m.p.h.
Second Heat: 1. Ziegler; 2. Hannon; 3. Batas; 4. Rex; 5. Conway; 6, Turner. Speed—56.367 m.p.h.
Final Point Score: Ziegler 527; Lueckenhoff 400; Turner 395; Hannon 340; Balsas 278.
225 CUBIC INCH CLASS
First Heat, Six Miles: 1. My Ambition IV, Robert Schroeder, Niagara Fails. N. Y.; 2. Margin Call, George Carnegie, York Mills, Ont.; 3. Bole, John Keating, Pontiac, Mich.; 4. Sir Ron, Joe Altbee, Detroit; 5. Day and Night, Francis McFarland, Columbus, Ohio; 6. Miss Lawrence Tech, Don Ziegler, Detroit. Speed—58.293 m.p.h.
Second Heat: 1. Schroeder; 2, Keating; 3. Ziegler; 4. Almost, Larry Lemay, Fairhaven. Mich.; 5. Allbee; 6. McFarland. Speed—59.084. (Carnegie disqualified for hitting buoy.)
Final Point Score: Schroeder 800; Keating 525; Ziegler 320; Carnegie 300; Attlee 296.
SEVEN LITER CLASS
First Heat, Six Miles: 1. Gangway, B. G. Bartley Sr., Pittsburgh; 2. Wildcatter, B. G. Bartley Jr.. Columbus. Ohio; 3. Let's Face It, Jack Bartlow, Detroit. Speed—51.067. (Tempo Jr., Dan Foster, sank.)
Second Heat: 1. So Long, Ray Fageol, Kent, Ohio; 2. Bartley Sr.: 3. Bartley Jr.; 4. Bon Voyage, Gene Marentette Jr.. Detroit. Speed—67.871 m.p.h.
Final Point Score—B. G. Bartley Sr., 700; B. G. Bartley Jr., 525; Fageol, 400.
48 CUBIC INCH HYDROPLANE
First Heat, Five Miles: 1. Leapin' Leprechaun, Toni Hanley, Grosse Point, Mich.; 2, Why Worry, Gordon Harper, Detroit; 3. Why Willie, Bill Gillies, Detroit; 4. Mi-Son-Too, Ray Muncey, Royal Oak, Mich.; 5. Wet Feet, Howard Schaetzke, Liberty Center, Ohio; 6. Cheerio, Tom Helfer, Birmingham, Mich.; 7. Any Time, Robert Young, Ferndale, Mich.; 8. My Dream, James Davies, Dayton, Ohio. Speed—43.598 m.p.h.
Second Heat: 1. Harper; 2. Little Vim, L. White, Orange, Tex.; 3. Muncey; 4. Young; 5. Davies; 6. Gillies; 7. Schaetzke. Speed—42.314 m.p.h.
Final Point Score: Harper 700; Hanley 400; Muncey 394; Gillies 320.
266 CUBIC INCH CLASS
First Heat, Six Miles — 1. Chromane, Bob Lueckenhoff, Detroit: 2. Mi-Son, Bill Muncey, Ferndale, Mich.; 3. Miss Kress, John Kress, Detroit: 4. Ariel IV, Bill Braden, Waterdown, Ont.; 5. Flub Fub, Joseph Tate, Dearborn. Mich. Speed—60.068.
Second Heat: 1. Braden; 2. Lueckenhoff; 3. Kress; 4. Terror, M. R. Wade, Uhrichsville, Ohio; 5. Tate; 6. Slo-mo-shun III, Albert D'Eath. Speed—67.929 m.p.h.
Point Score: Lueckenhoff 700; Braden 50; Kress 450.
[Reprinted from the New York Times, September 6, 1953]