1956 Silver Cup

Detroit's Silver Cup

Four boats, survivors of a fleet of eight local unlimiteds, came out on the Detroit River for the final heat of the Silver Cup (The O. D. Mulford Memorial Trophy) and only two completed the final 15 miles as Don Wilson drove George Simon’s Miss U.S. II to victory. Horace Dodge's Dora My Sweetie, with Jack Bartlow driving the hydroplane (which looked like something from an old print alongside the three-pointers) finished the final heat. No records were broken in this annual Detroit Y.C. event around the three-mile course but boats and parts of boats were.

In the final, Joe Schoenith's Gale VI with her two Allisons, with Lee Schoenith driving, couldn't get going. Gale IV, another Schoenith entry, with Roy Duby at the wheel, failed to finish. She had the fastest lap of the day as her solace, 96.103 m.p.h. in the second heat.

Miss U.S. II finished with 1100 points, Gale VI, 800, Dora My Sweetie 652, Bud Saile's Miss Wayne 306, My Sweetie—(another Dodge boat) 300, Chuck Thompson's Short Circuit—169, and Simon's Miss U.S. I nothing.

My Sweetie flipped and sank in the fourth heat, throwing her driver, Joseph (Doc) Terry, who was slightly injured. The heat was halted when My Sweetie flipped (she had not been recovered at this writing) as patrol boats let loose pinkish smoke flares. Fred Alter, driving Miss U.S. I was leading Gale IV, driven by Duby, when they were stopped by the flares. Neither knew of the mishap to Sweetie nor that Terry was floating unconscious in the water.

Miss U.S. II won the first heat in 89.79 m.p.h. with a best lap—her first—of 92.903 m.p.h. She was followed by Short Circuit and My Sweetie Dora. In the second heat Gale IV led My Sweetie, as Miss U.S. I failed to finish. Gale IV eased in with a 68.711 m.p.h. In the third heat Gale VI led Miss U.S. II in an exciting race with Dora a lagging third. Gale VI had a 90.545 m.p.h. for the 15-mile heat with a fastest lap, the third, at 93.442 m.p.h. Gale IV won alone in the fourth heat as Miss U.S. I failed to finish. Gale IV had a clocking of 86.663 m.p.h. and a best lap for the day of 96.103 m.p.h. In the final and deciding heat Wilson, a 26-year-old Dearborn redhead, coasted in to win with a 73.108 m.p.h. ahead of Dora.

—George E. Van

(Reprinted from Yachting, October 1956)