1968 UIM World Championship
History of Thrills, Spills
1950 — Slo-Mo-Shun IV, with owner Stanley S. Sayres driving, set world mile straightaway record on Lake Washington — 160.3225. Later in Detroit Ted Jones drove Slo-mo-shun IV to victory in the Gold Cup, setting a new record for the race — 78.215 — plus records for fastest heat and lap.
1951 — Slo-Mo-Shun V, with Lou Fageol driving, won the Gold Cup In Seattle. Hornet of Detroit, Bill Cantrell driving, was second; Slo-mo-shun IV, Ted Jones driving, was third. Race stopped In third heat when Portland boat, Quicksilver, sank. Driver Orth Mathiot and mechanic Thom Whittaker were killed.
1952 — Lake Washington, Seattle, Washington, August 4, 1968 won Gold Cup in Seattle, driven by Stanley Dollar. Average speed 84.300. Slo-mo-shun IV only boat to finish. Such Crust IV burned on south turn, seriously injuring driver Bill Cantrell. Prior to Gold Cup race, Stanley E. Sayres drove Slo-mo-shun IV to a new world record for the mile — 178.497.
1953 — Slo-Mo-Shun IV again won Gold Cup In Seattle. Joe Taggart and Lou Fageol shared driving assignments and set new race records — 92.600. Slo-mo-shun V, with Fageol driving, sank during a pre-race test run and did not compete in Gold Cup.
1954 — Slo-Mo-Shun V won the Gold Cup in Seattle, Fageol setting a new race record at 99.108. Miss U.S. placed second and Slo-mo-shun IV, driven by Joe Taggart, placed third. Gale V around at the start of the third heat; Bill Cantrell driver.
1955 — Detroit's Gale V, Lee Schoenith driving, won the Gold Cup In Seattle, setting a race record of 99.552. Gale V placed 2nd,2nd and 3rd, as compared to 1st, 1st and 3rd for Bill Muncey in Miss Thriftway, and most fans thought Thriftway had won the Gold Cup. However, Gale V had the fastest elapsed time for the entire 90 miles and was awarded an additional 400 bonus points, giving Gale V a total of 1,225 points as compared to 1,025 for Thriftway. Slo-mo-shun V flipped during qualifying round, seriously Injuring driver Lou Fageol.
1956 — Miss Thriftway, Bill Muncey driving, won the Gold Cup in Detroit. Thriftway had been disqualified for allegedly hitting a buoy, and the Gold Cup awarded to Miss Pepsi. After a long legal battle, the cup was turned to Thriftway. Slo-mo-shun IV was wrecked during a run on Detroit River, seriously injuring driver Joe Taggart. Slo-mo-shun IV was rebuilt and is now in Seattle Museum of History and Industry. Shanty I later won the Harmsworth Trophy in Detroit, and the national point championship.
1957 — Miss Thriftway, Bill Muncey driving, won the Geld Cup In Seattle. Average speed 101.9798, a new race record. Shanty I placed second, Maverick third. Shanty I was wrecked during President's Cup test run, injuring Col. Russ Schleeh. Miss Thriftway was wrecked in Governor's Cup race In Madison, Ind., injuring driver Bill Muncey. On Nov. 30, Hawaii Kai, Jack Ragas driving, did 187.617 to break Slo-mo-shun IV's mile mark, and 195.329 to break Supertest's kilometer mark. Hawaii Kai national champion.
1958 — Hawaii Kai won the Gold Cup In Seattle, setting record of 103.481. Jack Regas driver Hawaii Kai scored perfect 2,000 points, winning three heats. It was the only race for the Kai in 1958. Miss Thriftway rammed a Coast Guard boat on the south turn in Heat 2-A, Injuring driver Bill Muncey. Coral Reef placed second and Gale V third. Miss Bardahl, Mira Slovak driving, won national APBA point championship.
1959 — Maverick, Bill Stead driving, won the Gold Cup on Lake Washington. Maverick also won the Diamond Cup, Silver Cup, Buffalo Launch Cup Trophy, and Lake Pyramid race to finish the season as national champion. Maverick and Thriftway finished their three Gold Cup heats with 1,325 points, after it had been decided that Miss Spokane, actual third place finisher, had jumped the gun. This moved Maverick up from fourth to third and into a point tie with Thriftway. The issue was decided on total elapsed time (51.55.3 to 52.08.6). Maverick's average speed was a new race record — 104.033.
1960 — Miss Thriftway, Bill Muncey driving, set a world mile mark of 192.001, breaking Hawaii Kai's record. Muncey and the "Nifty Thrifty" also won the Seafair Race, after the third heat of the race had been delayed a full day. In the first running of Heat 3, Miss Spokane was just a few hundred yards from the finish line and victory when Miss U.S. 1 burst into flames, burning driver Don Wilson and forcing a rerun. On the next try, Miss Thriftway was leading when flames forced driver Russ Schleeh to bail out of Thriftway Too. The next day Muncey swept to an easy victory in the third running of the heat. The Gold Cup Race was declared no contest when winds swept Nevada's Lake Mead for two full days.
1961 — Miss Thriftway raced under a new banner, with the same results. Bill Muncey finished second .in all three heats of the Gold Cup race on Nevada's Lake Pyramid, but the renamed Miss Century 21 was first in the final point tabulation, thus returning the cup and race, to Seattle. A few weeks earlier, however, the hydro spotlight focused on the revitalized Miss Bardahl. Ron Musson piloted the Green Dragon to victory in the World's Championship Seafair Trophy Race on Lake Washington. Miss Century 21 climaxed the year by winning the national high point championship.
1962 — Miss Century 21, once again proved the class of the field in the Gold Cup, winning the event on Lake Washington for the fourth time. Driver Bill Muncey piloted his boat to victory in all three heats. Miss Seattle Too was demolished, and driver Dallas Sartz injured, when it nosedived during start of day's first heat. In Guntersville, Ala., Miss U.S. 1, driven by Roy Duby, set world's straightaway mile record of 200.419 m.p.h. and kilometer mark of 198.181 to break records net by Miss Thriftway and Hawaii Kai respectively.
1963 — Miss Bardahl captured the Gold Cup with a perfect 1,500 points on its way to the national championship. The Seafair Trophy Race loomed as a battle between Ole Bardahl’s Green Dragon and Miss Thriftway, which was competing in its final race. However, Bill Muncey's "Nifty Thrifty" wasn't even around at the finish — a victim of mechanical failure. And Miss Bardahl was tied in the final point standings by the Nevada hydro Tahoe Miss, which then captured the Seafair Trophy on the basis of elapsed time. Chuck Thompson averaged 109.447 miles an hour for the 45 miles making this the fastest hydroplane race in history. Miss Thriftway's average of 112.550 was also a record for a single heat.
1964 — Miss Bardahl again made off with the coveted Gold Cup. It appeared that the second Tahoe Miss was headed for victory but Chuck Thompson couldn't get his craft started in time for the final heat and finished last, allowing Miss Bardahl to place first in the final standings, ahead of Miss Exide. The Seafair Trophy Race was also a Bardahl-Exide battle. Miss Exide won the final heat of the day to tie Bardahl with 1,100 points. Miss Bardahl had an edge of just two-tenths of a second in elapsed time, the determining factor. Miss Bardahl also won national championship.
1965 — Miss Bardahl, destined to be replaced by a new, rear-engine hydro, bowed out in impressive fashion. Ron Musson piloted the craft to victory in the Gold Cup on Lake Washington, beating out second-place Notre Dame in the final heat, and averaging 103.132 m.p.h. for the race. Miss Bardahl also won the Utah Cup, Lake Tahoe World Championship, the San Diego Cup and the national high point championship.
1966 — Luck finally ran out on Ron Musson, who had won the 1965 national driving championship with 7,777 points. The three-time Gold Cup champion was one of five nationally famous drivers who died violent deaths in 1966. Musson perished when his new rear-engined Miss Bardahl exploded into a thousand pieces at the President's Cup Regatta. In the same race, Notre Dame and Miss Budweiser collided, killing drivers Rex Manchester and Don Wilson. A week later at the Gold Cup Regatta, Miss Smirnoff driver Chuck Thompson died when his craft hit a swell. Earlier in the year, former Gold Cup and national champion driver Bill Stead was killed while practicing for an air race. Winner of the 1966 Gold Cup was Mira Slovak in Tahoe Miss. Jim Ranger piloted My Gypsy to an upset victory in the Seafair Regatta when the front-running Miss Budweiser flipped in the third heat. Tahoe Miss won the national championship.
1967 — Death again struck the hydro fleet an awesome blow. Bill Brow was killed when Miss Budweiser became airborne and flipped during the running of the Suncoast Regatta in Tampa. The new Miss Bardahl, with Billy Schumacher at the controls, became an almost unbeatable combination. The U-40 compiled 8,325 points to win the national championship, far outdistancing second-place Chrysler Crew, which finished the year with 5,354. Schumacher won the Gold Cup on Lake Washington, an event which opened in spectacular fashion when Notre Dame crashed and was rammed by the Tahoe Miss hydro. Both boats sank, and drivers Jack Regas and Chuck Hickling were hospitalized.
(Reprinted from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 4, 1968)