1957-02 (Sharkey) / 5702 (UNJ)

World Mile Mark Target of Miss U.S. 1 (2) [1962]

By George E. Van

Miss U.S. 1, primed for a try at the world’s mile record for propeller-driven boats next Friday at Guntersville, Ala., already has broken the mark unofficially in trial runs.

Roy Duby, 52, who will drive the unlimited three-pointer for the U.S. Equipment Co., told George Simon, president of the organization, yesterday that he had gone 195 miles an hour several times and had made one run of 202 m.p.h.

"Roy told me he had some thing left, too," said Simon. "He thinks now that a 210 mile an hour average isn’t too much to hope for."

Takes To High Speed

Simon will leave for Guntersville tomorrow with his brother, Joe Simon.

The record of 192.007 m.p.h. is held by Bill Muncey, of Seattle in the Miss Thriftway. It was made on Lake Washington, in Seattle, two years ago.

Duby reported that Miss U.S. ran her smoothest when she was above 190 m.p.h. He’s had the boat on the waters of the Guntersville dam for nearly a month.

"Duby says she fairly purrs at that speed," says Joe Simon, one of the country’s foremost piston engineers.

Using Traps

Electronic traps will be used for the first time to take a boat’s speed at Guntersville.

The trap is 75 feet wide, which is rather narrow to hit at 200 m.p.h. but necessary so that the electronic timing device can operate. Duby experienced some difficulty at first getting into the traps but says he’s confident now that he can keep Miss U.S. on course.

Calm water is a necessity. Even a ripple can take Miss U.S. outside the mile-long traps which will be lined with large, inflated rubber colored balloons.

The runs will be made as soon as there is sufficient light on Friday morning and, if conditions are right, the two required runs will be over before 7 a.m. Waters of the dam have been quiet at this time in recent days.

Each run will be nine miles long. Four of these will be covered as Miss U.S. goes into the mile long electronic trap and four miles coming out. Duby says he’ll stop and wait for the waters to smooth out before he goes back for the second run.

Duby, as well as Miss U.S., is in top shape. The veteran driver passed a physical before trailering the boat south.

Miss U.S. was built three years ago by Les Staudacher at Kawkawlin and was designed by Danny Arena.

Her power plant is a Rolls Royce Merlin, built here during World War II by Packard. Then this engine was rated at 1,600 horsepower but the Simon organization has souped two motors (there’ll be a spare at Guntersville) up to 4,500 horse-power at slightly more than 4,000 revolutions per minute.

"We made 80 changes in the engine. That was before we altered the carburetion and fuel injection system," says Joe Simon. "It was the new fuel injection system that made her faster. That’s when we first thought about going after the mile record."

(Reprinted from the Detroit News, April 4, 1962)