Dodge Prepares Great Racing Fleet [1933]

Probably the largest and costliest private fleet of racing motor boats ever seen is in active preparation for this season's regattas, under the banner of Horace E. Dodge, of Detroit and Newport News, Virginia. Work is being rushed at Newport News on five Dodge craft with which Mr. Dodge hopes he can retain the Gold Cup which he captured on Lake Montauk last September and add some new records to his already imposing list, Here are some details concerning the Dodge armada which will take to the water this month:

Delphine IV, formerly Solar Plexus, designed by George F. Crouch, built as a displacement boat for the 1925 Gold Cup race in which she did not finish. In 1926 she finished seventh and in 1932, with a shingled bottom, she won the Gold Cup and the President's Cup. Her 6-cylinder Packard Gold Cup motor is now being completely modernized with many changes to increase her speed and power. She will be driven by Bill Horn.

Delphine V, designed by Fred Cooper, British designer of Miss England II, built by Dodge in 1931. As Miss Syndicate III, she failed to finish in the Gold Cup race that year. She has been completely rebuilt and fitted with a 12-cylinder Packard Sweepstakes engine of 1,250 cubic inches with a supercharger designed by Mr. Dodge, raising her power from 550 hp to 900 hp. According to observers who have seen her in action at Hampton Roads she is "running like a scared rabbit" and will be used in an attempt to break the single-engined hydroplane record at the Red Bank regatta on August 12.

Delphine VI, a new craft designed by Fred Cooper and built in England by Vosper Boat Works. She has very radical lines, 27½ feet long and has the most beam ever seen in a Gold racer: 8 feet 4 inches. Fitted with the 24-cylinder Duesenberg engine from Delphine V she will be driven in the Gold Cup race by Mr. Dodge. The feature of her construction is extreme lightness. She drives through a step-down gear box by which the propeller turns more slowly than the motor.

Delphine VII, a new boat designed by Crouch, to be driven by Mrs. Raymond T. Baker, Mr. Dodge's sister. The new craft is a hydroplane, 25 feet on the water and a little over 6 feet beam, low sided with an unusual bottom design and several radical departures in lines. She is fitted with a new Packard 6-cylinder Gold Cup engine which is now undergoing extensive changes.

Delphine VIII, this is the old Impshi, built in 1925 from designs by Crouch. She finished fourth in the 1925 and 1926 Gold Cup races. She is being fitted with a 16-cylinder Gold Cup Miller engine developing approximately 420 hp. and she is being made into hydroplane by the application of shingles on her bottom. Her driver has not yet been selected.

Mr. Dodge has other racing craft "up his sleeve," being the owner of Miss Syndicate which won the Detroit Sweepstakes and President's Cup in 1927, her newer sister-ship, Sister Syn, and Nuisance which took a modest part in the Gold Cup races in 1925, 1926 and 1927. All three of these boats are Crouch designed.

[Motor Boating, July 1933]