Ron Larsen

Ron Larsen Question

Ron Larsen
Ron Larsen


What history do you have on Ron Larsen, Unlimited driver?


Ron Larsen graduated to the Unlimited ranks in 1970 with Bob Fendler's Atlas Van Lines (U-29). The boat was powered by a pair of Keith Black V-8 Chrysler hemis. And since Larsen was Black's shop foreman, the assignment was a "natural."

The U-29 assignment didn't last long--only a couple of races. The boat never finished a heat. Fendler abandoned the Chryslers and went with a single V-12 Allison. Ron was then hired to take over the wheel of another hemi-powered craft in mid-season 1970. This was Dave Heerensperger's Pride of Pay ‘n Pak (U-25).

The U-25 showed some bursts of speed but couldn't quite keep up with the Allisons and the Rolls-Royce Merlins that dominated the Unlimited Class in those days. Ron's best finish was a fifth-place in the 1970 Horace E. Dodge Cup at Detroit.

Over the next few years, Larsen drove for several teams: Miss Timex (U-8) in 1971, Notre Dame (U-7) in 1973 and Miss Technicolor (U-76) in 1974. He finished fifth in the 1971 Tri-Cities Atomic Cup with U- 8, fifth in the 1973 APBA Gold Cup at the Tri-Cities with U-7, and third in the 1974 Desert Thunderboat Classic at Phoenix with U-76.

In all fairness, the Miss Timex was a bad-riding boat from Day-One (as Parco's O-Ring Miss) and had defied the efforts of her previous driver (Billy Schumacher). The Notre Dame/Miss Technicolor hull was likewise plagued with poor handling characteristics and had a disappointing career--no matter who was driving her.

Ron Larsen drove Limited inboards before, during, and after his Unlimited experience. An injury suffered in a Limited race prevented him from accepting an Unlimited assignment in 1972.