1939 APBA Gold Cup

Will She Take the Gold Cup This Month? (So-Long)

One hundred miles per hour! Yes, that's a lot of speed, but Lou Fageol's new So-Long is believed to be jittering right around that mark as she makes the first of her shakedown runs.

In 1904 C. C. Riotte won the first running of the Gold Cup Regatta with a best heat speed of 23.6 mph. In the ensuing 35 years the Gold Cup class has run the gamut of design. The lean sliver-shaped hull of the first winner, gave way to other displacement types which in turn gave over to the step boat. It was a long jump from the 40-hp Standard in the Riotte boat to the 900-hp installation in the huge Gar Wood job that won the 1921 event at 70 mph. It is an even bigger leap from the two-ton Gar Wood outfit to the 2100 pound So-Long.

Fageol's challenger is the latest creation from the world famous board of the Apel's at the Ventnor Boat Works. She is of selected mahogany over maple frames, with her decks and sponson tops of plywood. Stations are extended through the hull at the chine line for the complete length of the sponsons, making them a part of the bottom, rather than an appendage. She has an overall length of 23 feet and a beam of 108 inches. Every detail of her construction from the joiner work to the cabinet maker's finish speak the master craftsman. The success of So-Long's Eastern invasion will depend largely on her 600-hp plant designed and built in the Fageol-Lucas shops in Los Angeles. The V-type power plant is of unusual design, consisting of two banks of three cylinders each with a total displacement of 700 cubic inches. Carburetion consists of four down-draft Winfields and ignition distribution is by special magneto. A special cooling system cools both lubricating oil and gear box lubricant. The entire power plant weighs 620 pounds, and will develop 600 hp at 3500 rpm. Fageol is bringing the new boat alone slowly. Early runs were held down to 2600 r.p.m. delivering a speed in the neighborhood of 93 m.p.h. Allowed to run at 3000 on several occasions she is wavering on the 100-mile an hour mark with top speed still to be reached as proper fuel, wheel and plug combinations are decided on. John Garvey, ace racing mechanic, is responsible for the machine work on the hand-tailored power plant. So-Long will make her racing debut standing her owner upwards of $10,000.

(Reprinted from Pacific Motor Boat, September, 1939, p.13)