1953 Season Summary



1a 31-May John E. Fite Memorial Marathon [no unlimiteds or Gold Cup boats] Ocean City , NJ
1b. 21-Jun Marine Festival Free For All Long Beach, Long Island, NY
2 04-Jul Henry Ford (Detroit) Memorial Detroit, Michigan
3 02-Aug Marine Derby Regatta [7 Litres] Louisville, Kentucky
4 09-Aug APBA Gold Cup Seattle, Washington
5 16-Aug Lake Tahoe Championship Tahoe City, California
6 07-Sep O.J. Mulford Silver Cup Detroit, Michigan
7 13-Sep National Sweepstakes Red Bank, New Jersey
8 13-Sep Red Bank Gold Cup Red Bank, New Jersey
9 13-Sep Mapes Mile High Gold Cup Tahoe City, California
10 20-Sep Presidents Cup Washington, D.C.
11 27-Sep Imperial Gold Cup New Martinsville, W.Va.
12 11-Oct Indiana Governor's Cup Madison, Indiana


  Date Winner Driver
1a. 31-May Beaver II Gene Gatter
1b. 21-Jun Tempo VI Guy Lombardo
2 04-Jul Miss Great Lakes II Danny Foster
3 02-Aug It's A Wonder George Davis
4 09-Aug Slo-mo-shun IV Joe Taggart-Lou Fageol
5 16-Aug Short Snorter Stan Dollar
6 07-Sep Gale II Schoenith-Foster
7 13-Sep Wildcatter** Burnett Bartley Jr.
8 13-Sep Tempo VI Guy Lombardo-Phil Maresca
9 13-Sep Short Snorter Stan Dollar
10 20-Sep Slo-mo-shun V Lou Fageol
11 27-Sep Such Crust V Bill Cantrell
12 11-Oct Wildcatter** B.G. Bartley Jr.

** Not a Gold Cup boat


  Driver High Points  
1 Lee Schoenith 768
2 Chuck Thompson 699
3 Bill Cantrell 648
4 Lou Fageol 519
5 Joe Taggart 348
6 Danny Foster 342
7 Joe "Doc" Terry 243
8 Stan Dollar 153?
9 Dan Arena 120
10 Phil Maresca 85
11 Frank "Bud" Saile 72
12 Bill Stead 66?
13 George Simon 60
14 Guy Lombardo 60
15 Richard Davis 45
16 Morlan Visel 30
17 Charles Klein 30
18 Ralph Ashcroft 30
19 Bill Braden 24
20 George Davis 15
21 Max Collins 12?
22 Walt Kade 0
23 Charles Klein 0


  Winner Crew Chief Designer Builder Engine
7/4 Miss Great Lakes II Danny Foster Dan Arena Dan Arena Allison
8/9 Slo-mo-shun IV Mike Welsch Ted Jones Anchor Jensen Allison
9/7 Gale II Lyle Ritchie Dan Arena Dan Arena Allison
9/12-13 Wildcatter Burnett Bartley Jr. Joe Taggart Joe Taggart Fageol
9/12-13 Tempo VI Phil Maresca Arno Apel Ventnor Allison
9/12-13 Short Snorter Ollie Meek Arno Apel-Foster Ventnor Allison
9/19-20 Slo-mo-shun V Joe Schobert Ted Jones Anchor Jensen Allison
9/27 Such Crust V Bill Cantrell Les Staudacher Les Staudacher Allison


  Built Boat High Points
1 1951 Gale II 1326
2 1953 Such Crust III (2) 1080
3 1953 Such Crust V 930
4 1951 Slo-mo-shun V 645
*5. 1940 Miss Wayne 552
6 1950 Slo-mo-shun IV 540
7 1952 Miss Great Lakes II 405
8 1953 Miss U.S. 405
*9. 1938 Tempo VI 190
*10. 1939 Short Snorter 153?
*11. 1949 Miss Supertest 120
12 1948 Hurricane IV 96?
*13. 1938 Honey Moon 45
*14. 1949 Chaz (2) 40
15 1949 Ollie's Folly 30
*16. 1939 It's A Wonder 15
17 1948 Fleur Du Lac 12?
18 1953 My Sweetie (3) 0
*19. 1949 Crusty 0
20 1949 Hot Metal 0
21 1949 Aluminum First 0



Last year Seattle's Gold Cup hopes took a body blow when Ted Jones left the Slo-mo-shun team. This year Detroit received a similar blow when the Dossin Brothers retired the Miss Pepsi, a nine race winner. Miss Pepsi had turned a lap of 103 m.p.h. in the 1952 Gold Cup. With her out of the picture Slo-mo-shun V at 102 m.p.h. had about 8 m.p.h. on every boat in Detroit.

Pepsi driver Chuck Thompson signed to drive Jack Schafer's new twin engine Such Crust III, but given last season's Such Crust III albeit not by the same designer high hopes did not seem appropriate.

A similar analysis could be made of the also new Such Crust V which was a copy of the Such Crust IV.

Defending Gold Cup champion Stan Dollar was pressured by those around him to retire to racing only on Lake Tahoe. His replacement was Paul Sawyer who had won quite a number of races and set some impressive records in the 225 class. Sawyer had not campaigned his boat in 1952 having contracted typhoid fever.

Miss Great Lakes II now driven by Danny Foster won the regatta of the also rans in the Ford Memorial, but was 8 m.p.h. short of Slo-mo V's best lap at 94 m.p.h. Miss Great Lakes II's best heat was 90 m.p.h. the same as 1952 when she was a second place boat to the Miss Pepsi.

Unfortunately for Seattle Slo-mo-shun V threw a prop and damaged her bottom several days before the Gold Cup. She missed the contest when mechanical failure abetted by an out of control log boom prevented her from qualifying the day of the race - she was totally patched up the night before. A vote of the Detroit owners prevented her from running without qualifying.

The absence of Slo-mo-shun V left Seattle with a real race on their hands. Slo-mo-shun IV was rated at 96 m.p.h. with Miss Great Lakes II of Detroit at 94. Gale II with Lee Schoenith at the wheel had proven her ability to run with the Great Lakes II so she too was a factor.

Also Slo-mo-shun IV's driver since the middle of May was fired a few days before the race. Paul Sawyer had been chosen by #1 Slo-mo driver Lou Fageol, but could not get along with the crew. Joe Taggart was hired in mid week as Sawyer's replacement.

Taggart had been released by the Great Lakes II camp in favor of Danny Poster and had finished only one of 6 events without mechanical difficulty in 1952. Going 90 miles without mechanical failure was crucial to winning the Gold Cup at that time.

Taggart and Slo-mo-shun IV faced five Detroit entries in heat one and won handily. Gale II was second. Miss Great Lakes II did not get past the first turn.

In the next heat Lou Fageol replaced Joe Taggart in Slo-mo-shun IV. Fageol did not make the start that Taggart did, but led at the end of lap 1 anyway. However also unlike Taggart, Fageol drove a wide course enabling Gale II to sneak up on the inside and have a lead down the second backstretch. As a result Gale II was ahead of Slo-mo-shun IV heading into the third lap.

Slo-mo-shun IV poured on the coal and re-took first place on the third backstretch and was still ahead approaching lap 4.

The leaders continued to duel in this lap, but Slo-mo IV began to move away in lap 5. In the final two laps Gale II fell off the pace due to mechanical trouble and Such Crust III went by to finish second. Gale II was third.

Heading into the final heat Slo-mo-shun IV led by 275 points, had an elapsed time advantage of nearly two minutes,and four m.p.h. over Gale II - her nearest competition in points and elapsed time.

To win the Gold Cup all Slo-mo-shun IV had to do was avoid engine trouble in the final heat.

Taggart took over from Fageol to drive in this heat. He won it going away from Gale II.

Slo-mo-shun IV swept the Gold Cup with 2000 points to win more impressively than when she compiled the same score in 1950. Although qualifying in the same range as Slo-mo V and Miss Pepsi, Slo-mo-shun IV was still about four m.p.h. short of these two when it came to competition lap times.

In 1953 Stan Sayres was able to keep his promise of 1952 and send a Slo-mo east. Slo-mo-shun V his number one boat got the call. However the V was not the same boat after the repair to her bottom and was quite a wild hull on the eastern circuit.

Miss Great Lakes II and Gale II shaped up as Slo-mo V's main opposition at the Silver Cup. However a determined Lou Fageol took their measure in the first heat bouncing high off the water on several occasions.

Joe Taggart took over the V in the second heat and Danny Foster replaced Lee Schoenith in Gale II. Foster won the second heat handily with Slo-mo V conservatively driven to a third place.

Lou Fageol was back in Slo-mo-shun V for heat three and received a horrendous hosing from Such Crust V and Gale II at the start putting her out for the day. Gale II went on to win the heat and had a 387 point advantage after three heats with two to go.

However in the next heat Gale II had engine trouble and finished fourth with Such Crust III winning. Gale II still had a margin of 156 points heading into the final meaning she had to take second to win the race.

Gale II needed a postponement in order to be able to start the final which was magnanimously granted by Such Crust III owner Jack Schafer. Such Crust III was the only entry that could overcome Gale II's point total after four heats. Such Crust III won the final heat turning a lap at nearly 101 m.p.h. for a Detroit River 3 mile lap record. Gale II held on to take the regatta.

There was more trouble for Slo-mo-shun V in the Presidents Cup. The Slo-mo was powered by a G-6 Allison instead of the Rolls Merlin she ran at Detroit. Miss Great Lakes II led her for four laps of the initial heat. The V was still up in the air a good share of the time.

Slo-mo-shun V grimly driven by Lou Fageol took over first place in the last lap to take the heat.

Slo-mo V had an easy time of it in heat 2 with Great Lakes II dropping out. The Stan Sayres entry had a 373 point lead over Such Crust V and nearly 87 seconds in elapsed time over Such Crust III in a race that involved bonus points as under Gold Cup rules.

With 800 preliminary heat points and only five starters in the third heat, all Slo-mo V had to do was finish and avoid mechanical trouble. However driver Lou Fageol went for first place and nearly came to grief.heading into the first turn inside of Such Crust III driven by Chuck Thompson. Either Such Crust moved over or Slo-mo V tried to shoot the gap. At any rate Slo-mo V went up in the air and when she came down Fageol had a three inch gash in his leg beings in quite a bit of pain. Such Crust III went on to win the heat and get the fastest heat bonus in the process, but Slo-mo-shun V with her point lead and elapsed time advantage won the race.

Afterward Fageol filed a protest with the A.P.B.A. against Such Crust III driver Chuck Thompson accusing him of a blatant disregard for others on the race course. Fageol's recommendation was that Thompson be sat down for an indeterminate number of races. Nevertheless in due course the A.P.B.A. appointed commission ruled that both drivers were at fault.

Joe Taggart replaced Fageol for the final race of the season at New Martinsville, West Virginia. Taggart took Slo-mo-shun V down to the first turn of the initial heat and then blew. Such Crust III which posted the fastest lap in the last two races led for the first couple of laps and then also blew her engine. Such Crust V who had been following Gale II then went by to win the heat. Gale II was second. In the second and final heat Such Crust V again beat Gale II to take the regatta.

Jack Schafer's Such Crust V had won the final race and his Such Crust III had the best lap of the year at 100.887 on a three mile course. Sayres' Slo-mo-shuns had won the Gold Cup and the Presidents Cup, but the V, the team's #1 entry, was a rough rider still after two attempted fixes. Slo-mo-shun IV's 104.231 lap on a 3-3/4 mile course was equivalent to 98 m.p.h. on a 3 mile course.

Thus in competition Such Crust III was the quickest boat of 1953.

Jack Schafer had a lot to look forward to for the 1954 season.

[Statistics from Greene, V.1 and other sources]