1967 Season Summary
|1.||June 11||Suncoast Cup||Tampa, Florida|
|2.||July 2||World Championship||Detroit, Michigan|
|July 2||Horace E. Dodge Memorial*||Detroit, Michigan|
|3.||July 9||Indiana Governor's Cup||Madison, Indiana|
|4.||July 23||Atomic Cup||Pasco, Washington|
|5.||August 5||Seafair Trophy [no points]||Seattle, Washington|
|August 6||APBA Gold Cup||Seattle, Washington|
|6.||August 19||British Columbia Cup||Kelowna, British Columbia|
|7.||September 17||Sacramento Cup||Sacramento, California|
|8.||September 24||San Diego Cup||San Diego, California|
*Full statistics not available at this time
|6/11||Miss Bardahl (5)||Jerry Zuvich||Ed Karelsen||Ed Karelsen||Rolls Merlin|
|7/2||Miss Chrysler Crew||Jim Hay||Henry Lauterbach||Sterett-Hay||Chryslers|
|7/9||Miss Bardahl (5)||Jerry Zuvich||Ed Karelsen||Ed Karelsen||Rolls Merlin|
|7/23||Miss Bardahl (5)||Jerry Zuvich||Ed Karelsen||Ed Karelsen||Rolls Merlin|
|8/5||Miss Chrysler Crew||Jim Hay||Henry Lauterbach||Sterett-Hay||Chryslers|
|8/6||Miss Bardahl (5)||Jerry Zuvich||Ed Karelsen||Ed Karelsen||Rolls Merlin|
|8/19||Miss Budweiser (5)||George McKernan||Les Staudacher||Les Staudacher||Rolls Merlin|
|9/] 7||Miss Bardahl (5)||Jerry Zuvich||Ed Karelsen||Ed Karelsen||Rolls Merlin|
|9/24||Miss Bardahl (5)||Jerry Zuvich||Ed Karelsen||Ed Karelsen||Rolls Merlin|
|Built||Boat High Points||Total||Team High Points|
|1.||(1967)||Miss Bardahl (5)||8325||(1)|
|2.||(1966)||Miss Chrysler Crew||5354||(2)|
|3.||(1967)||Miss U.S. (3)||5038||(3)|
|5.||(1962)||Miss Budweiser (5)||4904||(5)|
|6.||(1957)||Wayfarers Club Lady||4391||(6)|
|9.||(1959)||Atlas Van Lines||3230||(9)|
|11.||(1967)||Notre Dame (6)||1740||(Id|
|12.||(1967)||Parco O-Ring Miss||1625||(12)|
|15.||(1960)||Miss Madison (2)||1150||(15)|
|17.||(1962)||Miss Eagle Electric (2)||994||(17-525)|
|$ Bill (2)||—||(18-469)|
|19.||(1966)||Miss Budweiser (4)||000||—|
|20.||(1964)||Mariner Too (2)||000||—|
|21.||(1962)||Such Crust IV (3)||DNQ||—|
|22.||(1967)||Gale's Roostertail (2)||DNQ||—|
|Position||Driver High Points||Total|
After the devastation of 1966 Bardahl came back with a new hull by Ed Karelsen - not a cabover, but combining some of the 1966 Miss Bardahl's characteristics with the running surfaces of the 1962 hull. Miss U.S. had a new Staudacher hull patterned after the previous Miss U.S. however heavier. Shirley McDonald also bought a new Staudacher reputed to be a cross between Hawaii Kai and Miss Wahoo to be her Notre Dame for 1967.
Tahoe Miss now Harrah's Club returned with their defending National High Point Champion replacing Mira Slovak in the driver's seat with Chuck Hickling. Smirnoff, Gale's Roostertail in 1965, had proven over two seasons she was not a hull to compete with the projected front runners of 1967, but was brought out anyway.
Miss Budweiser stayed with their rough rider after six races in 1966 although she won two. This record did not give owner Bernie Little much of a head start on the other projected contenders.
The finest hull heading into the season was Miss Lapeer, which had matched her predecessor Mariner Too with a 114 m.p.h.lap at San Diego. She was a much smoother ride in winning her final race at Sacramento than Mariner in 1964 thus staying in the lineup for 1967.
Miss Chrysler Crew, one of the faster boats of 1966, only went 45 miles once in ten races. With her twin auto engines she got about 1800 horsepower markedly less than the World War II aircraft engines that had been the staple of Unlimited Racing for many years. In addition the Chrysler had to turn her powerplants about twice as fast to get this horsepower and her horsepower to weight ratio put her at a disadvantage. Rounding out the field of contenders of 1966, My Gypsy was the fastest stock Allison of all time, but still a stock Allison. Though at a disadvantage, both camps stood pat.
After the carnage of 1966 Budweiser and Smirnoff elected to continue with different hulls, while Bardahl, U.S. and Notre Dame decided to sit out the rest of the season. The last referenced teams were out of the High Point race since points could not be transferred from one hull to another under the 1963 ruling. Hence this rule was reversed for 1967 to encourage more sponsors to get involved in Unlimited Racing.
The 1967 season was wide open with the defending High Point and Gold Cup champion selecting a new driver who had won only one race under dubious circumstances not to mention the fact that the Tahoe Miss of 1966 did not run well enough to win consistently in any other context than the special situation presented that season. Former perennial champ Bardahl was running with a new crew chief and a driver who had a reputation in the limiteds, but not much of one in previous Unlimited competition. Ed Karelsen, the builder of the ill fated 1963 Miss Exide, designed and built the hull. This was to be his first design for the Unlimiteds.,
Miss Budweiser was still wild and Miss Lapeer was underfinanced. Miss U.S. and Notre Dame were Staudacher designs and he had turned out three consecutive unstable hulls since his all time masterpiece Tahoe Miss in 1964 reputed to be the finest boat of that year. Previous to the Tahoe, Staudacher produced four hulls from essentially the same mold that were not subject to criticism.
In the first event at Tampa Miss Budweiser cracked up killing driver Bill Brow and Miss Bardahl won that race. Bardahl tied Miss Chrysler Crew for the fastest lap, but was not overwhelming in capturing the Suncoast Cup. The new Miss U.S. took one heat, however an average boat Savair's Mist turned a lap-within 2½ m.p.h. of the leaders making the U.S. as well as these two entries look rather mediocre in comparison to the contenders of former years. Harrah's Club, Notre Dame, Miss Lapeer, My Gypsy were markedly off even this pace.
A record 18 entries showed up for the World Championship at Detroit, which turned out to be a rough water race. Miss Chrysler Crew, one of the lighter boats, seemed to thrive under these conditions and took the regatta in three straight heats,having three m.p.h. on the field. Miss Bardahl finished only one slow heat in third place and the Miss U.S. also did not handle the rough water well failing to make the final heat. Harrah's Club gave Chrysler her toughest battle. Otherwise the Harrah entry was erratic.
As in 1964 Notre Dame owner Shirley McDonald chose Madison to fire her driver this time Jim McCormick. McCormick had done relatively well with the unstable Notre Dame, but was replaced with Jack Regas who had won eight races with the Hawaii Kai III in the 1950's. Regas was promoted by Boat Manager Mike Welsch,who was his crew chief on the Kai.
Jack Regas had not driven since his accident with the Miss Bardahl in 1959 and there was a question in some quarters as to his ability to drive a boat. Nevertheless he was approved passing a test on the rule book given by Referee Bill Newton.
After Miss Bardahl's disappointing performance at Detroit, owner Ole Bardahl raised hell and the U-40 returned to the winner's circle at Madison. Miss Lapeer had the fastest lap and Miss U.S., who had the fastest heat, defeated Miss Bardahl in 1-B, but the U-40 came back in the next two heats to win the regatta. Miss U.S. failed to start heat 2-B and missed the final heat.
The fleet then headed west and at the Tri-Cities Miss U.S. nearly matched the 62 Bardahl's 110.304 world record competition lap clocking 110.024. The winning Miss Bardahl did 109.489. Miss U.S. again failed to make the last heat by going dead in the water in heat 2-A.
Miss Bardahl swept all three heats to win the Atomic Cup.
Miss Chrysler Crew was 5 m.p.h. off the pace, but ran a good three heats to finish second. Wayfarers Club Lady being about 3 m.p.h. down in competition lap times lost to Bardahl in heat 1-B, beat Chrysler Crew in 2-C before placing third in the final heat behind Bardahl and Chrysler Crew.
Heading into the Gold Cup Miss U.S. and Miss Bardahl were the top speed entries. In the next echelon Wayfarers Club Lady at 106.8 and Miss Chrysler Crew 105.8. Miss Lapeer 104.1, Harrah's Club 103.4 and the new Miss Budweiser 102.2 were on the edge of being competitive. My Gypsy could run 104.1 in 1966, but could not approach this speed in 1967.
The new Miss Budweiser was the 1962-63 Notre Dame that was singed badly in an off season test by Bill Muncey in late 1963.
She was a hull copy of the Nitrogen Too-Miss Madison and $ Bill and was not considered to be front running material although in future years the success of Miss Eagle Electric in 1968 and Miss Madison in 1971 dispelled this notion.
Miss Bardahl was a clear favorite for the Gold Cup at Seattle having won three of the first four events on the circuit. Miss Chrysler Crew had taken the other race and unlike 1966 had a pretty good finishing record in 1967. Unfortunately regular driver Bill Sterett had been injured at a limited regatta and was replaced by 1966 High Point and Gold Cup champion Mira Slovak. She was still seeded #2 over Wayfarers Club Lady who had finished her last six heats under Jim McCormick, who replaced owner Bob Fendler after being cashiered by the Notre Dame.
Miss Chrysler Crew added to her stature as the #2 seeded entry by winning the Seafair Trophy over Miss U.S. the day before the Gold Cup. This race was for boats not making the Gold Cup top 12.
Only $ Bill and Atlas Van Lines filled this category and the $ Bill was not ready to run having trashed her last engine. Hence Miss Chrysler Crew, Miss U.S. and Saviar's Mist filled out the field
The water came up relatively rough on race day and Miss Bardahl had everything her own way. Miss U.S. finished the 60 miles, but was not really in contention since again she did not handle the rough water well. Miss Chrysler Crew and Wayfarers Club Lady were not consistently driven and hence were no threat to the Bardahl.
Miss Lapeer ran a consistent race finishing second. With the accelerated speeds she just was not able to run with the Ole Bardahl charger.
The new Miss Bardahl had at this point won four of the five events that were in the record books for 1967. She had proven herself about as fast as the 1962 Green Dragon as the present Bardahl was painted yellow. The boat was driven by Billy Schumacher who had not covered himself with glory in piloting such boats as Cutie Radio, Miss Tool Crib and $ Bill. Also earning a reputation in 1967 was young Jerry Zuvich, on the Bardahl crew since 1961, who replaced Leo Vandenberg as crew chief. All of the Bardahl personnel were in their 20's except owner Ole Bardahl who was born in 1902.
Jack Regas started his first Gold Cup since winning in 1958 with Hawaii Kai III. He had his crew chief Mike Welsch with him, but his mount for the race was a far cry from the Hula Hydro. There was a trough weaved across the course by a late entry and when the Notre Dame hit it she nosed in throwing driver Regas in the water. The U-7 stopped right in front of Harrah's Club who catapulted over the Shirley McDonald entry injuring driver Chuck Hickling. Fortunately both Regas and Hickling were all right.
The hydros next headed across the border to Canada for the British Columbia Cup. Miss Budweiser driven by rookie Mike Thomas annexed the trophy probably by courtesy of Miss Bardahl driven by Billy Schumacher who could have moved over on the Bernie Little entry in the final heat, but declined. Miss Bardahl had been hosed down by Chrysler driver Mira Slovak in heat 1-C and possibly Schumacher wanted to show Slovak up.
Miss Bardahl finished 25 points short of the winning Miss Budweiser. Miss Chrysler Crew could have won the regatta by taking the final heat, but was third instead. Miss U.S. didn't make it to the final by failing in the second heat. Unlike Miss U.S., Wayfarers Club Lady could not win a heat all day long.
Miss Bardahl was back in the winner's circle at Sacramento. Miss Budweiser threatened her when she led the final heat and it appeared that Miss U.S. would finish second, nevertheless Bardahl went by the U.S. to tie Miss Budweiser and prevail overall on elapsed time .
Miss Chrysler, who had beaten Budweiser in 2-A, placed fifth in the third heat. Miss U.S. had the fastest lap at 108.434 and Wayfarers Club Lady, who had turned three laps at 118.501 m.p.h. in qualifying for the Gold Cup, could not get above third place.
Miss U.S. posted the fastest 2½ mile competition lap of all time at 111.386 m.p.h., but could not win the final regatta of the season at San Diego. Miss U.S. had won two heats just as the Bardahl, but couldn't get by the yellow comet in the third heat when it really counted. Miss Bardahl in winning ran a heat at 107.784 which was also a world record for a 2½ mile course. The other boats were down about 6 m.p.h. and were never in the race.
Miss Bardahl, in spite of some predictions to the contrary, gave Ole Bardahl his most successful season. Billy Schumacher and Jerry Zuvich won six of eight regattas. Ron Musson and Leo Vandenberg in winning 5 of 7 in 1965 now stood #2 on the all-time Bardahl scoreboard.
Miss U.S. had the fastest competition lap at half of the events of 1967. However she could not finish 45 miles at good speed until the end of the season. Miss U.S. was about as fast a hull as had ever been built, but could not handle rough water well. Driver Bill Muncey and his crew, some of whom had been with him since the Thriftway days, compromised their reputation to a degree in 1967. Schumacher and Zuvich made theirs.
[Statistics from Greene, V.2]