View Full Version : Hey us1...

12-05-2001, 01:06 PM

The "Del Taco" boat you posted a pic of in the "Readers Rides" thread; is that a GMT..? I remember that boat from the 80's. The first time I seen it race was at the Sacramento Water Festival.. I've alway's wondered what had happend with that boat.


12-05-2001, 01:25 PM
That "Del Taco" boat is world renowned. Iv'e seen it tearing up the Colorado river recently!

12-05-2001, 02:32 PM
I remember these...Del Taco and another (red&White) I think Greg Foster drove one of them. Jerry Gilbreath design maybe?
Somewhere I have pics from STL GP about 1986.

12-05-2001, 03:01 PM
Yes, it is the original Del Taco boat driven by Greg foster. In the old days it was powered by a bone stock 2.4 Bridge Port. Now it is powered by a 350 HP 2.5 Mod U Motor, needless to say it is ridiculously fast and almost undriveable. I have recently sold it to Supa-Fly so I could purchase Greg Fosters Silverwing, the one in my picture.


12-05-2001, 09:41 PM
Supa- Fly

I can't wait to see it run on the parker strip. I remember when US1 owned it and he use to hang out at Lake Elsinore.

He would just park on the beach by the launch ramp and wait for victims. When some guy with a big block that looked like it could run launched, US1 would slither into the water like a alligator after his prey..............Uncle Tony:D

12-06-2001, 10:18 AM
Yeah... I'll have to do the same thing. You'll have to get up early to see me though!

12-06-2001, 10:32 AM
I like the bit with the alligator we should paint teeth on the front of that thing, hu Fly.

12-06-2001, 10:54 AM
Sure.... Why not.

12-06-2001, 10:57 AM
Those GMT's were good looking boats. POWERBOAT tested one of them years ago. It was blue and black with some purple pinstripe I think. Beautiful rig and seems like it ran pretty good. It had a 2.4 Bridgeport on it I think. That Del Taco machine is beautiful. I would guess it is one of the best preserved of the old school ModVP race boats. Thanks for posting those pics....

12-06-2001, 11:16 AM
Yep it's a neat boat. At 390 lbs it's a tad fragile. But I'll take good care of it i promise.

12-06-2001, 04:09 PM
One blow over and thats it.

12-06-2001, 04:12 PM
I'm going to start a search for "Taco's" brothers. There should be one or two left?

12-06-2001, 04:18 PM
What is that

12-06-2001, 04:19 PM
Any other GMT's that might still be around.

12-06-2001, 04:23 PM
I think Foster WREACKED them all. Your pistons and sleeves came in today. I think I will sleeve your motor and finish porting it this weekend.

12-06-2001, 04:29 PM
Yeah I forgot about the "Foster" factor.... oh well.

12-06-2001, 04:33 PM
Thats a big factor.

12-07-2001, 11:47 AM
Gentleman, how about a splash of the Supa- Fly taco bender if you want more,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Uncle Tony :D

12-07-2001, 11:57 AM
A Stoker to me.

12-07-2001, 12:04 PM
Got one of those too. For some unknown reason the "GMT" is a little quicker.

12-07-2001, 12:06 PM
Hi guys Johnny Quam up here in Seattle has a perfect GMT. Might be for sale. rick

12-07-2001, 12:06 PM
Because it's half the weight? That thing must be like a Pringle. What does GMT stand for; Got More Tape?

12-07-2001, 12:16 PM
Thanks. I don't know Johnny quam, but if he's interested in selling his GMT, Here's my e-mail.


12-07-2001, 12:21 PM
I have a Powerboat magazine that has a GMT in it. Had beautiful gel, nice colors (blue and grey if I remember), tested with a 2.4 EFI and ran 84mph, if I remember correctly.

Sure does look like a stoker.


12-07-2001, 12:25 PM
Hey FW..

want to sell that issue???

12-07-2001, 12:30 PM
well it goes something like this.

I have every issue of powerboat since 1977. Every Issue of Hot boat (except July 1994), and every issue of Family and Performance boating. They are on a huge shelf in my closet. Consider the logistics of finding it.-----------It is a long winter, if I find it it is yours.


12-07-2001, 01:42 PM
G Gilbreath (I think Jerry Gilbreath is the designer)
M Marine
T Tunnel


12-07-2001, 01:44 PM
That is what GMT stands for, but I think the credit for the design should go elsewhere. Maybe AS.


12-07-2001, 01:51 PM
...Didn't the Stoker come from a Baker? and from eliminator?

12-07-2001, 01:53 PM
Kinda, stoker designed it, and the Baker is a little differnent than the Stoker. I also beleive that Eliminator does or did build the Stokers. They never have anything to do with the design.


12-07-2001, 02:02 PM
Eliminator does the lay-up for Stoker.

12-07-2001, 03:00 PM
The GMT is not even close to a Stoker, to start the beam it 8 inchs thiner on a GMT.

12-07-2001, 03:05 PM
Just kidding man I don't want to see one of those long long posts.

12-07-2001, 03:32 PM
Well their you have it, it is not a stoker.

Question is, what happened to the company/molds. If they were so good (I seem to remember they doing OK in Mod-vp) you would think that someone would have continued wiht them.


12-07-2001, 04:16 PM

12-07-2001, 04:17 PM

12-07-2001, 04:17 PM
And another, US1 this is for you...

12-07-2001, 04:18 PM
I was talking with Greg Foster the other day and he said he has the 18 ft GMT mold and is looking for the 20 ft.

12-07-2001, 04:20 PM
Foster does like yellow, my yellow F1 is one of Fosters.

12-07-2001, 05:05 PM

is Greg Froster going to reproduce the 18' GMT..? or will he for a $$..?


12-07-2001, 05:09 PM
He might, he said he likes the 20ft boat better and wanted to make those.

12-07-2001, 05:12 PM
Interesting.. anyone have any old Mod vp video's..? 84-90 or so!!


12-07-2001, 05:20 PM
I have the complete 1981 season to 1991, I lent the tape to someone, and am not to sure who. But I got all the originals from Rusty Campbell a few years back.


12-07-2001, 05:26 PM
I would love to see some of the old Mod VP films with Foster in them.

12-07-2001, 05:26 PM

how $$ for a copy..? of anything you have..


12-07-2001, 05:55 PM
If this keeps up I just might have to list the ol'e Taco on E-Bay!

12-07-2001, 06:01 PM
Thats fine as long as you don't get more for it than what I sold it to you for.

12-07-2001, 06:05 PM
What did that GMT sale for..?


12-07-2001, 06:13 PM
That's classified

12-07-2001, 11:27 PM
Wow, it's like 1985 all over again. I havent seen that boat since the last time it blew past me. As I recall, the GMT was an excellent combination of speed and turning, but still good in rough water. After my Stoker, it'd probably be my next choice. Havent seen any for sale in several years.
By the way John, the 2.4 on that boat back in the day was anything but stock. There were a few other GMT's around, but none as fast as that one.

12-08-2001, 02:06 AM
Well letís put it this way, I was supposed to be stock by Mod VP rules.

Ron Hill
12-09-2001, 05:06 PM
What I know about the Stoker and GMT.

The Baker SST used a keel for an 18' Witch Craft V hull. John Stoker lengthened the boat from the middle, making it a 20' hull.

Baker was building the hull and he and Stoker were selling them. Stoker's would go 90 plus in magazines but Baker didn't like laying up paper boats...becasue he had to fix them. Stoker on the other hand wanted complete control of quality/quality rigging and sales.

Stoker made a deal with Eliminator. The bottom was changed slightly. The deck was off some Eliminator Jet...The rest is pretty much history...

GMT, used Phil Percivel to do the tooling of the 18 and 20 bottom...The bottom on most were "Custom"...because they were trying to get them to handle like a Stoker... Greg Foster's dad, I always felt, bank rolled the molds.

The GMT deck is bascially the old Spectra 18'. I was under the impression that Greg Foster has both the 18' and 20' mold. Latest dealing with Greg, though, is he is going to be making a mold for a 20' V hull. He wants to build a FAMILY TYPE hull that he can run up and down the river...

As far as THE DEL TACO BOAT AND HORSEPOWER: A. Jerry Gilbreath and made and sold several items to Mercury that I think they still may pay royalities...Jerry's dad, was Jake Gilbreath of Gil Marine....So Jerry had/has connections at Mercury.

Jerry's step daughter is married to Brad Miller (Brad owned my Mod U--CrazyHorse).... Brad is the richest and nicest guy I know. Brad owned DEL TACO. His GN was called the Del Taco Express. From the rumors I've heard, he actually started Del Taco..at one time he owned 195 restaurants...(But that isn't where his money came from)...

When I quit Mod U, I basically "QUIT" Brad Miller. I went MOD VP racing. Stoker and I had been close. I started Al in boat racing. He ran my "C" runabout... So, when Foster started running MOD VP, they hired Gilbreath as the team leader. Jerry was driving Brad's GN, CrazyHorse....

So, yes Foster's Mercury's were different. They had Bridgeport before anyone knew what a bridgeport was...With their money, their talent they went to the top of MOD VP. IS a GMT like a Stoker? IS a Mercury like an Evinrude???

It was WAR: Stoker had stuff no one knew about except OMC. Foster had stuff no one knew about except Mercury.

20:20 hindsight: Had both factories been forced to use production parts, as Dick Sherrer and I had ORIGINALLY written the rules, MOD Vp would have stayed a fun and CHEAP CLASS.

See the original wording on engine rules was, "In warranteeable condition except nosecones". But we didn't allow water holes to be modified at first...

I think Foster will anyne a hull, just need $$$$$

Ron Hill
12-09-2001, 06:17 PM
Tried to attach a picture of...

Ron Hill
12-09-2001, 07:02 PM
Hey US 1:

That picture I just posted was Bob Calrson's idea of what an eight engine boat should look like..This was Pre Arcadian 8 engine days. Bob had never seen a capsule..they weren't made yet...but I drew this concept when the capsule idea was being kicked around!!!!

12-09-2001, 08:08 PM
Cool picture Ron, thanks for the facts.

Ron Hill
12-09-2001, 08:50 PM
You said, "Facts"... I said "I" (Designed the capsule)... I meant to say, "Bob Carlson drew the whole picture (including the capsule)....".... So, to keep the facts straight, I'm sure it was Fred Hauenstein's engineering plan from day one. Jim Hauenstein and I used to drink a few beers together.. ...and bench race. There were rumors "FLOATING" around that Yamaha wanted to make a serious effort in boat racing... I was hoping this picture would help them.....

Jim (Arcadian Trucking) Hauenstein didn't need Mercury's money for the project. He used his own..

Our Lee Tunnel that we bought out of Minnesota is suppose to get to Oklahoma for Xmas...I'm going to get it in February... Either Chad or Dennis Daley will run it locally...

12-09-2001, 08:53 PM
What year and what size is the Lee. When is Chad new boat going to be ready for testing?

Ron Hill
12-09-2001, 09:12 PM
It is a 17 Lee, one of Chris Fairchild's old boats...When will the new boat be done???? Well, to be quite honest, business hasn't been too good since 9/11. I really need to sell my 26 Rayson Craft. I think Chad would like to sell his Advantage Picklefork..(20 foot Advantage/2.4 Bridgeport/new seats and carpet... $10,500...Does that sound good?)...

I really want Chad to start teaching. like me, then when things are slow...you still eat..

Personally, since 9/11 I have thought that traveling the USA, like I have many times, may not be that much fun again ever. I may become JUST a local racer who doesn't venture far. I've got BROC a J and plan to run all Region 11's races in 2002...

So, when will the new boat be done??? Slowly... We've got 3 -2.5's, two number 4's and one number 6...so we have a few parts....but 2002 PROP TOUR isn't in our plans.......today...

Ron Hill
12-09-2001, 09:20 PM

I've attached some pictures of the boat. This is an actual bottom. The top is only the plug... We have that mold (For the top) under construction...

Time and moeny are needed at this time...So, what else is new???


Ron Hill
12-09-2001, 09:23 PM
Can I only post one picture at a time???

12-09-2001, 09:33 PM
Wow, it looks really good. I can't wait to drive one and see how it handles. Region 11, why not 12.

Ron Hill
12-09-2001, 10:58 PM
Well, Region 12 doesn't have but like two J's... We are planning to go to the January race at Havasu Landing...on the California side, across from Havasu...

We'll run Bakersfield...maybe by Long Beach we can have a few more J's... Danny Doige (Cracker Box)...his kid or sisters is thinking of a J... Foster's kid will be 9 in January... A little Sherman-Williams J would be cool...

Nothing against Region 12... Probably go to the February race in Needles, too...

Check this picture...

Ron Hill
12-09-2001, 10:59 PM
Picture didn't post... How do I get a picture by MY NAME?

12-09-2001, 11:05 PM
There's a race in Needles, maybe i'll sell the Mod U and get a J boat.

Ron Hill
12-09-2001, 11:08 PM
Don't sell the Mod U...drive MY C Runabout... Chad couldn't walk after Bakersfield...He ran HIS C runabout with MY 302 Yamato...He hasn't kneel down raced for 8 years... He had a ball though..

Why won't my ^%$&*(ing picture post?

Ron Hill
12-10-2001, 12:01 AM
Try this on My Hallett and Bill Scrois #99 (He won)..

Ron Hill
12-10-2001, 12:02 AM
Parker 1967--Twin engine DeSliva

12-10-2001, 12:35 AM
Ron, I was down at Ed Lanes #380 today and we went though his whole racing scrapbook together. What a great experience. I love you old pictures.

Ron Hill
12-10-2001, 01:06 AM
Check this MOD VP..That is Bobby Larson's MOD U in the background...

12-10-2001, 01:48 AM
Hey Ron, your our history guru!!
Regarding the Mod-VP of old, when I ( we, my father and I) arrived on the scene, it was a class where anything (almost) went as long as the parts started their life as factory available parts.
Years later, I bought a boat with what was reported to be Al Stokers Kankeekee (sic) motor on it. The story was that during tech he was told to get his sh*t out of there. Then he produced pictures of the modification process, cutting, welding, cutting and welding some more. It had indeed started as an OMC engine and it ran in the event. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

Where am I going with this? In late 84, we bought a new light weight Stoker bare with a new Merc MVP from Sherrer. It first ran in early 85. At the higher speeds run with the modified high port engines (and Bp's), the longer, heavy boats seemed to have an advantage. We would pray for rough water. But the 1986 season brought a change in the rules dictating lower port heights like stock 200's had and few changes to the rest of the engine. Overnight, our equipment was outdated. We put a stock 200 on it, but the short, light STV's and Mirages were much faster with lower HP engines.
How does this relate to this thread? In 86 there was some confussion about what could be run legally. Jerry Gilbreath was some sort of region 12 tech rep for APBA at the time. I went to see him for clarification of the new rules. After I ask a few dumb questions and give him some blank looks, he starts showing me parts in his shop saying "you cant run these anymore". Full plenum manifolds, BP engines with hogged out ports. This is how I know that the old # 5 wasn't running "stock" engines back then. They were legal, probably.
Anyway, I never let on to the fact that I'd never seen most of the inside of a Merc before. We had cut ours out of it's crate, installed high compression heads, and raced it. I didn't see a problem with the "modified" engine rules. If "know nothing" weekend warriors like us could buy off the shelf equipment and be reasonably competitive, what's wrong with the program? Seems that the class died within a few years after that, at least in region 12.
No warranties on the above, just hearsay and rumor, plus my opinion.

Ron Hill
12-10-2001, 07:39 PM
I really don't know if I am the HISTORY GURU, but I did live a lot of boat racing.

Let me go back to the 50's... We had plenty of racers in those days. Dick Sherrer raced WOA and I raced APBA. He raced an Evinrude. I raced a Merc. There was no reason to like each other.

Later, I raced and Evinrude. He raced a Merc....WOA became COBRA. He raced COBRA AND APBA.... I became Region 12 Chairman of APBA and I got COBRA to become an APBA club.

BUT, COBRA had many idea I liked, but I believed then and I believe now, that there should only be one large UMBRELLA association of which all racing groups belong...

Dick Sherrer and I shared a goal, never stated, but we believed that everyone SHOULD RACE BOATS. He started many in racing. I started many in racing. He started many classes. I started many classes.

He statrf FS and TP. FS was Family Ski... propshft had to be 4 inches below the bottom, two in the boat.... at first I thought this was a dumb ass class. But, there were many people that had a ski boat with the propshaft 4' below the bottom...and many of these guys had girl frinds that wanted to "RACE"...FS became a popular class....

TP was Tunnel Pleasure. Same as an SJ only had to have seats. And had two have two in the boat (Always more fun with two in the boat...one to drive, one to yell "Look out"...).. These classes carried COBRA. Always had new blood. Some would move up to the FASTER "RACING" classes.

When they became APBA....with my help....expenses drove the two seaters out... Now everyone HAD to JOIN APBA and FS and TP went in the ****ter...

Dick was loyal COBRA and loyal APBA... We sat and talked...(We still weren't GREAT friends, but we respected each other....and down deep, I guess we liked each other too).

As Region Chairman, I'd talked Parker into running Divisions...Like FIVE (So we'd have larger fields)... Part of Division 4 was VP (APBA V Production) Hulls... I wrote MOD VP to get local guys to run there ski boats.

Well Stoker ran a 200 Evinrude and really won the Division but was DQ'd, mainly because he beat the inboards...

After that race, Dick and I decided to write the rules for MOD VP. The original wording was WARRANTEEABLE CONDITION. We thought we could make the FACTORIES PAY FOR OUR RACING...

The next two years MOD VP grew, with the help of Jim Jost at Evinrude to 27 boats at the HAVASU CLASSIC...mostly Evinrudes..

But we really didn't have instpections and we allowed Nose Cones... So we changed the rules (Who wanted to inspect anyway??) To Production Parts, this worked COOL until Mercury put their HIGH PERFORMANCE CATALOGUE in every DEALERS hands... They CALLED ALL THEIR PARTS PRODUCTION...

More later...

12-10-2001, 07:44 PM
The 50s..................yup, you are a Guru.

Ron Hill
12-10-2001, 08:25 PM
Well, I started racing in 1955, I was 11. I ran AU....


OMC had an agenda----RACE V-8's. Mercury had an agenda---IOGP and MAKE MONEY. Dick Sherrer and I had an agenda---we wanted people racing.

We had a term "Entry Level" that we liked.. We started people racing in "ENTRY LEVEL" classes. We started the Mini Enduro. AND MOD VP was OUR STAR...

When Mercury put catalogues in every dealer and called Racing parts Production. Dick quit MOD VP. He had been running MOD U and MOD VP. He believed as I believed, that production (FISHING) parts would keep things close to equal...

Al Stoker was using the CCC crank and other parts in his OMC. Other parts that were hard to come by for the average guy.

About '85 I have 5-235 Evinrude/Johnsons and my Stoker motor ran about like ours... 92-94... Broc Glover, Golden Boy of Moto Cross, come slong and "Gets" a Mercury out of Mercury.... I won't tell you how, but he "LOST" a Factory Race Yamaha and "FOUND" a VERY FAST MOD VP motors... 98 MPH when my OMC's went 92-94...

Around this time, Fred Hauenstein, who was now OPC VP of APBA, also was head of Mercury Racing... He came up with some "COOL rules". Everybody would run Stock blocks, except Mercury could run .100 off racing heads..........

Now the OMC could sort of compete, but my Yamahas were out...But then, Mercury had STOCK BLOCKS on their truck that were NOT FOR SALE...that were fast and legal...If you made a fast Mercury in your garage, it wasn't legal......this is about the time I exited MOD VP...

I'd helped HOWARD with the HST...John Castelli and I had helped Lavey build therir MOD VP... But with new SVT hulls that looked like tunnels and Mercury Racing having the fast engines on their truck... I quit and so did many others...

Is there blame for the death of MOD VP??? I could take credit too...I felt we were "RACING". 20:20 hindsight, we should have kept the speeds under 100 mph and kept the sides, like Stoker, Sleeks, early STV, can MOD VP raise from the ashes. NO!!!


Picture is of me, 1955.... Pink and gray racing shiret...pink and gray helmet....

dan agnew
12-10-2001, 09:02 PM
ron and john, i ran mod v p in the golden years [b.s/] we ran on the east coast noa and southern outboard the problem was when the iogp came in everyone felt that was the place to race they paid real $$$. if you were in the top. the rules kept changing you had to get a new rig cause your stock engine would not run on your old fat boat then you could mod your motor sooo new boat then you had to run bowden and the r&d motors, and stokers stock motors with evenfire cranks. why put yourself in that mess. you are rite merc was making money you had to change the rules to sell engines from year to year. should have stayed out of it and let the chips fall where they may. man that would have been a killer class if it had stayed running.

just my thoughts


12-10-2001, 10:15 PM

The engine you had on a boat that belonged to Sandy Schwartz had a crossflow with an even fire crank, that engine was NEVER ran at Kankakee. I only ever ran a looper their and NEVER had a problem with tech. I was never told to get my ---- out.


The parts you desribe were available for those of us willing to get off our wallet and buy them. As they say speed costs money nothing is free. Ran about like yours, I remember you telling me it was 4 MPH faster. Also some of your post as to how things happened are not exactly acurate. As far as helping others with John C. I remember asking him to leave my shop when he was scketching and taking measurments off my boat, and Howard just copied Dino`s boat, when Bowden refused to sell him the boat he won St Louis with.

One last thing I have never been DQ`d for illegal equipment.

Alan Stoker

12-10-2001, 11:41 PM
This one is Foster's old boat,which I own now......JR

Ron Hill
12-11-2001, 12:02 AM
Racer.... I don't recall ever saying Al Stoker was Dq'd for an illegal engine...there weren't many rules....

The Lavey came from a Baker Bass Boat bottom.. I purchased the bottom from Jerry Baker and got his signature that we could copy it any way we pleased...(We being Lavey Boats)....

Howard bought Dino's Stoker, leased my Lavey and built the HST.. I think the Stoker is a better bottom yet... AS far as OMC helping you...the answer is yes... But you helped them MORE...

Considering I never went more than 94 with a MOD VP OMC....your engine wasn't four faster than my dad's... In the early days of MOD VP I don't recall you having 15 mph on me....

I do think that a hull weight limit would have helped... a Dick Sherrer idea of transom height would be good too. Danny Mc Mannis had a transom height rule in Super Sport but backed down to pressure... I for one would not want to burn down a new 2006 engine because of lack of water...

12-11-2001, 12:06 AM
I have one of I believe St.Louis '87 (??).
It has our own Al Stoker (with his trusty JohnRude) starting dead last off of the dock.
Remember reading where he was chasing starting problems for quite a while.
Anyhow, everyone else is into the first turn before Al's even on plane!
He comes from that far back to 2nd before they flag the race due to a wreck. That gave rusty Campbell the Natl. Championship that year.
Al had smoke on everyone, and would have caught and passed Campbell with a couple more laps!!!
Read these posts close and you'll learn "Racers" true identitiy!!
Next to V-8 F-1, Mod VP was my favorite!
And Al, you are the man!!!
Thanx for hanging at our board!!!

12-11-2001, 01:00 AM

Why then did you choose to run my motor? And yes I remember it broke a piston 6 hrs into the enduro. Maybe if John from Sea witch had kept his hands off would have been different. If you read my last post you will see I never said anything about 15 MPH. At least one good thing came from this, all now know the truth behind the HST. As far as the Lavey most knew what happened there, funny thing is Jerry Baker never paid me what I was owed for building the plug for him, V or the RST. The SST bottom is completely different that is why it will outrun the baker with no problem, and why 15 feet of the HST bottom will fit in my mold. Help from OMC I wish,about like they helped you the year dad and I rigged and pitted your Molinari for Parker.

12-11-2001, 01:15 AM
I never meant to imply that you ran illegal euipment, just that lots of mods were legal and frequentlly made by those who had the drive to win. This is the way it is in all racing, regardless of the type of vehicle. I apoligize if I screwed up the facts concerning your engine I owned. The conversation I had with you and your father concerning it was more than a decade ago.
The main point is that the loose rules of the day weren't bad. It provided the ability for guys who really want to excell to develop fantastic equipment. As for accessability to the sportsman racer, there were lots of 1 boat, 1 engine guys having fun and running well at the local level. We filled a shelf full of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophys the first year out. The problem came from frequent rules changes requiring new equipment. This I think drove away the sportsman Mod-VP racer from the local level. The big events followed.
why does Mod-VP have to remain dead? Why would there be less interest now than there was before? Weight limits, consistent engine rules, whatever they may be. Would anyone come out to play?

12-11-2001, 01:57 AM

Do we know each other? Did your dad race ModVP and sometimes work rescue at Havasu? Is his name Al?

Just seems that we crossed paths in the same places and I should know you....


12-11-2001, 02:59 AM
Hey BK,
Yes, thats dad. He also served as race director for the COBRA local race for a few years. We split the driving and ran mostly region 12. I'd probably recognize you if I saw you, at least a 15 year old picture of you!!

12-11-2001, 09:29 AM
oK! Now I know who this is..... :) How have you all been? Not sure if you remember me, but maybe my co-driver? Everyone seems to remember my co-driver -- Kristi Smith :) (Hoffman's girlfriend at the time) Now do you remember?

I've got one very vivid memory - that includes your dad at Havasu. My little Kober Kat went on a wild barrel-rolling ride once, when the clamp bracket on my little Yamaha motor (ModC) broke off.

I landed far away from the boat, in the blind right hand turn just after the apex of Spectator Point (Bad place to be floating).

When my head bobbed up all I could hear was loud ringing and thinking to myself "So this is what it means to 'ring your bell". Race boats were flying to my left and right....I was waving my hand so they'd see me. It was late November and the Lake was really cold. I was frozen so I couldn't tell if I was hurt or not (I was).

Then I heard someone very close by say to me. "Valerie". The voice sounded so close and I thought I was hallucinating. "Valerie, is that you?" I was looking around and saw nothing!

Then I turned completely around and behind me about 3 feet away was your dad, idling in a rescue boat! Not sure how long he had been there -- I had never even heard him pull up! LOL!

I just remember your dad was there and got me to the beach ASAP, despite all the boats whizzing by us. (were you there too?)

My right thigh was smashed up as it had been caught under the steering wheel and dash during the roll and there was a gash in my helmet.

Please Bill -- even after all these years -- please thank your dad for me for that rescue!!!

I had seen Keith Younger get hurt a year or two before, injured at the same place, and they had to cut his pants off of him to get to his injuries - in full view of the spectator area above! I remember being terrified of that embarrassment and begging the paramedics, "Please dont cut my pants off! I'M OK, really!"

Funny to think about now.... not so funny then!

12-11-2001, 09:43 AM
Bill - Here's a picture of me in my first race in '86, and another of that little boat that got mangled at Havasu '87 -- do you remember now?


12-11-2001, 01:45 PM
Hey Val
You bet I remember you, and Christi, and that boat the two of you ran. Didn't you run at Parker? Was that the year Rick crashed and broke his arm? I hug out with Rick a bit in those days, but more with Sandy Hoffman and some of the younger crowd. I'm still good friends with Sandy. She married a high school friend of mine and lives near by.
I think I was at that race in Havasu, but can't remember the particular incident. I may have been on a different rescue boat that year. Nice to see your still around. I'll print your message and give it to dad. Yes, I know all about sudden immersion in Havasu water in late November. I was hauled out by one of those rescue boats a year or two before you. Take care.

Ron Hill
12-12-2001, 12:01 AM
Who could "Forget" Hoffman's Christi???

Al: 1. We ran your engine because it WAS BRAND NEW.
2. I feel it broke, while leading, becasue I was using stock OMC trim and it was failing.... Rod Zapf was afraid of running the battery down and would let the engine "lug" down becfore he'd trim it again...finally melting a piston... Stuff happens. The only thing the two John's (Sea Witch and Castelli) ever did for me work WORK THEIR ASSES OFF for NO PAY... Castelli Bitched, but I didn't/don't mind... Big John from Sea Witch just worked and worked....never complaining..
3. I've probably never give John's Custom Marine their FULL CREDIT for Crazyhorse winning Parker. When we caught on fire at the pit stop...it was your old man that MADE me get back in... I was wet, scared, maybe burned and wasn't getting back in... Your old man, John Stoker, told me to get back in or he'd kick my ass...and I knew he would. I only got back in thinking the damn thing wouldn't start. It surprised me....asnd then ran all day.

4. You boat shop...fabricated me an aluminum cockpit for that boat, so my big ass wouldn't go through the bottom...BUT you know that motor came from Fred Hauenstein and Jim Nerstrom.

5. I know Jim Nerstrom well... I know you got help from OMC..but so did I....

6. You were the man to beat in MOD VP..You are a living legend.

7. My pay for helping Howard on the HST was two boats...One ended in a dumpster (Jim Harris ran it with a Yamaha).. John Castelli ran the other one and still has it...Not sure how Howard built it, but do remember seeing an add where he had the HST all layed up in wood...with frames...

8. Why won't MOD VP "Fly" again? We've all "Kicked" it around.. Why are outboard sales way down compared to Inboard Outboards. Sometimes, you've got to stop and smell the roses....The younger generations wants to watch it all on video games or TV. The average age of video plays is now 26 years of age... In 1985, I was 40, and one of the older MOD VP drivers...

9. As far as your dealers with Baker, I don't have a clue. Baker is dead...and what you say seems reasonable...


Check the picture of C-2, my FRR

12-12-2001, 01:39 AM

Of course I know the engine came from Jim, he is a great guy. We talked about many things, but you of all should also know I built ALL my own engines and payed for the parts.

Could not have been to bad an engine, since it was leading well into the race with a large field. Both John`s and I get along well these days. We service many of the boats Seawitch sells.

The Baker think is in the past, I learned an expensive lesson from that. It kind of hurts when a friend/one you have helped in turn helps someone else with your product, I have known this for many years and left it alone, I also know part of the boat was used. I saw the add you mention and that was when we started to check things out as I could see my bottom. One of Howards people told me latter on.


PS. I still have a photo of the boat in flames. You would not think an outboard would backfire hard enough to start a fire but it did.

12-12-2001, 01:59 AM
Hi Al ~

Great to have you on here.

Now a question: I've told Brad this story, but not sure if I have the facts right. Did you win Havasu one year with a broken jaw that was wired shut? And did the race officials ask you to keep some wire cutters on hand during the race, just in case of emergency?

I seem to recall this story and that it was a football injury (high school or college?) just wondering if my memory is correct :) Am I close?

I have a picture of you from that day at the awards ceremony in the tennis courts at the Nautical Inn. (Walt Y. giving the award) Team Mercury also won that day (Bentz, Seebold and Packer??) & I have a picture of Tim Seebold with his dad too -- Tim was 12 then. ;)

What year was that?

12-12-2001, 01:47 PM
BK-I have an issue of Pop. Performance Boats that shows a pic of Al driving a Brown Baker in Havasu with his jaw wired. I remember the caption exactly as you mentioned it, I couldn't imagine what that must have been like.
I don't think I would have raced.

Al is a real man! I remember cheering for him in STL GP every year. I am a Mercman but there was something about that 'Rude howling down the back stretch, inching off all the other mercs, that you just have to respect.
I don't enjoy racing where one boat and one engine manufacturer dominate the field. Anybody can go out and buy the same thing as you and be an average competitor. It seems like the guys who run the off beat boats and motors really have to work hard to get their stuff running and those guys are the wizards!
I hate to say it, but that is my impression of ODBA also, if you don't run an ally or triad with a merc, you ain't in the show.
We run the brackets around here and it is fun running down a blown hydro.
I miss Mod VP, a rebirth would be nice...but without all the polotics!
My 2 cents.

12-12-2001, 05:32 PM
Very well said!
Regardless of brand preference, you have to respect what Stoker did.
It seems I always root for the under dog any how.
Almost a David Vs Goliath thing with what he did.
I too would love to see the Mod VP's make a come back.
I have seen it in print several times in the last few years.

Ron Hill
12-12-2001, 07:49 PM
Yes, BK....Al broke his jaw playing football at the Sigma Chi house...in Oregon... I was a Sig, and had called the Sig House and told them a "Serious Stud" was coming grab hi when he hits town.

Al, can tell the story better than I, but I think they made him carry the wire cutters in case he was knocked unconscious (It would be possible to drown from vomit---gross---if you were knocked out.

I have a picture of Elsinore, 1973, Al, where your dad and you are getting me in the boat...(That was the year Jessica was born---I won The Elsinore 250---and Barb was so pregnant Molly Blue, the chief scorer was afraid Barb was going to have the baby in the scoring area....Molly would ask Barb about evey 5 minutes if she was OK)... That was 28 years ago, IF YOU'LL POST CRAZYHORSE IN FLAMES...I won't post that picture of you...in 1973....

I don't think the Triple C back fired... We'd run the gas over and it had run down the back of the boat...maybe 10 gallons, when the engine "Fired"....that is what lit the fire....I'd love to have a copy of the picture...(It is better than BK's painting...don't tell her)..

Do you think a Ficht 225, Yamaha 4 stroke, Honda, Merc....???

Even your boat ad shows an IO....

Was that picture of the FRR cool..Quincy 75 H, Konig foot, 13'6 DeSilva....Harry Bartolomei was a GREAT SPONSOR. John's CUtom Marine was a GREAT SPONSOR TOO.....I've NEVER bad mouthed anything you guys did or do??? In fact, I'm sure I send customers your way all the time....

Remember that time my damn V-4 wouldn't run? It would miss fire like hell.. Your dad threw the whole boat and trailer in your tank....turned the lights off (It was night) and fired that thing... There were wires sparking all over the place. We changed wires...Taped others... That thing ran like a SONG.... FYI: Racing in SALT WATER as we did/do, salt will conduct electricty....

Ted May and I later, pulled this same "TRICK" in Miami for the OMC RACE Team... We'd test, new factory motors at 6:00 AM and go 102... We'd terst for race time 2:00 and the engines would miss fire and go about 70. So, OMC would FLY the powerhead back to Waukegan, dyno them, and send them back...6:00 AM they go 102...About Thursday, I told Ted let go run one them SOB's on the launch ramp after dark....It looked like a light show...

Next day, at 2:00 we ran 102....That night we were down at the launch ramp running all the motors...like 12 of them. So, when I say Al Stoker helped OMC more than they helped them...This is ONLY ONE EXAMPLE...There are more..

12-13-2001, 12:12 AM
I remember that night in the test tank, you can see a lot of things at night you can`t during the day.
I`ll have to look for that photo, its around some where. Have a good holiday.


12-13-2001, 07:43 AM

Ron Hill
12-13-2001, 08:18 PM
No. A friend has the BASS BOAT bottom mold...but I told him tho toss it out, the last time I saw him....and I don't know if he did...The RST is like a lot of MOD VP...HISTORY!!!!

11-09-2007, 08:02 PM
hi i just bought a 87 gmt i really love it this thing flys i ran 70 first time i got a lake to myself here in omaha nebraska ,carter lake had more to go i gunned it then let up . blaaast, but i think i still havent droped both balls yet i was scared, first out board boat.