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  1. Totally agree with your comment regarding Johnny Sanders. IMO one of the three most consistent pilots of the era. The other two were Jimbo and Scotti. To think what "more" they could have done if they were driving for Kiekhaefer Mercury or Mercury Marine.
    As for driving any FJ competitively. The most terrifying experience for me ever, was RIDING as a passenger in a heat race after winning an S-OPC sprint race five minutes before.
    Last edited by swshawaii; 04-27-2009 at 12:04 AM. Reason: spelling

  2. Post #80

    Garbrecht and I were coming back from a trip out west and we stopped at a race in Illinois to watch Seebold driving Les Brown's 7 litre Long Gone. Gary talked to Bill after the race and I think the next move was to put a 20' Jones together for him to run at Havasu in 1970, maybe his first factory drive.

    Willabee: Didn't Seebold drive/test a triple Jones at Parker 1970 for GG? Bob Massey drove a triple Jones and crashed that year---was that the same Jones?

    Gene

  3. #903
    Johnny Sanders ---------one of my favourite people, seemed like every race i went to anywhere in the world he was there. If there was a stone bitch of a rig that nobody could drive , it fell to him to wring it's neck, He got the jockey job for Jimmy Hauensteins ----double engined --- contraption that promised much and delivered little at Bristol. Wild thing that nobody sane would entertain . I still say he finished behind us in the infamous '70 Paris 6 hours. [ promise never to mention it again ] JW.

  4. Jackie Wilson (One of my idols)

    Jackie,
    A real privilege just to message you. Without "blowing sunshine", you were one of the classic "old school" pilots I always admired. Believe it or not, Garbrecht offered me a position in Wisconsin circa 1975. Being the "Hawaiian" kid, I feared homesickness and cold weather so I declined the offer to join Team Mercury. To this day have no regrets. Must say I had an exceptional racing career for a high school lass. Managed to claim US-1 in '73 & '74 in S-OPC Closed Course. Helps to have a year round racing schedule too. MAHALO & ALOHA, Steve
    Last edited by swshawaii; 04-27-2009 at 12:12 AM.

  5. #905

    The way I remember it.....

    Quote Originally Posted by GENE LANHAM View Post
    Willabee: Didn't Seebold drive/test a triple Jones at Parker 1970 for GG? Bob Massey drove a triple Jones and crashed that year---was that the same Jones?.....Gene
    I think there were six 9' x 22' Jones boats at that time. Merc's two with the engines spread, two with the engines in the tunnel and two I/O's. At Parker in 70, Merten had the yellow trimmed spread, Massey had the original Triple Trouble with engines in the tunnel and Lou Burnette had his own engines in the tunnel. Bob Nordskog (not sure he had it ready to run at Parker) and Bill Cooper (flipped and just beat the living crap out out the boat ) had the I/O's. Sirois and Pruett ran Molinari's. That does leave the blue trimmed engines spread without a driver, so it could have been there. I think it was left in Oshkosh for the 1970 Parker race (it was our test boat), but if you saw Seebold in it I must be wrong....again!

    Here's Pruett in the original Triple Trouble at Elsinore, Massey in the same boat at Parker, me in the blue trimmed engines spread in Oshkosh and a couple of Nordskog in the I/O at Parker.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by willabee; 04-25-2009 at 10:30 AM.

  6. [QUOTE=willabee;1646408] I think it was left in Oshkosh for the 1970 Parker race (it was our test boat), but if you saw Seebold in it I must be wrong....again!

    Not saying you are wrong--I just remember Gary was impressed with Seebold's lap times at Parker in practice, maybe testing in Massey's triple Jones???
    A few years later Schwebby asked me to fly GG and a few guys back to the Lake after a big race at Miami. Fog/visibility so bad, couldn't even see the terrain, got a clearance, flew the ILS and landed at Orlando/McCoy. Gary was pi---d, said "This isn't Lake X!!" Probably missed a meeting----the others on board were---Bill Seebold, his son, (not sure which), and Buck Thornton. fun times---
    Gene

  7. Quote Originally Posted by willabee View Post

    What I mostly remember from the Portsmouth nationals is Johnny Sanders. Seemed like he entered something in almost every class and was very good in every one he entered.
    Back in the late 1960's I raced with Johnny Sanders and he was my mentor. I was a young kid just starting out in OPC racing and he taught me a lot. A great guy.

  8. #908

    Wrong .....again!

    [QUOTE=GENE LANHAM;1646446]
    Quote Originally Posted by willabee View Post
    I think it was left in Oshkosh for the 1970 Parker race (it was our test boat), but if you saw Seebold in it I must be wrong....again!

    Not saying you are wrong--I just remember Gary was impressed with Seebold's lap times at Parker in practice, maybe testing in Massey's triple Jones??? ---fun times---Gene
    Gene,
    I knew you weren't, I just put that in there to give Jackie an opening (you know he needs all the help we can give).

    I was sure that Havasu was Seebold's first race, but the more I think about it, the more it seems like you might be right about his test at Parker. I don't really remember that happening, but the more I think about it, something in my head is trying to say it did.

    I agree completely, they were fun times.....maybe the best of times.

  9. #909
    Worse than that -----he's one of those smooth, good looking, quiet spoken, sweet talking texicana sort of coves, that seems to pull all the best crumpet, don't you just hate wavy black haired diamond geezers ?????? Others cannot compete----- not even willa on a good day !!!!!

  10. #910
    Join Date
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    thats my ron jones that merten was driving

  11. #911
    Join Date
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    when we picked it up , pic
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. Q:Are Those Real? (Parker Rabe)

    A: Doh! REAL EXPENSIVE!

  13. #913

    What came first, the chicken or the egg.....

    Quote Originally Posted by PARKER RABE View Post
    thats my ron jones that merten was driving
    ..... that's Merten's Ron Jones that you are driving.

    Parker, looking at the pic of the boat tilted for travel reminds me of a scary incident that took place at the Havasu Springs hotel. You know the boat is 9' wide, so they decided to tilt them to make them highway legal and not have to follow "wide load" laws. Maybe you guys changed how the trailers function, but there were a couple of hydralic cylinders that were manually pumped to raise and tilt the cradle.

    In your photo, you can clearly see one of the uprights near the spare tire that were bolted into place after the trailer was pumped up to proper position. You can also see the square channel frame used to make the cradle and the trailer itself. The easiest way to install or remove those uprights was to lean your body in under the channel for the cradle and above the channel for the trailer.....I've done it many times.

    I think it was Broadway Joe Habay that was getting the boat ready to test. He had removed all of the uprights and was standing next to the trailer talking with someone when......wham, bam.....down it came. A seal in a hydralic cylinder had failed and the boat came down like a ton of bricks. I think the sponson hit Joe and knocked him down, but that was lucky. I can only imagine what would have happened if his body had been between the cradle and the trailer, that's a frightening thought . I know I was damn timid messing with those trailers after that.....be careful.

    Parker's photo and a couple of Bob Valachovic's showing the hydralic cylinders and upright braces.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by willabee; 04-28-2009 at 08:03 AM.

  14. #914

    Seebold's start....

    Quote Originally Posted by GENE LANHAM View Post
    --I just remember Gary was impressed with Seebold's lap times at Parker in practice, maybe testing in Massey's triple Jones???
    Gene wins the Kewpee doll.....I'm a little saddened to say, your memory is sure a lot better than mine .

    Just received an email from Billy Seebold (was really nice to hear from him ) and he explained his start with Mercury. He said that while at the alkie nationals, he made a deal with John Woods to put a boat together for Havasu 1969. Gary Garbrecht agreed to sell the boat to John if Billy was driving with him. He never did say what this boat was, only that he picked it up in Havasu (sounds like a Jones delivered from La Habra) and did all of the testing. Garbrecht had sent some props to his Dad to play with, so he was off and running.

    He started the race and the boat ran pretty good. At refueling, John got in and ran about five laps before running into Bob Nordskog. That ended the racing for the weekend. Garbrecht then told him that he would come up with a boat for Billy to drive. His first rig was the 20' twin Jones that Jim Merten had raced a couple of times..... T2x, you should remember the yellow trimmed Jones from Smith Mountain Lake. Seebold remembered that Merten had gotten hurt in it and I remember that Mert never did get that thing to run decent. As far as I'm concerned, none of the 20' Jones boats were safe.

    Seebold tested and ran Parker by himself.....DNF. Hats off to Mr. Lanham, he had that right . Later his brother-in-law blew it over and destroyed it completely. That was when he got the new twin Jones, the one I remember. He ran it until everyone was switched to singles. There you have it, the start for who was destined to become one of the biggest names and best drivers in the history of the sport.

    A 20' Jones like Seebold started in.....Billy and his good friend, the late Cees van der Velden.....some of the equipment he drove and won with.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by willabee; 04-30-2009 at 11:58 AM.

  15. #915
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    Quote Originally Posted by willabee View Post
    Gene wins the Kewpee doll.....I'm a little saddened to say, your memory is sure a lot better than mine .

    Just received an email from Billy Seebold (was really nice to hear from him ) and he explained his start with Mercury. He said he made a deal with John Woods to put a boat together for Havasu 1969. Gary Garbrecht agreed to sell the boat to John if Billy was driving with him. He never did say what this boat was, only that he picked it up in Havasu (sounds like a Jones delivered from La Habra) and did all of the testing. Garbrecht had sent some props to his Dad to play with, so he was off and running.

    He started the race and the boat ran pretty good. At refueling, John got in and ran about five laps before running into Bob Nordskog. That ended the racing for the weekend. Garbrecht then told him that he would come up with a boat for Billy to drive. His first rig was the 20' twin Jones that Jim Merten had raced a couple of times..... T2x, you should remember the yellow trimmed Jones from Smith Mountain Lake. Seebold remembered that Merten had gotten hurt in it and I remember that Mert never did get that thing to run decent. As far as I'm concerned, none of the 20' Jones boats were safe.

    Seebold tested and ran Parker by himself.....DNF. Hats off to Mr. Lanham, he had that right . Later his brother-in-law blew it over and destroyed it completely. That was when he got the new twin Jones, the one I remember. He ran it until everyone was switched to singles. There you have it, the start of who was to become one of the biggest names and best drivers in the history of the sport.

    A 20' Jones like Seebold started in.....Billy and his good friend Cees van der Velden.....some of the equipment he drove and won with.
    Is the pickle fork Molinari that Billy is shown driving in the final picture, the same one that Earl Bentz got...or did that boat go to one of the Berghauers?

    T2x
    20 Foot Switzer Wing 2 X S3000 (Dust'n the Wind II)
    18 Foot Switzer Wing 2 x 1250 BP's (Miss Diablo)
    15 foot Powercat 15C (2 X Merc 1500)
    (Single engine boats are lacking something)

    !7 Ft Molinari (Evinrude CCC)
    (The exception proves the rule)
    Obsolete and Proud of it

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