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  1. #31
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    Renato

    Willabee: I have kept that secret all these years and now you let the cat out of the bag. Who told you?

  2. #32
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    Billy Don Pruett.......


    A couple of shots of our favorite guy......in the 1st one he is driving the first 9' x 22' triple outboard with all three engines in the tunnel, built by Ron Jones and winning the Elsinore 500 in 1969. Those engines sat so close together that there wasn't room to run stacked powerheads.

    In the 2nd shot he driving a 20' Jones at the 1970 Miami Nationals. He is coming out of the final turn ahead of Jimbo McConnell on his way to a World Record of 76.598 mph in T class.
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    Last edited by willabee; 01-09-2007 at 02:34 PM.

  3. #33
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    A couple more from the 1970 Miami Nationals.....


    The 1st shot is Pruett again, leading the pack on the start of that record setting run. He is being chased by Johnny Sanders, Jimbo McConnell and Kenny Kitson.

    The 2nd shot is Jimbo #191 in an OMC built twin and Kitson #119 in a Kitsoncraft. Is it just me, or is there something wrong with a picture that shows Kitson with two white bathtubs on the transom?
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    Last edited by willabee; 01-05-2006 at 11:54 AM.

  4. #34
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    The two white bath tubs are removable cowls~engine fairings. They were either came with the boat or were an accessory, not sure which. Not sure how it worked on a twin though. Kenny was looking for a cowl last time I talked to him.
    Last edited by Old fiberglass; 01-05-2006 at 12:50 PM.

  5. #35
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    Twins.......


    Dick Sherrer in a 21' Glastron/Molinari powered by 1350 water injected stackers, finishing 10th at Havasu in 1970.

    Bill Wiles in an 18' Seajay with a pair of Evinrudes winning the 1970 Elsinore 500. This boat gave us a quick scare at Havasu in 1970. When the race was stopped after the 1st lap on saturday and our boats came back to the pits, Jim Merten said that Wiles had gone by him like he was tied to a buoy and other drivers agreed. We all thought "Oh - Oh !". It turned out that he was quick until the water got a little sloppy, and then all of our stuff went on by him.
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    Last edited by willabee; 01-05-2006 at 01:00 PM.

  6. #36
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    If you look at the picture of Kitson just above your post, you will see that the white bathtubs I am referring to are Evinrudes. I've always thought that any picture of Kenny in or near a boat, that boat should be powered by Mercury.



    Quote Originally Posted by Old fiberglass
    The two white bath tubs are removable cowls~engine fairings. They were either came with the boat or were an accessory, not sure which. Not sure how it worked on a twin though. Kenny was looking for a cowl last time I talked to him.
    Last edited by willabee; 01-11-2006 at 10:45 AM.

  7. #37
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    Thanks for the shot of Gene Lanham in the Roaring 100. Gene was one of the most underrated drivers ever.Gene just never got rattled he just kept on coming. I was also in that race in SE class. I won after Bobby Krell broke the bow off his Checkmate/Evinrude out in the ocean off Key Largo on Sunday. Too bad for him since he had a huge time gap on me from Saturday(I got lost) that all he had to do was keep me in sight. That strategy was working until his bow came up and hit him in the face. I spent the rest of the race pushing hard and waiting for him to pass me in the smoother water of the bay. I quite surprised to find out what had happened behind me.

  8. #38
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    Parker 9 Hour - 1970


    This race was significant in that it was the 8th running of the event and the 1st time outboards won.....unfortunately, they were powered by OMC I don't recall exactly what happened to our team boats, but, result wise, we were almost no-shows. The 21' Glastron/Molinari out of Glastron finished 6th using 1350 stackers and the first team boat was Bill Petty in an 18' Jones, also with 1350 stackers, coming in 8th.

    Jim Merten in a triple Jones was very strong early, but then started to miss-fire. We changed a lot of stuff, but didn't fix the problem and finally put him on the trailer. After the race, I believe we discovered the problem was water clogging all three fuel filters ( you never look for simple fixes during a race ). Billy Don Pruett ran the 21' Molinari ( the Havasu winner later that year ) with a pair of modified 1350 stackers. If memory serves, these powerheads had the intake and exhaust porting that was ultimately used on the Twister. We didn't get much time on the powerheads at this race because he kept blowing BP gearcases. While we were replacing gearcases, he would walk off to talk "super-star" with someone. I'd have to go find him and tell him we were ready to race again. On one such trip, Pruett told me he wasn't going back out because he was too far behind and nothing was going to change his mind. I said " Hey big boy, you're running super secret stuff and we need time on it ". I remember that sh-t eating grin he got on his face when he said " why didn't you say so in the 1st place, let's get at it " ( he loved running something that no one else had ). I'm going to need some help to jog my memory about what happened to the rest of our boats.

    Here's a couple of shots of the winning DeSilva driven by Allan Stinson and Jerry Wallin. Note in the 2nd picture that it used a single pipe exhaust system.
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    Last edited by willabee; 12-07-2010 at 12:41 PM.

  9. #39
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    Parker 9 Hour - 1970


    A very unusual and almost comical incident took place at the end of this race. After over 700 miles on this winding 13 mile course and 9 hours of racing, the lead 3 boats come into view on the back straightaway at the same time! Stinson in the DeSilva, Ron Hill in an Hallett hydro with twin Evinrudes and Bob Witt in a 21' Glastron/Molinari with twin Johnsons. When they get to the last turn, Stinson turns first but goes in too hot and is forced to swing way wide. Hill tried to turn inside of him, but hooks and almost gets tossed from the boat. This caused his kill switches to disconnect and he goes dead in the turn. Witt tried to turn inside of Hill, but spun out and did get thrown out of his rig! I figured Stinson was going to end up on shore with that wide turn, so for a moment I thought " Hell, we're going to win this thing yet

    Well, Stinson got straightened out and comes in 1st, Hill connects his kill switches and comes in 2nd and Witt swims back to his boat in time to finish 3rd ........what a finish!!!!!

    Here's a shot a the 2nd and 3rd place finishers........
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    Last edited by willabee; 10-16-2017 at 11:02 AM.

  10. #40
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    Parker 9 Hour - 1970


    Johnny Sanders finished this race in 4th place driving a 21' Molinari with twin Johnsons and Jimbo McConnell finished 5th in a DeSilva with twin Evinrudes.......he probably would have been in that mix at the end, but he lost several laps due to dead batterys.

    Here are a couple of shots of Jimbo.........that boat sure was designed a lot different than the one Stinson drove.
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    Last edited by willabee; 10-16-2017 at 11:03 AM.

  11. #41
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    I can't give you his name, but a hint is.......he's bald, old and responds if you call him "Boob"


    Quote Originally Posted by mbd29
    Willabee: I have kept that secret all these years and now you let the cat out of the bag. Who told you?

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by willabee
    Here are a couple of shots of Jimbo.........that boat sure was designed a lot different than the one Stinson drove.
    Because #33 was finished by DeSilva and #31 was finished by Russ Hill Sr., Jimbo McConnell's dad and Rod Zapf after being abandoned by OMC at the DeSilva factory ....

    After it screamed so fast at Parker (first outboard to lead Parker) ... Kiekhaefer tried to buy it and OMC ended up buying it back

    Here's a link to one of the posts where Ron talks about it
    Last edited by Mark75H; 01-11-2006 at 04:53 PM.

  13. #43
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    I remember that "checkerboard" at Parker. First time I saw it, it was on the trailer and I thought to myself "Man that's ugly, wonder how it runs". I also remember thinking how much prettier it got when I saw how it ran down the backstretch - 1968 ( maybe 1969 )
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark75H
    After it screamed so fast at Parker (first outboard to lead Parker) ... Kiekhaefer tried to buy it and OMC ended up buying it back
    Last edited by willabee; 01-12-2006 at 09:44 AM.

  14. #44
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    Just wanted to say thanks to Willabee for taking the time to write down and share some of Mercury's racing history with us. I'm really enjoying it. Thanks - Rick Connolly

  15. #45
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    Thanks, glad you're enjoying

    Havasu Outboard World Championships - 1968

    This race really sent signals to everyone that major changes were about to take place in outboard racing. Yes, Kenny Kitson won it with a 18' Switzer Wing and stacked 1250 cross flows, a combination that people expected to see compete for the win. However, 2nd and 3rd overall was taken by a pair of single engine Molinari's......Cesare Scotti with an Evinrude and Carlo Rasini with a Merc 1250 BP. Tom Stickle was actually 1st overall for a while in another Molinari with one of the four new direct charge 1350's ( soon to be named a 1250 Super BP ) Mercury raced for the first time. Additionally, twin engine V bottoms finished 4th and 5th overall, the last time this combination would finish that well at a major event. The Tunnels........they were a comin'

    #T-10 - Ken Kalibat - Glastron with ( I think ) 1250 BP's finishing 4th
    #T-82 - Bill Combs ( co-owner of Checkmate Boat Co. ) - Checkmate / 1250 BP's
    finishing 5th
    Note: In my picture, I can see louvered wrap arounds on the Checkmate....they were made for the 1350's, but we had several extras and we loaned them to other Merc drivers - first time they were seen.
    Quote Originally Posted by Old fiberglass
    Just wanted to say thanks to Willabee for taking the time to write down and share some of Mercury's racing history with us. I'm really enjoying it. Thanks - Rick Connolly
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