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Thread: Jimbo McConnell--The Wizard of OZ

  1. #11
    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Jimbo was Born and Raised in Needles...

    Jimbo's only brother, that I know of, is named Pete...but everyone still calls him "Bubba"...The name Jimbo gave him when he, Jimbo, was about three...

    Pete is 64 years old, and has worked on the Santa Fe Railroad for 46 years. He races blow jets on the IHBA Drag Boat Series...He raced kneel downs for awhile until he was hurt. He got a broken pelvis from a D Hydro accident...After that, he seemed to favor Jet Boats. He has a Classic twin engine jet Sleek Craft and about 14 other boats at his shop in Needles...Pete also collects cars, he has a 1938 Ford Roadster, and about 5 Classic Pontiacs.

    I'm not postive Jimbo was born in Needles, but I know he was there when he was three....

    Spent two enjoyable evenings over the Thanksgiving Holidays with Cathy and Jimbo...Claims he is working on a book, as he doesn't want me taking pictures of his pictures, but........we'll see!!!

    Can't even begin to retell the stories we told, as they took two days to tell...I could tell how Jimbo got arrested in Illinois for not having Illinois plates or and Illinois driver's license.....but it ain't that good of a story!!!

    The judge let him go!!!! (But Jimbo was late for work that day)...
    Last edited by Ron Hill; 07-29-2018 at 04:22 PM.

  2. #12
    Team Member Jimbo Boat 191's Avatar
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    Default Born in.....

    Okay, here's the answer to the last question........Jimbo was
    not only Born in the USA, he is one of the few,of his age group,
    born in downtown NEEDLES, CALIFORNIA. When he is sitting
    on his patio now, he can see the building that use to be the
    hospital where he was born, (now the BNSF railroad offices).
    Where his house sits, near the river, was where he and some
    of his friends roamed around doing whatever boys do, or did,
    when they were growing up in Needles. If he looks out to the
    left of where he was born, you can see the Needles Cemetery.
    According to Jimbo, he can sit and see where he was born
    and where he will be buried..........the nickname of his house
    is "Casa of Many Miles"............it has taken many miles to come, full
    circle, back to his (and Cathy's) roots.
    I'm not so sure about some of the "stories" Ronnie remembers,
    and tells............some are true........some are questionable.......
    how much do you want to believe from a guy that can't even
    remember being in Jimbo and Cathy's wedding in 1967 ????

  3. #13
    Team Member Jimbo Boat 191's Avatar
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    Default Ref. Post #12

    P.S.----Forgot to comment on Post #12----
    The boat (#14) is one of the first of the second
    series of pickle-forked Scotti's. The picture was
    made in Bristol, England, at the Embassy Grand Prix
    in 1973 near the docks in downtown Bristol. Shortly after this pic.
    was taken..........there was a BIG "OOPS" and a
    VERY BIG splash........it barrel-rolled in the bottom
    turn. Condition of the boat wasn't too bad,
    Condition of Jimbo was a cut on the foot and a
    very WET ego. The lesson was learned, however,
    on HOW to turn a Scotti pickle-fork and Jimbo
    NEVER barrel-rolled another one. Jimbo still ended
    up 5th Overall for Formula I in the race.

  4. #14
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    Default More on post #12 & #20

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo Boat 191
    P.S.----Forgot to comment on Post #12----
    The boat (#14) is one of the first of the second
    series of pickle-forked Scotti's. The picture was
    made in Bristol, England, at the Embassy Grand Prix
    in 1973 near the docks in downtown Bristol. Shortly after this pic.
    was taken..........there was a BIG "OOPS" and a
    VERY BIG splash........it barrel-rolled in the bottom
    turn. Condition of the boat wasn't too bad,
    Condition of Jimbo was a cut on the foot and a
    very WET ego. The lesson was learned, however,
    on HOW to turn a Scotti pickle-fork and Jimbo
    NEVER barrel-rolled another one. Jimbo still ended
    up 5th Overall for Formula I in the race.
    Jimbo, I don't think Scotti made very many pickle-forks and few made in over to North America. If I remember you had one here in N. A. that ended up in Canada driven by Sid Goddard. That one totally blew apart as Sid was coming into "the fountain corner" in Peterborough.
    Here are 2 pictures of your Goat Boats...boy were they one of a kind.
    In Peterborough 1973 two more laps and I think you would have passed Hering in the pickle fork Molinari. In Toronto 1974 you were amazing.
    Although I was always a Merc guy, you were my favourite driver.
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  5. #15
    Team Member Jimbo Boat 191's Avatar
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    Default Thanks, Peter

    Thanks for the nice words, Peter. You are right....the
    Goat Boats were pretty special. I remember the
    Toronto race very well........got to bring some of
    those "Canadian" dollars back home......
    The Peterborough race was one of my all-time
    favorites, especially when I got a 2-lap late
    start because the engine wouldn't start. You are
    right, I just needed a couple of more laps.......
    Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!!

  6. #16
    Team Member mintominto's Avatar
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    Default 1973 Roll

    Found this in an old Embassy Grand Prix programme the other day.
    Looks like it might be the barrel-roll described earlier in post 20.
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    Thanks arizgladiator thanked for this post

  7. #17
    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Not Much Help...

    July 1968 Powerboat magazine...Hmmm..Needles, Arizona???
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  8. #18
    Team Member russhill's Avatar
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    Default More Jimbo

    I probably have nothing to add to the history of this great gentleman, but I'm going to anyway. I had mentioned this before but here I go again.

    My Late Wife got Jimbo started in boat racing. He showed up at a little race we were having at Needles with deserted-dilapidated boat and an engine note quite that good. He had just sold a motorcycle and had $13 and wanted to race. With entry fee, club dues, APBA, etc., it cost a lot more than that to enter you first race. Judy who was the registrar reviewed the pocketful of wrinkled bills and said, "just exactly enough." And the rest is history.

    He lived with my dad and Ron for a year or so when he went to college before he got drafted and had to go to Viet Nam. By then he had graduated slightly above his desert ****-box boat.

    Two things my dad said and did for Jimbo was: 1. He told me "that boy is never going to make it as a boat racer." 2. Man dad also told Charlie Strang, when Charlie asked him about a good team driver, for the OMC racing team, my dad didn't hesitate --Jimbo Mc Connell. And the rest of that is also history. (There was some time in between.)

    My personal favorite occurred at Blue Water, Parker, AZ, at the site of the start and finish of the Parker 9-Hour that Jimbo won 3 times in a row. Well, anyway this was long before his involvement with the OMC team. I raced D Stock Hydyo (and several other classes). I was never very good, but consistent and was generally on the podium. Of course I beat Jimbo--he wasn't really a contender. Well this time at Parker he beat me and after the race pulled in right next to me and jumped out of his boat in armpit deep water and asked me if he’d done anything wrong or dirty. I said, no Jimbo you just beat my ***.

    Jimbo lives about 3 houses from my niece’s (Ron’s daughter) river house and I see him once or twice a year. We always hug and cry.
    Likes Beachcomer liked this post

  9. #19
    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Jimbo, Jimmy Dawe and Glen Chambers

    I was looking at this picture, that is Jimbo next to Jimmy Dawe...But that is Glen Chambers, I think, behind them...All three were Needles Boat Racers...
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  10. #20
    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Marathon of Champions: Long Beach 1971

    Ted May and Jimbo ran second to Mike Wallace.
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