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Thread: Ted May Boat Racer, Mentor to Many!

  1. #71
    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Ted May, APBA 1992 Honor Squadron Inductee

    May's reputation as a driver and powerboat racing authority is familiar to several generations in the U.S. and Europe. His expertise aided countless competitors, novices and veterans. Teaching, advising and showing newcomers what power boat racing is all about, Ted has influenced many young racers, especially in the Stock and Alky classes where he set several APBA and NOA kilo and competition records. He won the A Runabout World Championship in 1965 and 1966, then a national title in B Runabout. When the OPC category arose, Ted was among the first tunnel boat racers. He quickly made his name known in the one to nine-hour endurance events in the U.S. and abroad.

    I never knew Ted was an Honor Squadron member, until I Googled his name today!

    Last edited by Ron Hill; 11-27-2018 at 05:42 PM.

  2. #72
    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Ted May Thread

    I have closed the Ted May thread. If you have something to add, email me at

    Ted May...

    This should go under "Bakersfield Memories" but I wanted to keep it with TED MAY Stories...

    Seems it was the fall of 1963, we'd been to Boston to the Nationals, the Colorado River Marathon was over...about late September or early October it was an LASA race at Bakersfield. (LASA was the Los Angeles Speedboat Club) of which Gloria and Ken Steelman were the heads....

    My folks decided not to go, so I went on my own. As usual, I didn't have any money, so Ted said I could stay with him. Doc Collins took us to dinner and as I recall, I'd never had Osysters on the half shell...but seems I ate about a dozen or more. Doc was always a great host when it came to eating or drinking....and I, in my youth, didn't want to let him down...

    Sunday morning as we we heading for Lake Ming...Ted was wearing shorts and his Skin Diver booties...I was barefoot in cut off Levi's... We were driving Ted's 55 T-Bird... just before we got to the turn off for Ming, we ran over a rattle snake in the road.

    I looked back and told Ted, "We didn't kill it, we'd better go back and kill him." Ted said, "WHY?".... I said, "Man, they are dangerous when they are hurt...".

    So, Ted turns the Bird around and we stop on top of the snake...Ted BURNS out and the snake goes *** over teakettle....but he wiggles off... I say, "We didn't kill him..."

    This snakes keeps wiggling up the hill and we keep running over him and peeling out... Sum bitch doesn't die...Bleeding like hell...

    Ted an d I get out of the T-Bird, by now we are on top of one of those stupid hills by Lake Ming...we start to grab a rock.... then I say, "Wait, he may have brothers around here..."... So, Ted's gets this big rock in his hand and I'm walking backwards, looking for snakes, with my hands in his back no snakes will get us...Ted smashes the snakes head...we haul out for the T-bird. we go down the hill about a hundred...

    We get to the pits, everyone wants to know what hell were we doing on top of that stupid hill....we say, "Killing snakes"....

    Some AMAZING NAMES...Ted May In Mexico

    Ted May and Gene Maynard went to this race In Mexico, in Ted's 55 T-Bird. Ted pulled a triple deck trailer with that T-Bird, when he bought a Ford truck, the Bird had more than 200,000 miles...Gene raced DU, and lived here in Costa Mesa, two blocks from where I live, now.

    Ted, looks so young in that one picture. Ted was SoCal's Racing STAR. Everyone loved Ted and Ted's stories. Like I said before, he went to more of my high school football games and practices than my dad. He was more of kid, than us kids...

    He thought he'd won MILLIONS in MEXICO but when he cashed in the pesos, he didn't get much. Even though Ted always liked to race for money, I know he raced hundreds of heats for a small trophy. He was always very proud of his George Townsend Medal for most points in Alky (PRO) APBA...

    Ted did have a temper and once it went off, usually, it would take several hours or a day, sometimes two days, for him to cool off.

    His brother had been murdered by some guys that had followed his brother home from a bar, and as a result Ted never really drank....and if he'd have a beer or two, you couldn't tell if he was playing or was "DRUNK as a SKUNK"... I always felt he could hold his liquor...but maybe he wasn't acting...

    He always called us "YOUNG GUYS" WINOS when we'd drink beer....Ted would usually keep an eye open for all us "YOUNG GUYS" when we were having a few beers...He was like a "Designated Driver" before there was such a thing...And he'd usully buy more than his share of beers.

    One Wednesday or Thursday night, in 1968, we were heading to Parker. Ted, my fraternity brother Smitty, Jimmy Hauenstein and me...As we were leaving Indio, I bought a case of Coors. Ted said, "You Winos can drink, I'll drive". I had a '68 Chevy wagon with the High Performance 350. Ted just floors it, like it was his T-Bird and we roll up that hill out of Indio going about a hundred...

    There are no cars on the road, and when we hit the top of the hill, Ted keeps her floored and we're going down hill at about 125 MPH. (Flat desert road). All of a sudden we catch up with a car, Ted "FLYS" around the guy who is going may 50, as we flash past I realize it is a CHP California Highway Patrol) ......The COP must have figured we'd crash somewhere down the road, then he wouldn't have to chase us.....but he never even turned on his lights, Ted never let up....the headlights just seemed to back up and disappear over the horizon....

    I told Ted, "Damn, the cop ain't chasing us...slow down so we can drink our beer without being scared to death..."

    Last edited by Ron Hill; 12-06-2018 at 03:10 PM.

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