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Thread: Elgin T. Gates: Seaboard Marine Boat Racer Owner of "John Wayne's House"

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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Elgin T. Gates: Seaboard Marine Boat Racer Owner of "John Wayne's House"

    This is why Needles is called Needles, Elgin Gates loved Needles.
    Last edited by Ron Hill; 12-03-2013 at 05:37 PM.

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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Elgin T. Gates

    Elgin loved Needles. He and his wife, Dolly owned the Needles Trading Post. They sold boats and motors, Elgin did gas welding on aluminum. My dad would send Elgin Evinrude and Johnson gas tanks to Elgin to have him weld them, as my dad said, "Elgin was the best welder there is." That was before heliarc was invented.
    Last edited by Ron Hill; 12-03-2013 at 05:35 PM.

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    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    I loved the short time we spent in Needles Ron. The whole trip out there was spectacular from the Texas Hill Country all the way to Topock and Needles. Once I get through 1968 on the Baldy's thread, Needles is the first up in 1969.

    I knew a couple of welders that could do aluminum, and they had patience and a steady hand. From what I remember is that everything had to be CLEAN, and they had to know how to dial down the spark. I never knew what kind of rod either of them knew because I was just starting racing, and they were doing stuff for my Dad. They took the time to explain things, but I can remember lots of times at my Dad's shop and others where we put up a hand to shield our eyes when they were welding steel, looked part way in the opposite direction and waited until the undulating blue glow and sparking finished before you could look. I never saw that much aluminum welding, but it did not seem to be so bright and as loud. The dryness of the country probably also helped make it easier to weld aluminum. The guys that can do it without heliarc are true artists.



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    BoatRacingFacts VIP John Schubert T*A*R*T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Oil Racing Team View Post
    I loved the short time we spent in Needles Ron. The whole trip out there was spectacular from the Texas Hill Country all the way to Topock and Needles. Once I get through 1968 on the Baldy's thread, Needles is the first up in 1969.

    I knew a couple of welders that could do aluminum, and they had patience and a steady hand. From what I remember is that everything had to be CLEAN, and they had to know how to dial down the spark. I never knew what kind of rod either of them knew because I was just starting racing, and they were doing stuff for my Dad. They took the time to explain things, but I can remember lots of times at my Dad's shop and others where we put up a hand to shield our eyes when they were welding steel, looked part way in the opposite direction and waited until the undulating blue glow and sparking finished before you could look. I never saw that much aluminum welding, but it did not seem to be so bright and as loud. The dryness of the country probably also helped make it easier to weld aluminum. The guys that can do it without heliarc are true artists.
    One of the best today is Mike Schmidt, a true artist as well. I know of several Loopers that were in many pieces that were returned to running engines that he did. I know I had one of them.

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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default !953 Mercury Truck


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    BoatRacingFacts VIP John Schubert T*A*R*T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Hill View Post
    I'd love to have that truck for meets!!!!!!

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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Elgin T. Gates Was A Legend in The Hill Family

    Elgin made the trip in from Needles with several boxes of motor parts. One box had an Evinrude "C" Service and the other boxes had an Evinrude "M". The third box had gearcases. Elgin wanted my dad to build him a "C" Service and an "M" to run for records in Seattle. My dad looked at the stuff and told Elgin is was a pretty sorry looking mess, but he'd work on it for him. Elgin picked both motors up on the way to Devil's Lake and paid my dad good money to fix the motors, probably $20, $30 bucks. Now where it get confused if this was 1947 or 1953. I'm going with 1947, because...
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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default The Reason it was 1947

    In May, 1947, I was three. There was a race at Havasu Landing California. My dad's '37 Plymouth over heated at the top of that last long hill before you drop into Needles. While we were letting the Plymouth cool off, Ralph DeSilva and his wife stopped to offer assistance. Ralph's wife was pregnant with their daughter. For whatever reason, I never met the daughter u ntil the DePue Reunion 2007. (Roughly 60 years later).

    That weekend, my dad's Johnson P50 broke a crank and my dad stopped racing C Service. My dad told his friends he had blown his C Serive all to hell. For the next two years, I was requested to tell everyone who would listen that, "My dad had blown his C Service all to hell." I enjoyed telling the story. I enjoy telling stories today!

    Elgin only raced hydros, M and C Service (Both poor man's classes). While Elgin was up at Devil's Lake breaking the M Hydro and C Sevice HYdro records with the engine my dad built him, he met Doc Jones. Doc was looking for a mechanic and he offered Elgin a job.

    Elgin came home and sold the Needles Trading Post. Now Jimbo McConnell tells me that he remembers going into the Needles Trading Post, with his dad, who was the mayor of Needles, on hot days and smelling the varnish on Speedliner boats. Jmbo saide he'd put his cheek on th deck and imagine driving a race boat...he was 4 years old.

    Elgin and his wife only stayed in Washington for about two years.

    Doc Jones was the Mercury Distributor in Washington, but sold the business and was buying the Evinrude and Johnson Distributorhsip for the western states and was moving to Phoenix. Doc told Elgin that a Mercury Distributorship was opening up on Southern California and he should buy it.

    Elgin came to southern California and asked my dad to go in partners with him in the distributorship. I have heard what the price of the distributorship was but have forgotten. But I think the distributorship was $35,000. What I do know is Elgin wanted my dad to buy into the business for $5,000, this was 1953.
    Last edited by Ron Hill; 12-06-2013 at 09:45 PM.

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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Tripas y sangre

    Blood and Guts: Mexico 1953 with Elgin Gates
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