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Thread: Joe Micielini

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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Joe Micielini

    I never met Joe. Seems he was quite a racer. I heard, when he died, he was in the cockpit of his F Hydro, in his shop. There are many people, I'd like to know more about.

    Bernie Bergen:
    Kinda like Joe Micielini's 9 carb looper - my photo from Kaukauna kilos back in maybe '76.
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    Team Member ProHydroRacer's Avatar
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    Found this on line.....
    How To Build an Air Marine Special Racing Boat Plans
    How to Build Plans Old Vintage Plans Old Vintage Magazine Boat Plans How To Build an Air Marine Special Racing Boat Plans

    How To Build an Air Marine Special Racing Boat Plans
    Joe Michelini, nationally famous competition speed boat designer-builder and driver, tells you in step-by-step description with dimensioned plans how to build his class F racing hydroplane with which he won the APBA Class F national title in 1958. All of the latest professional racing-hull design data gained from 25 years of experience are incorporated in these boat plans.
    TYPE: Two-point, prop rider competition racing hydro plane for use in Class F outboard races sanctioned under American Power Boat Association.
    LENGTH: 140 1/2 in.
    WIDTH: 76 in. max. at sponsons.
    WEIGHT: Approx. 275 lbs. less motor and fuel.
    SPEED: 85+ mph setup for competition racing. Unofficially clocked at 90 mph on a straight-a-way run.
    CAPACITY: One driver-CONSTRUCTION: Plywood planking over wooden frame-work.
    MOTOR: Mercury, Mark 75H Class F. 6-cylinder racing motor using alcohol fuel. Lower unit has 1: 1 gear ratio.
    PROPELLER: Mercury special two blade, surfacing type steel racing wheel.
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    Team Member ProHydroRacer's Avatar
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    Joe Michelini had a big boat shop on the Southside of Chicago, in a very bad neighborhood. He told me once that he would be worth millions, if the shop was located somewhere else. Years later he move his shop near Midway Airport and died a few years after that.
    He was a hell of a nice guy. I bought my first lifejacket, helmet, and all the Keller hardware for my first built race boat from him. For a few years he had a booth at the Chicago Boat Show where he sold Michigan propellers.
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    Team Member zul8tr's Avatar
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    " Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead" Ben Franklin

    Location: SW Orlando, Fl
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    J-Dub J-Dub's Avatar
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    I have that engine. Steve Litzell is putting sleeves in it now. Rumored to be the only remaining 66" Looper. I am not sure I am brave enough to run all 9 carbs...
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    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Tim Butts and Joe Michelini hooked up in late 1976 or early 1977. We were at the Eastern Divisionals at Springfield, Illinois in 1977 when I was watching Joe test his looper. It locked up on him and he leaned hard left, then as the boat started to slow he leaned left again, then once more and I later figured it out that he was practicing. It was the first time I had met Joe, although I had heard his name for many years and knew who he was. I don't recall if I asked why he leaned like he did, or he just came out and told me. Joe had a pitot tube on his left sponson which he monitored. His cabover was set up to run flat and the boat running clean. If it started to lift, then the pitot tube would lose pressure and he would immediately know. He also told me that if the motor locked up that the torque would cause him to flip. His answer to that was to immediately lean as hard as he could to the left to keep his cabover from flipping. As is turned out, during the race, his motor did lock up and he got dumped. Don't recall why I was not in the race, except we had gone back to electric fuel pumps and we had problems.


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    Default Bob Brown, Several Time C Stock Hydro Driver

    The story I heard was the Bob Brown drove a Charlton Hydro, the fast you went the more it lift, til you blew over backward. Bod finally, installed a water line pick up on the sponson fin. This line "Peed" water as long as it was in the water, the second, it quit "PEEING" Bob jumped forward to keep from "Blowing Over".

    The 36 Runabout guys always tried to run as high as you could get without running out of water, because it was faster. What I did is install a "PEE HOLE" to the motor and run it to spray on my throttle hand. I figured when the water got too hot, it was time to back off. So, I'd jack that sucker up to the moon, and go down the straight away like "Jack the Bear". At the first turn, it would get water and off I'd go again, if the water started getting hot at the end of the straight away, I'd back off, get the boat to take a bounce or two and get back on it.

    After winning several races in "THE TURTLE EXPRESS", Dan Schwarzenbach came to me and said, "You usually win, B,C, D Runabout and C and D Hydro. Why do you need to win 36?" I sold the "TURTLE EXPRESS" the next week. 36 was a great class in California.
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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Only 40 Years ago! How Did I Miss Him?

    Quote Originally Posted by Master Oil Racing Team View Post
    Tim Butts and Joe Michelini hooked up in late 1976 or early 1977. We were at the Eastern Divisionals at Springfield, Illinois in 1977 when I was watching Joe test his looper. It locked up on him and he leaned hard left, then as the boat started to slow he leaned left again, then once more and I later figured it out that he was practicing. It was the first time I had met Joe, although I had heard his name for many years and knew who he was. I don't recall if I asked why he leaned like he did, or he just came out and told me. Joe had a pitot tube on his left sponson which he monitored. His cabover was set up to run flat and the boat running clean. If it started to lift, then the pitot tube would lose pressure and he would immediately know. He also told me that if the motor locked up that the torque would cause him to flip. His answer to that was to immediately lean as hard as he could to the left to keep his cabover from flipping. As is turned out, during the race, his motor did lock up and he got dumped. Don't recall why I was not in the race, except we had gone back to electric fuel pumps and we had problems.
    I'm sorry to say, I never met Joe. 1977, I was just getting into MOD VP, business, kids and teaching school. Little time for travel. I did help promote the Yamato Outboard classes. Tom Ige and I hit all the boat shows together. I sold more Yamato 80's than Tommy and he was the distributor.

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    I have not known Joe personally, but heard about him a lot.
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    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    It shouldn't be a surprise to have known about Joe Michelini and his Aeromarine company and never met him. I had known his reputation years before I ever met him. The only reason I ever met Joe was because Tim Butts built him an Aerowing and Joe wanted it to win the UIM OD World Championships at Dayton, Ohio in 1977. Tim won it in Joe Michelini's V-8 boat. Tim had never raced any classes larger than B until the prelude to the OD World Championships. Tim Butts first drove a "D" hydro in 1972. My Dad Baldy wanted to buy boats built by Tim, but Tim wouldn't build us any AB boats. He built one for Johnny Dortch, Jimmy Scoponich, and I think John Yale, but he told my Dad he wanted to build us a CDF boat. But first he needed to drive one to feel the power and the speed and lift.

    Tim drove our 12-8 Marchetti to get the feel, then designed a Butts Aerowing pickelfork that he thought would work. Tim delivered our first Butts Aerowing at Alex in 1972. I was high point hydro driver at that race because of the handling of that Aerowing. In 1973 the Aerowings were so dominant that Tim became a full time boat builder in all classes from A to F.

    Fast forward to 1977. I would have to talk to Tim to recall all the stuff regarding Joe Michelini and this UIM World Championship, but it was a time when Joe got revived and wanted to move out of the crime ridden area where he lived and had a warehouse full of boats. Clyde and charlotte Queen, Ray Hardy. and I would say Bill Kurps would be the most likely to fill in on Joe's warehouse and all the boats and motors he had stored there. Joe had offered to trade Tim his place in Chicago with Tim's house and property in Romeo, North of Michigan. Tim went to look, but when Joe told him the procedure to get into the door safely, Tim already decided NO. But he wanted to look at Joe's stuff. I've always wondered what became of the Michelini collection because from what Tim told me what he saw was beyond amazing.

    Now back to the 1977 UIM OD World Championships with Tim Butts driving Joe Michelinin's V8 Butts Aerowing. It was the PRO Eastern Divisionals at Springfield, Illinois. Joe was there and drove his F hydro cabover. I described what happened in an earlier post.
    This was Tim Butts first race as a prelude to the UIM OD World Championships. We crapped out with a bum electric fuel pump, but Tim and Dan and Jerry Kirts had some spirited races. Seems like there might have been some controversy in one heat that went to the judges stand, but in the end Tim Butts was the 700cc (OD) Eastern Division champ. Dan Kirts told Tim that he was an AB driver and shouldn't be driving classes that fast.

    Tim ended up winning the UIM OD World Championships in 1977 with Joe Michelini's V8 Butts Aerowing. Next was the APBA National Championships at Hinton, West Virginia. Tim did not enter the race. Joe Michelini wanted Tim to drive a motor that Tim didn't want to. Been too long ago to remember. Joe took back the V8 boat and as far as I can remember, Tim only drove it at two races.

    Bill Kurps is the best person I can think of that may be able to fill in more gaps as to what happened to all the boats and motors.



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