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Thread: Dick "Grubby" Sidor The Prop Man from Michigan Wheel

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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Dick "Grubby" Sidor The Prop Man from Michigan Wheel

    When I first started my propeller business, I dealt with Lou Lancioni. He ran Michigan Wheel. I started buying "BLANKS" from Michigan. Pop Smith and I were good friends, but he shared my "SECRETS" with everyone. I started making plaster Paris blade molds from props. Lou would send them to "GRUBBY" and "Grubby" would make me some damn nice blanks. By 1977, I learned that "GRUBBY" was Dick Sidor. I had been in the prop business 8 years by then. I can't begin to tell you how many people won races with my props, that Dick Sidor had made my blanks. Sorry for your loss, Tim!

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    Team Member smittythewelder's Avatar
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    Interesting, Ron. When did you start your prop business? Was the original idea just to do outboard racing props or a whole range of racing or pleasure boat props?

    In the winter of '65/'66 I took my only decent prop, an unmodified Michigan 7 X 14 for BSH with gears, down to George Lockhart who was probably our best-known prop-beater at the time. Right away, George warned me that he had found Michigans to be occasionally prone to break during a re-work, and that would have to be my loss. Well, unfortunately he soon called me and said my $36 steel Michigan had broken (leading edge of one blade, right at the root) after only a couple of hits with the hammer. He was very apologetic, but I had no problem with it since he had warned me. Ron, did you find this with Michigans, particularly? I can see where any prop might be more likely to show slight metallurgical defects in this area, where the casting/forging transitions from the thick section of the hub to the thin section of the blade . . .

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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Ron Hill Racing Props started "Officially" In 1969

    Actually, I don't remember when I figured out I could buy stuff and then get my dad to fix it. Then sell it an make money. The Boston Nationals, 1963 was a major turning point in my propeller life.

    In 1962, Doc Collins had given me two Smith CU Kamics. He said, "He made them". Why he said that I don't know. I ended up 2nd in CU at the Nationals in Guntersville that year. I had a habit of pulling on the steering wheel to get off the corners, while leading, the finals, on the final lap, I pulled the dash board out of the boat, which cost me handling and crossed my steering cables. Don Pontius passed me for the win.

    In Guntersville I learned about Pop Smith Props. When I got home from the Nationals, I called Pop Smith and told him I was pretty sure I had two of his CU wheels. Pop said he'd made them for Doc Collins. I ended up sending about 8 wheels to Pop the next day.

    One C Hydro wheel really helped my brother and the Square Hub Kamic helped my DU.

    With a few modifications to my CU boat, I planned to win Boston as I'd picked up a mile with a CU plus a half Kamic. That Pop made just for ME. My boat MODS had gained me another mile an hour.

    In Boston, they lined all the CU's before our race, I recognize 10 CU plus a half KAMICS by Pop Smith. Ed or Jack McCortie had a Michigan, I think and Joe Schule had Ted May's D Stock prop, a 7 1/4 X 14, our Kamics were like 6 3/4 10 1/2.

    Without going into it, I didn't win CU and neither did Joe Schulte. But, Joe was fastest by far and came home and broke the Kilo Record in CU.

    For the next couple of months I thought about Pop Smith. His work was great and prices were good. But I started telling him "Little Whoppers" when I'd send him props. I kept tell I needed faster props, quickness didn't matter. So, early in '64 I was taking Long Course Smith wheels and grinding on them. I rubbed lipstick on like my dad did, and even hammers on some.

    In '64, I built my own CU and broke the Kilo Record by 10%. I also broke the DU kilo record that year and I won the DU Nationals.

    By early '65 I was selling Smith Props, that i had worked on to lots of people at the races. Jimbo bought from me, I'd buit Carl Myers a BU, I sold him 12 Smith Wheels as he had two boats and I always drove one. I sold Smith wheels to Dave Mayer.

    Smitty, when I started my business, I would make a little Plaster Paris blade mold and send it to Lew Lancioni at Michigan Wheel. They gave 40% on my first order which was two props.

    So, for 1969-77 I'd send these pieces of Plaster Pair to Lew and "GRUBBY" would send me props back. We I did several tricks to these castings (Blanks if you will) and they'd gain 1-5 MPH. Grubby, I learned in 1977 with Tim Sidor.
    Last edited by Ron Hill; 6 Days Ago at 05:33 PM.
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