Karl Williams to Ted Abel Part 4.



In the late 40s and early 50s the Johnson SR was primarily run on hydros. (B hydro) The SR on a runabout (B runabout) was never a class listed in the APBA books. The B runabout class in APBA shows up in the 1958 manual in very small numbers. In 1960 things got more serious as an Anzani set the first records.




The SR on a runabout was a popular class in the Niagara Falls area wrapping around the lake to Dunkirk, N.Y.(45 miles from Buffalo) They had a lot of boats and racing seemed to be contained in that area. The top driver at the time was Bill Crawford, Niagara Falls, Ontario in his blue and yellow runabout followed by a lot of boats from the U.S. side of the Niagara River. Most notably was Bill Bond's lime green and black runabout towed by his late 40s model Ford painted with the same lime green and black with trailer to match.( this was during the era when they did use lifejackets and helmets. Elimination heats did not exist. If 20-30 boats were in your class they all went out when the class was called to run) (off subject a little - John Laird sent me a magazine several years ago where it showed 200 entered in one class and they all hit the water at the same time on a river - East Coast)





In about 1951 at St. Catherines, Ontario (32 miles from Buffalo, N.Y) a very different looking runabout showed up in the B Runabout class. This thin pointy nosed yellow runabout ran very flat (no bounce) and led the field without much effort. Bill Crawford was in second place and driving hard to move forward when his runabout went over backwards. The driver in the lead boat was Wallace Wood, Hamilton, Ontario not knowing for running alcohol outboard classes. Wallace went on to be Commodore of the Canadian Boating Federation 1960-1963. Sometime after Wallace Wood ran a D stock hydro.





This boat was never seen in the area again. 37 years went by before another thin pointy nose runabout was seen at Green Bay ran by Lee Wanie. It was identical in appearance leading to the conclusion the boat Wallace Wood used must have been a Richardson Slipper. As far as where this real fast SR came from that still is not know for sure. Some 50+ years later I was told Paul Wearly had sold an SR in Canada. Paul may have been the one that told me about the sale himself - I dont know. Regardless, this would explain the exceptionally fast SR showing up for the one race at St. Catherines. John Dertinger, Delhi, Ontario supplied the information that Wallace Woods had sold the boat/engine after that race. No one knows where the equipment ended up.





I do remember Bill Crawford and his crew bringing the wet SR on an engine stand with the prop on, cranking to get the water out and finally starting it on the engine stand to make sure it was OK. (Bill eventually moved from Niagara Falls, Ontario to Florida. Possibly the Tampa Bay area owning/operating a model airplane shop)





Some of the top drivers using the SR on a hydro were Chet Webb, Bill Jones, Bill Bond and Bob Glenney. Glenney moved to a B Konig before retiring.





The SR B runabout went away as a class. The SR on the hydro lasted a little longer. The 1957 APBA Nationals at McKeesport, Pa. was probably the last serious effort for the SR on the hydro. The Merc's and Konigs were faster.





If anyone has any photos and information regarding the equipment and drivers using the SR on the runabout in the early 50s I would appreciate hearing from you. We can always do an update later.

Ron Hill add here: My dad was the motor inspector at the McKeesport Nationals, 1957.