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Thread: Part 26 - George Taylor 11/23/1938 (82) & father Byrne Taylor

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    Default Part 26 - George Taylor 11/23/1938 (82) & father Byrne Taylor

    Byrne and George Taylor’s Racing History

    By George Taylor

    After WWII my dad was looking for something exciting to do. (He was a Navy Flight
    Surgeon during the war) And just by chance, in late 1947 we were out for a family drive
    on a Sunday. And we happened to run across the boat racing that was going on in
    Lakeland, Fla.

    Most “old timers” know that lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland is where most of the 5 mile
    competition records were set during that era. The lake had a 1 2/3 mile course that fit the
    lake perfectly. An 8 turn course was the result. And allowed super fast lap times.

    Dad was "hooked" just from watching! In less than a year, he was racing!
    My dad started me racing M Hydro when I was 8 years old in early 1948.

    My dad bought Joe Swift's entire racing stable, including trailer, when Joe retired to
    concentrate on building hydros for the stock racing boom that was just beginning.
    Swift boats was located in Mount Dora, Fla. And we were only 30 miles away in
    Orlando. So the connection was a natural.
    Later he added some equipment he bought from Doug Creech also played a roll in our
    racing days. In fact the picture of me in Z-2 was one of the boats Dad bought. Doug was
    a Motorcycle Dealer. If my memory is correct, he was from Charlotte, NC. Not only dod
    he race boats, he also raced the Daytona 200 back in the day while the races were using
    about a 2 mile oval, half on the beach and half on pavement.

    I never did much stock outboard racing during my career.
    According to the APBA, stock outboard racing was “amateur” and prize money was not
    paid. So I went the “Pro” route where my dad was racing.

    By the time I was 13 years old I began to treat my racing as a lot more than just a past
    time. I was obsessed with it! My dad and I discovered an organization named
    "Southeastern Boating Association", or SEBA for short. They were headquartered in
    Georgia. And they paid out good purse money. And had LOTS of races that were not too
    far away from us, since we were located in central Florida.
    They raced mainly in Georgia and Alabama.

    So we passed on most of the APBA races during those years to concentrate on SEBA
    races that were closer to home. We basically only did APBA alky races during the "Citrus
    Circuit" which was run in Florida during the winter months.

    My dad was a “Johnson” man. He loved those old race motors. He bought me Mercury’s
    to race in stock outboard events, but he had no interest in stock racing at all.

    He competed in A, B and C Hydro using Johnson KR, SR and PR motors. He also
    competed in C Racing Runabout.
    Over the years dad owned boats from most of the manufacturers including Willis
    runabouts, Desilva runabouts , Fillinger Hydros, Neal Hydros and Swift hydros.

    From 1948 until 1952 I raced M Hydro with an Evanrude motor and a Mishey Hydro.
    Then I switched to Stock Outboards for the next few years. ASH, BSH, AU and BU
    classes. I had a Swift A/B Hydro and a Sid Craft A/B “bathtub” runabout.

    Dad and I became friends with a guy named Archie Golson that was stationed at the
    Orlando Air Force base. Archie did some stock racing but he was mainly involved in
    modified to alky Mercurys that he was racing in SEBA in Ga and Ala after he was restationed
    to Maxwell AFB in Montgomery.

    This is when dad and I discovered SEBA racing. We got hooked real quick. Good prize
    money and classes for dad and I both. All I had to do was modify my Mercurys for alky
    and I was good to go.

    Dad had good success in SEBA events and so did I. I won the SEBA Overall Hi Point
    Championship along with Hi Points in five classes in 1956.
    This was a huge turning point in my career. These successes led to my being selected by
    Deter Konig to race Konigs in the US.

    This is how it came about:

    Lake Haar near Savannah, Ga. This was a man made lake produced by damming up a
    river. It was a “bullring” of a racing lake. Kinda like racing ½ mile tracks. Lots o’ contact
    going on.

    That is where I first met Deter Konig. And that led to my association with Deter and the
    importer, Scott Smith, in Dallas, Ga. Deter left me three engines when he went back to
    Germany. Told me to take then back to Scott Smith when they needed work. But that
    never happened. When Walt Blankenstein saw the motors he said “oh my”. Walt
    contacted Scott Smith and became a dealer. Now I was treated to the extra speed that
    Walt did for my engines. Walt and I both won! Gave me engines I could win with quite
    often and brough new customers for Walt to sell Konig's to. It was a win/win deal!

    This really opened the door for me ---

    Deter was "spot on" when he said the "tough guys" were in SEBA.

    But what a lot of the guys of today didn't know was why SEBA was so competitive.
    Very simple answer! They paid damn good money at all their races!

    The minimum was $20, 15, 10 and 5 in each heat at most races. Meanwhile, the APBA
    was doing lots of stock outboard races all over the country.
    The Florida "citrus circuit" was still around in the winter. but NOA and SEBA was where
    the money was.

    That's the whole reason my Dad and I were racing SEBA. They paid "hard cash"! And we
    were racing 20 or more weekends a year in Georgia and
    Alabama mostly. With a few races in Fla that my dad helped organize. I was racing an
    average of 5 classes at every event during 56,57 and 58.

    Those were fantastic times!!! But, being so young then, I never fully realized that fact
    until many years later!

    In the late 50's I concentrated on APBA alky racing as I wanted a chance at setting some
    records. And I did.
    Won the APBA alky A Hydro championship in '58. Then, in '59 I set the World 5 mile
    competition record in A Hydro at 60.060mph.
    And also set an NOA A hydro straightaway record of 71 mph.

    Then my Dad was killed racing on Lake Lloyd at the Daytona International Speedway on
    June 14, 1959.

    That altered my life's path considerably.
    The end result is that I spent the next 30 plus years of my life roadracing motorcycles.

    I’m retired and I’ve begun to collect items from my boat racing past. And I’m having lots
    of fun doing it. It’s my “re berth” from my roots.

    George Taylor
    Thanks crewman060, Master Oil Racing Team thanked for this post

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    Default george taylor

    always wondered why dad looked at my cycle news.who was the other doc from central fla who raced into mid '60's?i remember we passed him going south to Jax,to grandparents place and Dad said their they go to Green pond Sc to race.He left late on Sunday to see them going south and became upset when he did not see the Caddy,with hydroplane on top, go by.found out later he was hurt at the race.Apparently,way before i was born ,you came up and raced in Savannah,Ga,at Haar and on at Love's on the river.And what most do not know,before Roberts and Dale Singleton,you road raced in europe.

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