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Thread: An Amazing Story: Part 3

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    Sam Cullis Mark75H's Avatar
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    Default An Amazing Story: Part 3

    We pick up where Wayne left off on An Amazing Story: Part2

    New posts for the thread will run here and I'll make a simplified cover thread to direct viewers to the earlier sections instead of cluttering up the forum with stuck threads. The threads stuck at the top will only be the current running thread and the cover thread.
    Since 1925, about 150 different racing outboards have been made.


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    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Default Sorry that it's taken so long....

    ...I only have to finish up 1980, then do 1981 with a few extra comments. I was sure Part 2 would be enough, but we got into some interesting sidebars.

    To continue the race at Yelm quoting from my notes. "I had debated about changing the lower unit before the first heat, but knowing how a change untested can effect a racing boat, I left the (this) one on it. I didn't feel like switching between heats because of the miserable weather although I knew the failure rate would be very high because of the abuse in the first heat. I didn't change oil either." I could kick myself for not getting out there and changing it, but that's the way it was. The 1:1 lower units were the ones that gave us the most problems.

    Dick Rautenberg broached his boat coming into the start of heat 2. Dick was a very good driver so I suspect something gave up. Normally the race would have been stopped so I slowed down looking for the black flags. They didn't come out and I didn't get on full power until after crossing the starting line.

    I got to the first turn in a very vulnerable position to get wet down, but I checked the other boats out and stayed inside. I tip-toed through the turn and came out fourth or fifth. I accelerated out of the turn and passed most of the ones ahead of me. I overtook the second place boat just before turn three. My pipes got jammed while I was chasing the leader Howard Anderson. As hard as I had been pounding down those corners, the bracket or something moved to the point that I could not slide pipes anymore. I had figured on passing Howard on the back straight on lap three. I didn't know where "Fireball" de Souza was but I knew that a first and a third would beat two seconds. So I pressed hard to catch and pass Howard.

    Just before entering the first turn on lap three something didn't feel right. A quarter way through the turn the motor revved up as if I sheared a pin. I immediately eased off the throttle and it felt as if the pressed on gear had spun on the drive shaft then welded itself to the drive shaft. The prop grabbed and the motor was again under a load. I applied more throttle and gingerly came out of the turn and made it down the back straight. I didn't know at the time that de Souza had lost a plug wire and was cruising in last place. Had I known that I would have not pushed so hard and would have been running just hard enough to keep everything together and enough points to win. I could have won the nationals with just a fifth place. The unit might have given up anyway but pushing hard just made it happen sooner. As I was coming up on the exit bouy of turn four and close to beginning the final lap, the unit gave up. It cost me a national championship, but I give that up for the ride I got in the first heat.



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    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Default Debbie still cooks Richard....

    ....and it's good. Next time she stirs up some Johnsonville italian sausages with sauteed peppers and onions, I'll take pictures and give the recipe. Really good.

    The next day we had the 48mm carb 700cc motor on Vibora de Cascabel for a record attempt. We still had Marshall Grant's D with us, which I think at that time was still the more powerful engine, but we could not shut off the water. I think it was coming between the sleeve and block at an exhaust port and not at one of the heads.

    I got a good start this time but the motor wouldn't accelerate very good. Going into turn one on lap three the water hose came off the front cylinders and it lost power. I checked over my right shoulder to make sure I didn't cut in front of anyone and drove straight ahead into the pits where we began swapping back to Marshall's old "F". We had previously put on another 1:1 lower unit on it. We had just completed rigging it up in time for the record attempt.

    We had our Kilo Seebold D wheel on it which worked good when the pipes could slide, but we weren't able to free the pipes enough to be assurred they would work underway. So we tied them all the way forward. It accelerated very slowly with this setup, but we had no choice as we needed top end. I got a great start and ended up with a new 1 1/4 mile record at 84.484. Had we been able to slide the pipes I estimated the record could have been 86-87. I noted further in my notes that "If I would have been well excercised & not have(ing) tired out & been able therefore to hold the boat on the bouys, I believe I could have averaged 88-89 mph". I used to excercise everyday and drive down the road squeezing a gripper tool to keep my throttle and steering wheel grip in shape. I had gotten away from the habit and it hurt our performance.
    Last edited by Master Oil Racing Team; 10-14-2008 at 01:52 PM. Reason: spelling



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    Great story and good times. The one thing about the 1100 CC hydro, which was a 850 Merc, was it was not always the fastest in the country - but it never broke. I believe it went 30 straight wins at it's peak. Steve

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    That is always the secret to winning Steve. Don't break. No matter how fast you are, you can't put the title in your pocket with one heat. Was that you that I was chasing?



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    That was an incredible string of victories for that rig Steve. Do you have any photos of it? We don't get enough photos out of the Northwest which is a very historical region of boat racing. When J Dub mentioned Ralph Hildebrand rode deck for Howard Anderson, I went to the rosters I had to see if I had any pics from then. I could only find some with Howard Shaw riding deck, but I was holding my breath when I discovered Gerry Walin rode deck for Ralph Hildebrand at DePue in 1974. I was very disappointed I couldn't come up with any. Not to take anything away from Ralph, but Gerrry was one of my boat racing heroes when I was growing up. I have only a couple of pictures of him and I hoped to find one of Gerry in 1100 runabout.

    Hey Ray....here's a pic for you of Bob Rhoades waiting for the 5 minute gun at DePue in 1972.

    Also included is a pic of that F motor we bought from Marshall Grant. This pic was taken when Billy Seebold drove his last Pro Nationals for Marshall at DePue in 1972. You might think a dual rotary valve engine was very temperamental with lots of rotary valve problems. It wasn't. The problems were blowing lower units and breaking props. The rotary valve housings were offset with the outside one about a belt width higher than the inside. The belts actually touched when running. When a belt popped, it was almost always when the motor was started. Then the motor would run, but would slobber out the open side where the valve stopped. It was a rare thing for it to happen though. It did happen when we cranked it for the second heat of the Nationals at Winona however. I set a record in the first heat and it was the first time an outboard broke 80 on a 1 1/4 mile course.

    The rotary valves both turned clockwise of course, but if you look through a carb just as the valve begins to close, and slowly turn the flywheel, you can look past the crank to the other side and see the opposite rotary valve turning counterclockwise from where you are looking. It was really a marvelous engine and put together very well as was Marshall Grant's standard.
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    Last edited by Master Oil Racing Team; 10-15-2008 at 06:49 AM. Reason: correction



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    If you finished second - yes it was. If you would have got to me I may not have been able to hold you off, all though I could make that boat very wide if needed. I also very seldom ran faster than I needed to to win to save the equipment- so back to that day - there might have been more speed left if needed.

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    I hear you Steve. You didn't get 30 straight with that rig without some winning strategies. Like you, I found it was best to back off when in a good lead to save the equipment. However, Charlie Bailey knew that too and suckered me in several good times for a fun race to the finish. The only times I ever pushed to the limit when in a strong lead was for records or single boat two lap qualifying heats, or if I had to beat a boat that looked lie might tie in points.

    It's been too long for me to remember what your boat looked like Steve. Sure wish you could post a picture, but if not....what was your number? Do you still recall the disappointment of that second heat and what happened? I had written in my notes that a plug wire came off, but I've been known to make a mistake sometimes on what happened to a motor.



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    Hey Wayne,
    Thanks for the picture, the guy up in Idaho was blown away from the pictures of Bob in his "younger" days doing the crazy.

    Thanks and see you in a few days.

    Ray

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    I'm looking forward to it Ray. I will be getting in Wednesday night. Bill Van and Eilleen are leaving tommorrow. He will be tagging up with Ralph Donald and Mike Ward this weekend, then heading on over. Still have a lot to do to get ready. Am way behind on getting the photos printed I want to get autographed. I think maybe I will ask Joe when he wants a report and I will give him a call when you, Gene, Charley and some others are hanging loose so he can talk to you.



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