View Full Version : JIMBO McCONNELL.....

Ron Hill
06-27-2005, 04:29 PM
I'm starting this thread. Cathy McConnell and I spent about an hour trying to make Cathy's pictures smaller... SAM CULLIS???? WE NEED YOU.

Cathy has promised to post a ton of pictures of JIMBO....

06-27-2005, 05:11 PM
I'll temporarily up the image size and resize them after you post them.

(You can always email them to me)

I did it ... monster size pictures should be uploadable right now ;)

Ron Hill
07-23-2005, 04:45 PM
This is a picture from Lake Los Angeles. Johnny Puestow, from Wisconsin, went with me to this lake. I convinced them to give us about $2,000 to put on arace there....(They were selling lots like Golden Shores....perfect size for kneeldown races)..

This is Jimbo chine turning a CU or DU...It is 1968, as I'm running my yellow DeSilva with the 30 inch bottom....

This was BEFORE JOHN PUESTOW RUINED RUNABOUT RACING!!!!! The fin on a runabout should be on the bottom where it is supposed to be!

07-23-2005, 05:28 PM
This is a picture from Lake Los Angeles. Johnny Puestow, from Wisconsin, went with me to this lake. I convinced them to give us about $2,000 to put on arace there....(They were selling lots like Golden Shores....perfect size for kneeldown races)..

This is Jimbo chine turning a CU or DU...It is 1968, as I'm running my yellow DeSilva with the 30 inch bottom....

This was BEFORE JOHN PUESTOW RUINED RUNABOUT RACING!!!!! The fin on a runabout should be on the bottom where it is supposed to be!

looks like he is leaning out to get a drink of water! ;)

Ron Hill
07-23-2005, 05:35 PM
When Jimbo was first learning to drive...we'd tell him to watch the water...Hell, he'd look out the side to see if there was any water under him...Looks like he was "Watching the water here." Truth is, Jimbo was a GREAT hydro driver....it was always hard for him to "LAY UP" a runabout with his weight!!!

Jack Leek always liked Jimbo's weight..Jack always said I was too heavy...I'd tell Jack, weight doesn't matter as long as it is on the gas pedal!!!!

Ted March
07-23-2005, 05:59 PM
Is not someone I would bet on. Paul Kalb, as well.

Ask Ernie.

Ron Hill
09-04-2005, 02:12 PM
If Jimbo and Cathy don't start posting, I'm going to start post some of my JIMBO pictures...See what he wrote on the back...And you all know JIMBO as HUMBLE JIMBO McCONNELL...I know the REAL JIMBO!!!

Ron Hill
09-05-2005, 12:16 PM
I'm pretty sure I've posted this picture somewhere else, but I want it posted under Jimbo...

Note Jimbo's knees on his pants, as he had also raced Kneelers that day. This was the weekend that Jimbo tried to kill me in C Stock Hydro... The hydro, that Jimbo is pictures with was Ted May's...The Hydro was basically, a scaled up Sid Craft...I'd talked Jack Leek into sending a motor out for Jimbo to race, in front of his home town crowd...

ADD: We had a four boat wreck in turn two of CSH...Dick Davidson, Edgar Peters, Me and Jimbo...in that order is how the wreck happened....It was all Rod Zapf's (Capnzee) fault, as he was faster than usual, so, we all thought we should be beating him...

Rod jumped out at the start, and took me clear to the shore before he turned, which allowed Edgar Peters and Dick Davidson to get inside us both. So, Davidson in leading into the down river, turn two....Peters on his ***. I can't see crap, as Zapf is trying to run me on the beach.

We get to about where I figure the corner should be, and I decide to go inside Zapf, something I USUALLY NEVER DO....AS I come through the spray, Davidson has spun and Peters has hit him and I dive for the outside, but the river's current takes them right into my path...I T-Bone Edgar's motor, and barrel roll.

Jimbo, without me knowing it, decided to follow me...Hell, he figures, if Ronnie can go there so can I...By the time he realizes I've wrecked, he runs over me...Tears the hell out of my Sid Craft and hit me in the shoulder and rips my life jacket to pieces...

Jimbo and I are floating in the water he said, "He's hurt bad, because his jack it ripped....". Hell, I help him in the patrol boat, his jacket is fine, mine is ripped off where he hit me. My shoulder has a grapefruit on it where he hit...I'm the one hurt and I'm helping him!!!!

Zapf wins the heat and runs out of gas...He floats backward down the river and hooks his prop and lower unit on the starting bouy's rope, and his boat sinks in the river....See I told Rod, then, as I do now...GOD GOT EVEN WITH YOU for pushing me out in the first turn...

So, we lived to race another day....and we weren't much more careful as Zapf and I proved at Wiest Lake the next month...

Last ADD; Jimbo, like me always ran open faced helmets, as we liked to see where we had been and where we were going. Jimbo wore a bubble and wore a shield....

Ron Hill
09-05-2005, 12:36 PM
Monty Gibson and I headed for Needles, Christmas, 1960...My COOL 53 Chevy, did like Jake Placek's car did (You know why Jake didn't go to DePue?? Don't you??...His car took a Sh&t!!!).... Same thing happened to my '53...Right there in the desert...took a sh&t...

We didn't let a little car trouble spoil our fun, though...Here Ernie Dawe, Ruben Dawe, Jimbo and me are "TESTING" in Needles...We were working on JIMBO'S BU boat bottom, so he put his motor on my CU, and we turned his boat, 999-C over..He called it JIMBO, but I think the boat's real name was the Pearly Gates....as Ivan Brower had built the Pearly Gates (BU for Elgin Gates) the the "CRUTCH" (DU) for Ronnie Rima. Ivan Brower had been hurt on the job, and was "HURT" while he built the boats...and was on crutches... Both boats had unique bottoms, both had formica glued to the plywood...like a kitchen counter..

Rima won the Needles Marathon in "The Crutch"...Jimbo later won the marathon, 1963, in BU with the "Pearly Gates"...
Jimbo always had "JIMBO" in big letters....

TRhis was the same trip that I painted Jimbo's Indian Motorcycle white...The whole motorcycle white...No real reason, just thought it would look better!!!!

Ron Hill
09-05-2005, 02:04 PM
This is Jimbo driving Miss Carrot Top. If you ever read Playboy, and happened to look at the JOKE PAGE, you might have notice a young lady wearing nothing but hose and high heels....Pay May, in her younger days, (Ted's wife) was know as Miss Carrot Top. She also modeled hose....She was the original model for Playboy. If someone has access to 1960 Playboy magazines, I'd love to see the original article about MISS CARROT TOP....

I saw the article once, it didn't mention Miss Carrot Top, but she was pictured in her...her 1960 Lincoln Continental...That was the car that Ted had to give his wife a $250 deposit, before she's loan it to him to go to the races...

Well, I might be wrong here...Maybe, Pat was with her 1959 Buick...all tuck and rolled... It could have been in a 1959 Palyboy article....

Anyway, bottom line was...Ted's wife was a SERIOUS LOOKER......And Ted hand painted her picture on many of his boats....she posed as a live model....

Cathy McConnell e-mailed me this picture, I took all day trying to post it...Finally, I took a picture of it from the e-mail...

Ron Hill
09-06-2005, 12:37 PM
Jimbo tell me this is the only picture of his mom's house that he knows of, anyway. They tore the house down and built a Bank of America where his has was....Jimbo's 1959 El Camino...Gilmore B Hydro...

Master Oil Racing Team
09-07-2005, 06:24 AM
Ron, You sure seem to have a lot of friends with personal connections to Playboy. BTW I've been wondering. How come all of your boats are made out of wood or fiberglass and your wife's is made out of rubber?

Ron Hill
09-11-2005, 02:54 PM
This is Ted, my dad, Russ Hill and Vito Adragna at Vito's house in Belflower, California where Miss Carrot Top was built. Nothing but a BIG SID-CRAFT...

This is a picture I took from a slide I was showing on the wall...Intersed to see how it posts.

Ted's shirt says, "Galveston Island 250."

It was at the Needles Marathon that Jimbo and I almost casued Ted to have a heart attack. If you notice, the white Ford Ranchero behind the boat, well that was Ted's "Transporter."

Jimbo ran Miss Carrot Top at Needles, 1970....On the way hoem from the Beloit 1970 Stock Nationals my 1968 Chevy wagon did like Jake's car did, only trouble was I was in Winslow, Arizona. (In case you forgot or never knew, Jake Plachek's car took a Sh&t, that is why he didn't go to DePue, 1968...)...

I was towling a 20 foot Jones, I had a D Runabout on top, inside I had my wife's sewing machine, her encyclopedias and my D motor...I was going 90 MPH up a hill into Winslow when I dropped a valve....I pulled the dip stick and water and oil came out...I thought I'd STRUCK oil but I knew better.

I got a tow to the Chevy agency, and one of my fraternity brothers wife's dad owned the agency...He said, "Son, we can fix your car in a week or two." I said, "My wife has been off work a month and if she isn't to work on Tuesday her *** is fired."

He said, "I've got a nice little El Camino on the show room floor I could make you deal on....Long story, but we rolled out of there, same day, in a NEW, 1970 Gray, El Camino...D Runabout stacked up on top, 20 Jones on the back, encyclopedias and sewing machine.....The El Camino had so much torque, that even at a mile high with that load, I smoked the tires as was lift the Chevy agency...

This is 1970, so Jimbo, me and Ted have been "Hanging" with OMC since 1966...

Jimbo is working for the Needles's Playboy dad selling "Soda Pop" in Victorville. Jimbo had had a nice '58 Impala, but he decided to buy a new El Camino to take to Needles to the marathon... I never talked t o him and he couldn't have known, but Jimbo bought a new GRAY El Camino.

We get to Needles, Ted has had to haul Miss Carrot Top out and get someone else to bring his Stock stuff...Ted ain't in the best mood. He's hauling his boat out so Jimbo can WIN....

Anyway, he pulls in and I've got my brand new El Camino, GRAY, and Jimbo has his brand new El Camino, GRAY. Jimbo says to Ted, "Where's your El Camino?" I look at Jimbo and say, "Jesus Jimbo, be quiet, can't you see Jack Leek didn't buy Ted one." Ted was a little hard hearing but I said it loud enough that Ted could hear...

Ted got this "Bull SHIP" look and didn't say much all weekend...Monday, after school I get a call from the operator that Jack Leek has a conference call with me and Jimbo....I start laughing like a maniac. Jack comes on the line and gives Jimbo and me hell. He says something like God Damn it guys, I have enough trouble trying to run this team without you causing Ted to go crazy...

Some how, Ted never really believed that we JUST HAPPENED TO BUY GRAY EL CAMIINOS at the same time!!!!! Of course, we'd always say things like, "Jimbo, did your pink slip ever come in the mail?" Or Jimbo would say, "Are you paying for your insurance?" Ted would mumble something under his breath!!!

This is my '68 wagon on the way to Beloit...2 years old, 89,000 miles, fourth clutch, thanks to boat racing...Actually it was only 20 months old...4,400 miles a month, average, for a full time school teacher????? A little "Traveling"...

Ron Hill
09-11-2005, 04:09 PM
Here is Jimbo, 1967. 1958 Impala, three Hill Runabouts, two Sid-Craft hydros...top hydro on the back is a May-Craft by Ted May. Jimbo, did have three Sid Craft Hydros, later.

Cathy McConnell hates this picture of Jimbo! She says, "Look at those pants Jimbo is wearing!!!"

Miss BK
09-13-2005, 06:47 PM
Back in 2003 I helped Brett Bayne at Hot Boat put this article together. It was a real pleasure to transcribe the tape and hear Jimbo tell his life story...

Memories of a Champion
Racing legend Jimbo McConnell, whose career ended in a violent crash nearly 20 years ago, talks to HOT BOAT about victory on and off the racecourse.

Miss BK
09-13-2005, 07:25 PM
That article is 10 pages long, but for some reason the text on page 10 is invisible. Here is what that last page says...

....And all those years, I still had that belt.
When I crashed, I had Billy's belt on. Of all the
things I had in the crash, I still have that belt.
HOT BOAT:Jim, how has your outlook on
life changed since then?
JM: I m not a religious person, but the
way that I feel now, and the way I appreciate
things, is much closer to the Hopi Indians and
that type of culture. Im more spiritual, where
you appreciate the rain that makes the crops
grow, that nourishes your body. If you re
feeding your body with an animal that you ve
just killed, you give thanks to that animal,
because that animal made you live. So you
appreciate that animal. You appreciate what
makes you live and breathe.
And it s made a better person out of me.
I m not bitter about the accident; I m pissed
off at some of the circumstances that caused
it that I had no control over. It was the only
way that I could have ever quit. I d still be
racing today somehow, somewhere.
My first accident was the blessing. It
prepared me for not being able to ever
race again. After that, I didn t race for a
whole year. But I knew I would be back. In
that year, I started branching out a little bit,
and that s how I got into model airplanes.
I tried to fly them before and couldn t do
it my ego got in the way. I thought, I m
Jimbo McConnell, I m a world champion,
I don t need anybody s help, I can fly toy
airplanes all by myself! But after destroying
about four airplanes, I gave up. So
after the big accident after I realized I
would never physically be able to drive
again I thought, What am I going to do
to keep me occupied physically and mentally?
So the old airplanes started coming
back. Now I don t have an ego problem. I
did it correctly; I joined the club and found
an instructor. I couldn t hold the transmitter,
and I was going to give up again, but
then Cathy found a tray that I could put my
transmitter in. Even though I can t feel
the stick, at least I could fly with my left
hand. If it weren t for Cathy, I would never
be flying today.
HO T BOAT:It s nice to see how much
you enjoy life these days. You truly have
been through hell.
JM: That s in the past. You can t dwell
on it or live in the past. In some ways I
feel like I m an old man. But I m just a little
kid at heart.
HOT BOAT gives special thanks to Valerie
Longwell-Collins in the preparation of this
More Edit TK
106 HOT BOAT JULY 2003

Ron Hill
10-14-2005, 10:43 AM
I stopeed to see Pete McConnell in Needles, yesterday...Pete had this pictures of his dad's Indain Motorcycle...I think this is the one I painted white...I never knew that Jimbo's dad was once Mayor of Needles...

Ron Hill
12-12-2005, 03:49 PM
Jimbo is back flying airplanes again...

He's built this twin with an outboard K&B on one side and a regular K & B on the other, so it is balanced...

I told Jimbo that my new Sport C had his number on it...You know 191.... He looked at it and said, I knew you were Deslexic..."

Ron Hill
03-30-2006, 11:44 AM
They let me take a few more pictures...

Top, 99-C is Jimbo's D Runabout...Hill Boat,

Bottom two are of his DSH Short Sponson Sid Craft...These pictures had to be 1967, as we built the DU after his return from Vietnam. The bottom picture is at Parker...It is Jimbo's FAVORITE Boat Racing picture.

Ron Hill
03-30-2006, 01:16 PM
Well, let's see....The top one is Me (Big arms and shoulders, and Ted may in the spray. This is Lake Wiest in Brawley, California...fall of 1964.... or spring of 1965)...

The other two are Jimbo driving his Morehouse D Runabout...Jimbo told me he usually didn't have all his lead in...especially when he beat me....

Jimbo Boat 191
03-30-2006, 01:22 PM
Just for the record------

Ronnie just runs around the house taking pictures of whatever.........
He has been WARNED not to post some of the pictures that he
took.................remember Ronnie..........I can tell some stories
on you if you post some pictures............be careful.....BE VERY CAREFUL !!!!:eek:
Mrs. Jimbo is watching you------BE AFRAID!!!!!!!

Ron Hill
03-30-2006, 05:32 PM
I have also been warned not to drink too much...but, did you try and stop me????

Ok, Charlie Harter in the inside...(First Stock Outboarder to ever use a cart to launch his boat...and "WE" thought he was crazy......

205-0 is Lucky Grant, and neither Jimbo nor I could remember his daughter's name....(She'd be our age, now)....And the guy with thw white helmet asking his KG-4 why she'd stopped......Look at the boat name...JIMBO......

And where was this taken??? Mountains look like Bakersfield.....

Jimbo Boat 191
03-30-2006, 07:42 PM
Now, Ronnie, are you drinking "water" again????
Jimbo says those are not "mountains", they
are TREES and it is at Victorville. :confused:

Ron Hill
03-30-2006, 11:02 PM
Ain't that a mountain behind the trees??? I forgot Victorville was that big....It was a great lake to race at...Kimper-Campbell Lake...We raced around an island, never used any bouys....If you cut the corners too close, there was never any problem making the call...as the driver would be stuck in the mud, if he cut the corner too close...I once ran Dan Schwarzenbach on the island in 36....I was driving The Turtle Express and he made the mistake of trying to pass on the inside..I just moved over a little.....I never looked, as I'd seen his bow coming out of the corner of my eye...all at once the bow, stopped and I kept going....Dan was stuck on the island, next lap around.....He said, "Gal Dang, Ronnie...didn't you see me next to you??? " I said, "No, I thought you were on the outside." Danny didn't get made at me...He always liked me...He'd remind me about once every weekend how he use to carry me out to my A Runabout when I was little....Roger Rogers frequently came to Victorville to help us drink "WATER" in th pits after the races....

Wednesday and Thursday I teach night school....and therefore have no time to drink....."WATER" as you call it, Cathy, ....and of course, you guys never drink "WATER"????

I've got more pictures I'm posting tomorrow....

03-31-2006, 02:53 PM
I spoke to Jerry Pretzman about digging some pics out from when the 2 of you work together......

Ron Hill
04-06-2006, 10:58 AM
One "CRAZY SUMBITCH" riding in the F Runabout, with the white bill on his helmet is Jimbo...This is the first turn at Bakersfield. George May, Jr. is driving the DeSilva with a John Toprahainan 4:60.

The other DeSilva was John Soto, and the OPC boat at the bouy, may have been Lee Harris....Or maybe, Moe Paulsen. (OPC "R" under WOA was a gas burning "F" Runabout..).

Ron Hill
04-06-2006, 11:03 AM
In an attempt to get new CLUB MEMBERS, my brother scheduled a RACE on January 2, 1961. Many thought my brother "INSANE", but to us "RACERS" we thought this was a great idea. Jimbo came down from Needles and ran about 5 classes, towards the end of the day, he was wearing out and he flipped his B Runabout. It was cold, he was tired, he hadn't trophied in any of his five classes....So, when he it the water, he was convinced he must be hurt...beside, he was cold as hell and by stopping the heat, he was able to get warm quicker. The dark haired guy is Russ Hill, Jr. and the blond is Me...Jimbo is on the stretcher...Skinned knees, beat up EGO, but JIMBO was fine...

Ron Hill
04-06-2006, 11:15 AM
Jimbo had a B, C and D Sid Craft hydro, and a B, C, D Hill Runbaout, after he got back from Vietnam. This is his C Runabout. Note the wy Hill fins were cut. (Designed to be out of the water on the straightaways, but big enough to hold the boat in the corner).

This is a 12 foot C Runabout. My dad and I built this just like Doc Andrew's C Runabout. Darrell Sorensen still has Doc's boat He runs it a Top of Michigan and other Marathons. Jimbo's boat was built in the winter of 1967, Doc Andrew's was built in the Winter of 1968....Neither were too good for the Mark 30-H, as I built them for my weight, 235, and Jimbo and Doc Andrews were quite a bit lighter, and the boats, with lead ran with the nose in the air, much like this picture. No one, in those days, would have considered putting lead in the nose....

Ron Hill
04-12-2007, 05:57 PM
About ten seconds after that F Runabout shot, where Jimbo is riding behind, George May, Jr, they flipped...

I've given Jimbo my lap top computer and we've set him up on wireless....So, he now how no reason not to be "ON LINE" all the time...

jimbos nephew
12-10-2015, 09:58 AM
Hello all at BRF, thanks so much for all of the Jimbo pics and discussion. I have been downloading pics to share with my Pops (Jimbo's step brother)when he comes to town this month. I was lucky enuf to spend my youth and teens making trips to Needles, (dad's home town). To hang out with Mac and watch Jimbo and Pete race boats. It is just awesome to read these stories and learn so much ! Thanks again, R. Burke.

12-20-2015, 01:39 PM
A cool photo of Jimbo in the Goat Boat.
Mark N
http://i299.photobucket.com/albums/mm315/MN392/JimboGoatBoat.jpg (http://s299.photobucket.com/user/MN392/media/JimboGoatBoat.jpg.html)

07-12-2016, 08:17 PM
Here are a few I found in a box of my dad's pictures. I am not sure where these were taken