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Skoontz
06-18-2006, 08:25 PM
Ok. The input on the Champion thread twisted my brain a bit while sitting on the beach today. How much manufacturer politics play into what is allowed in various classes in any form of racing?

Lets get real here. You have three basic things with a raceboat. Hull type, (tunnel, V, hydro, flat etc.)

Then you have power. And, I personally come from and believe in the school that size matters, there ain't no substitute for cubic inches. So, engine size means, displacement first, horsepower right along side of that.

How much input did the Merc loyalists who sat on the APBA and other organization boards play in dictating what Champion and other motor manufacturers would do?


Let me side spin a bit. OMC had the rotory motor. It had 4 trulquiod housings, 4 rotors. Thus, 4 combustion chambers, which in effect is equalt to any engine of the same displacement. So, Merc could not beat it, so what do they do? Gripe, complain protest boycot, etc. The engine was a legal engine.

The same thing happened in the 1967 Indy 500. We had Parnelli Jones driving the Granatelli owned jet powered "Whish mobile" at 3/4 throttle all race, leading the way. He looses a $10.00 transmission bearing comming out of 4 toward the checkered flag and Andretti won his first and last ever 500.

The next year the major auto manufacturers pitch gripes about the turbine car, in horror that if one won, the public would see the benefit and they would have to spend millions to retool.

So, the choke the air intake down, and all 3 turbines running that year heated up under yellow and did not finish. The following year, Indy outlawed all turbine cars.

See what I'm getting at here? Why won't they just let things that work work, leave the teams do the engineering and quit playing games that really don't belong on race craft?

Dale Earnhart Sr. said it best when they forced restrictor plates on super speedway cars.

"Why don't they just build the damn tracks safer and let us worry about how to build and drive the cars?

And in this case, boats......

John (Taylor) Gabrowski
06-18-2006, 08:41 PM
It is quite true about manufacturers politics getting in the way of racers interests. The factorys seemed to dictate what was allowed and what wasn't buy the racers political strings in the sanctioning bodies themselves.

Manufacturers are a self lot in that their participation in a sport helps their bottom line when it is a spectator sport. Most boatracing has become a minor, non-spectating races for racers, family and friends with no general crowd appeal engineered in anymore. That is why factory support for racing has dropped off. If large spectators are no involved it follows that there is no following for the manufacturer to persue.

I really hate to see how class D Stock was used, manipulated, long abandoned, new engined again and again with older engines being sidelined until the class had few turning up to race and now with the Tohatsu and their new loop technology under the hood class D has a new start plus the older racing engines are also now allowed in plus older Merc 44s mounted similar to with Tohatsu/Bass towers and grearcases.

One can only wonder if its a little bit overdue and maybe a little bit late as well, to save the class that should never have been compromised to begin with, on whims and bad politics???

Master Oil Racing Team
06-19-2006, 06:55 AM
The U.S. was awarded the 1978 UIM OE World Championships. Of course OE, being the transition between the alky powered hydros and the gasoline powered tunnels, meant a meeting between two different racing categories.

The event was to be held at Eastwood Lake at Dayton, Ohio. In addition, World Championship events were also scheduled for OB and OC. The course would be set up with wide sweeping turns on a 1 1/4 mile track. The majority of the OE entrants would be hydroplane.

OMC knew that on such a course the tunnels were no match for the hydros. If I remember correctly, OMC was the singlemost provider to UIM funding in Belgium. If OMC spoke, UIM listened. OMC had a rule put into instant effect that the OE class was required to burn gasoline only. Prior to that the rule read that "fuel was free". According to UIM's own rules, any major rule change could not be implemented until passage of two years. What this did in effect was take power and reliability away from the alcohol burners.

We fought unsuccessfully to overturn this ruling. We said, "fine, if you want to change OE to gas, do it, but by the rules. Let it come into effect in two years." At first Gary Garbrecht was going to help us, but for some reason when he got to Belgium for a meeting, he voted against us.

So the plan was for all the alky burners to run methanol anyway. The OMC people suspected we would so the inspector Harry Pasturczak had cases of plastic bottles and labels to collect fuel samples. We figured we would give the public a show and what happened in the lab later, they would never know about.

As it turned out, the weather got bad and it was too rough for the hydros to run. When the gun fired for the last heat, all the alky burners but a few had already rigged down. The water calmed and Jeff Hutchins made a great start and blew the field away. We were very proud of him on the banks watching him in Elmer Grade's hydro. Harry took the fuel sample and gave it to my Dad, but we never had it analyzed. Everyone knew Jeff was running methanol, but one win wouldn't make a difference. Bob Hering dominated and was crowned OE World Champion. I kept Jeff's fuel sample for years, but somewhere I lost it.

Allen J. Lang
07-01-2006, 11:53 AM
Bill- I had been told by a reliable source years ago about the 25SS engines
back in the 70's. This was a time when OMC engines on a Quicksilver L/U
held the class. This upset Uncle CARL and APBA was informed to disqualify
any OMC/Merc combo. They then came up with the new Merc 25SS engine
which I was informed APBA was told to immediately OK OR ELSE. Supposedly
parts and moulds were to disappear. Well, they got their engine OKed and
it took a year or so to finally get most of the class running Mercs. I believe
that there are still sanctioned races with the OMCs and Merc 25SS run.
Haven't seen rule books in quite a few years, but have heard and read of
such races.

Ye OLde Desert Geezer Al :cool:

Maybe someone has further input.

Mark75H
07-01-2006, 01:03 PM
Bill- I had been told by a reliable source years ago about the 25SS engines
back in the 70's. This was a time when OMC engines on a Quicksilver L/U
held the class. This upset Uncle CARL and APBA was informed to disqualify
any OMC/Merc combo. They then came up with the new Merc 25SS engine
which I was informed APBA was told to immediately OK OR ELSE. Supposedly
parts and moulds were to disappear. Well, they got their engine OKed and
it took a year or so to finally get most of the class running Mercs. I believe
that there are still sanctioned races with the OMCs and Merc 25SS run.
Haven't seen rule books in quite a few years, but have heard and read of
such races.

Ye OLde Desert Geezer Al :cool:

Maybe someone has further input.

That is most of it. 25ss was started in NJ by the DVRA racing club. The actual meeting where 25ss started was at Tom Glock's house in NJ. Carl was out of Mercury building his own offshore racing inboard engines and drives by then, but factory politics did cause 25ss to switch to Merc only and the Merc 25ss motor came from it. Ironically 25ss class allows several motors today.

Skoontz
07-01-2006, 03:56 PM
I love hearing this kind of stuff from both sides of the isle...In 1972, we got a company memo that Mr. K has sold out of Merc, and bought an Evinrude dealership somewhere around Ocmonowac Wi. which is about an hour or so out of Fondulac. I wish I had half the stuff we got back then if for anything to show others.

I head Carl had specific ways of bellyaching to get his motors to dominate classes, weather true of not, set the stage for this event.

In 1974, the Chicagoland OMC dealers were called to a consumer input meeting that was led by Lou Epple in the OMC rubber room in Waukegan. It was to discuss a new engine, one we rode in protoype up on the chain of lakes, from Blarney's Island. Specifically, the V-6 outboard. Charlie Strang asked a group of service managers for horsepower potential, as in what ideal horsepower should OMC make this new introduction. Merc was also working on a V-6, and thiers was a 60 V rather than the tried and true 90 that OMC ran for years.

My dad stood up and said "Charlie, I you need to build it 10 more HP than Mercury's design limitation could ever be." He got a standing ovation, and there was not a box stock early Merc V-6 that would keep near an OMC.

I think the demise of OMC was two things, and I realize this should be a different topic, entitled the demise of OMC.

Allen J. Lang
07-02-2006, 06:18 PM
Hi Sam- Thanks for the info that the 25SS class was devised at the Porkster's home in Joisey. Tom ran his old 25SS OMC on a Stippich
duckbill runabout. The old engine could run at a very respectable
rate. Tom wanted to attend the AOMC meet in Constantine this year,
but, as you probably have heard he underwent maintenance as he
put it AKA heart bypass. Will be spending his time recouping. He does
want to attend the Clayton event.

Thanks again,
Al Lang :cool: