View Full Version : Ron Hill ... Bet he could get it done!

Dr. Thunder
02-05-2008, 04:09 PM
Saw this posted over on the "PIT STOP" board and immediatlly thought of Ron Hill ... hope Gene East doesn't mind but I would have to agree ... that boat needs to be seen!


How many readers of this web-site were at DePue and saw Gerry Waldman's D-Hydro on display with BORROWED megaphones?

This was the same boat and motor that Gerry drove to so many championships and records. It's also the boat in which he died at Lake Catherine.

For many years this boat was on display at Mercury's museum. At some point in time the megaphones were lost.

Fred Haunstine received special permission from Mercury to bring the boat to DePue but had borrow pipes to make the display complete.

After the boat and motor were returned to Mercury the megaphones were returned to the owner.

I inquired about the future of this very special piece of boat racing history and was told it would probably be stashed away in a warehouse at Mercury never to be seen again.

What a shame!

Just yesterday I was talking to Steve Hively a close friend of Jack McGrury.
He said Sandy (Jack's widow) wants to go see this boat next summer because Jack built the motor.

I didn't have the heart to tell him the boat is no longer in the museum.

Isn't there something that we as boat racers both current and past can do to convince Mercury to restore this treasure to an honored resting place?

Gene East
02-05-2008, 05:45 PM
I don't mind at all. In fact I'm happy someone picked up on this. My computer skills are limited and I have a hard time starting a thread on this site.
Thanks for putting it over here where it will be seen by many others who would like to see this boat preserved.
My dream is some day to have enough money to purchase the building at 5th & State and turn it into a boat racing museum. Probably never gonna happen, but everybody has to have a dream

02-05-2008, 06:30 PM
Gene..........I am with you here. I would like to join you in this effort. There is so much history at 5th and State that I'm afraid the building is too small to contain it all. BUT.........O. F. would be proud if we could 'shoe horn' the important stuff where it belongs. Let me know what I can do....................

02-06-2008, 08:17 AM
Gene and Charley,
I agree with you. The first time we visited Quincy Welding I could not imagine how we would find it with only the 5th and State address? Coming from Los Angeles, it seemed like much more would be required, like a street number? Or a Thomas Guide? When we arrived, lo and behold there it was...Quincy Welding! One thing that really struck me was that a tree was growing out of the side of the building. I wonder if it is still there Gene? This building is the heart and soul of modern outboard racing. These were the last motors that one could buy and be competitive. Paul, for me, your Dad was an innovative genuis due to his frugality. He combined the use of existing parts with modifications to produce an affordable racing engine. Possibly the last one...unless the "new class" thread here comes to fruition?
5th and State is THE address.

Master Oil Racing Team
02-06-2008, 08:34 AM
I agree also. I've never been there, but I would definitely make another road trip to attend the "Christening". And I would contribute to the cause. Pics and dollars. Is it something that would be possible? Such as would it be available and what condition is it in?

Gene East
02-07-2008, 05:19 AM
The original building is still there although it has been tripled in size and is now a heating and air conditioning shop.
Is it available? I suppose anything is available at the right price.
I keep playing the lottery in hopes of fullfilling this dream and others, but so far I'm still dreaming.
Alan, the tree growing out of the building was at the warehouse where we stored the boats and trailer. That was also the site of the dyno room. The tree is gone. That building is now an electric motor shop.
The main shop building still has the concrete block exterior and the test tank vent cover on the east wall (5th Street). The expansion facing south (State Street) is stucco
I stopped by there a few months ago and asked permission to tour the building. The owner was out of town and I was asked to come back at a later date.
So far I haven't done so.
Paul Christner has been in there and he told me that some of the upstairs engine assembly area is much like it was. Of course the mills and lathes downstairs have been replaced by brakes and shears for the sheet metal work done by the HVAC company.
Strange we never had brakes and shears even though we did so much exhaust work.
We always had that work done down the street at 6th & State by Knapheide Mfg. the people who make custom service bodies for trucks

04-05-2008, 02:02 PM
I believe the Waldman boat and engine are stored in the Mercury Exhibits building in Oshkosh, along with other old Mercs that seldom see the light of day. There are on again/ off again plans for a Mercury museum, but current financial affairs will not allow this for the time being.