In the book Classic Century Powerboats by Paul, Frank & Trudi Miklos, Arbib suggested a new approach: ignore the past and re-invent the speedboat; introduce fashion and timeliness to boat styling. Painted hull schemes and bold contrast were foremost. While Century could easily have kept the Resorter name, the new name was as important as the boat itself. Considering Century’s aspiration to be the “Cadillac of Boats” the phonetic similarity between Coronado and Eldorado was more than a coincidence.Inside, the automotive detailing prevailed with bright colors and textures configured in new ways. The dashboard was the jewel of the interior.
Arbib’s creative artistic genius and Century’s willingness to push forward culminated in the 1959 Coronado. From the air-intake nose vent to the shapely fiberglass appliques and chrome-crowned sliding hardtop option, it exuded excess.
By 1959, this daring and progressive boat company from Michigan had faced off against the industry giant Chris-Craft and had won the top of the line speedboat market handily…… and the 1959 Coronado became the flagship of the 1959 fleet.
The 1959 Coronado offered the newest and most magnificent marine powerplants available. The popular 225 Fireball was joined by a new 352 ci, 240 HP Interceptor. Two new 250 ci Fireballs came in at 135 and 170 HP. Top performers continued to be Chrysler’s 275 HP Imperial Hemi and a new, even more impressive Crusader rated at a big 325 HP.
Here’s a copy of an original advertisement found in a copy of a June 1961 Yachting magazine. It highlights the even more futuristic 1961 Century Coronado 21′, with it’s jet-stream paint scheme and detachable, hinged gull-wing panels with no side windows. Century boat catalogs from the 1950’s have a reputation for being some of the most beautiful printed promotional materials to come out of the world of boating. A fellow named Jack Brouwer, of Grand Rapids, Michigan was largely responsible for creating them. This wonderful story was told by Denis Hartnett in the Spring 2009 Edition of the ACBS Rudder magazine.