Legendary boat racer Gar Wood won the 1918 Gold Cup race with “Miss Detroit III” powered by a rare 1916 Curtiss V-12 aircraft engine. Beginning with our first report last April, we have been following the story of vintage hydroplane enthusiasts Ken Muscatel and Ike Kielgass and their quest to one day reunite the Curtiss V-12 with “Miss Detroit III”.
Although the original Christopher Columbus Smith / Gar Wood designed race boat is long gone, Ken Muscatel was able to purchase the beautifully built “Miss America III Replica” raceboat at the Warner-Mecum Auction back in 2010. Over 20 years ago, Ken Muscatel (assisted by historian Craig Magnusson from Seattle) purchased one of the two remaining 1916 Curtiss Model V-4 engines known to exist from an antique car museum. The only other example known to exist is on display at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC.
The restoration of the original 100 year-old Curtiss engine was entrusted to vintage engine builder Robert Mishko at Rocky Summit Performance in Tennessee, and was completed last August.
Now, with the help of Ike Kielgass, the ultra rare Curtis V-12 is now being installed in the “Miss Detroit III Replica” race boat in his shop near Seattle, Washington – and last night Ike shared these farm fresh photos of the project with us here at Woody Boater. We are looking forward to seeing (and hearing) “Miss Detroit III” back on the water in the spring.
Ike, an experienced vintage hydroplane pilot, commented that the 1,650 Cubic Inch Curtiss V-12 was “the loudest engine he has ever heard.” And when you see the YouTube video below, you will understand why…
For those of you who may not have read the original “Miss Detroit III” / Curtiss V-12 series of reports here on Woody Boater, including the engine restoration work from start to finish at Robert Mishko’s shop in Tennessee, you can click on the following links for each report from the Woody Boater archives. (Just click on the title)
Thanks to Ike Kielgass for sharing this “Miss Detroit III” update with us today. It’s exciting to see the engine finally being installed and she looks great!