Barn Find 1961 Chris Craft Continental Hard Top. Could This Be Next Years Tahoe Winner?

One of the coolest designed Chris Crafts ever made

One of the coolest designed Chris Crafts ever made

Meet the latest barn fresh barn find from longtime fellow Woody Boater Don Hardy of McCall Boat Works. You may recall Dons other barn finds, like the pink Hemi U22, and the mountain barn find Barrel Back that just won at Tahoe, or Twinn Finn the stunning 1958 Chris Craft Continental. Well, he has done it again. This specific 1961 has it all, and is about to undergo a full preservation for the Tahoe 2014 show deadline.

My favorite part of this is the inch thick dust!

My favorite part of this is the inch thick dust!

Don had found the continental earlier this year, but just picked it up from its home in the barn since 1972 in the Castro valley in California. As you know here at Woody Boater, this is one of our fantasy boats, and we are also frieks about originality and low hours. Well, this one has 149 original hours, AND is very original. the interior is perfect according to Don. Dang… Dang and more dang. OH… and a big block 430 motor! DANG!!!!! Double dog doodelly dang dang!

Nice interior

Nice interior


    looks like a strange wheel? I have no idea?

looks like a strange wheel? I have no idea?

barn find interior5

Congrats to Pascal the new owner and Don. Looks like a fantastic winter project!

Fresh out of the barn since 1972

Fresh out of the barn since 1972

Here is the transom shot fresh out of the barn

Here is the transom shot fresh out of the barn

34 replies
  1. Troy
    Troy says:

    That is fully a Double Dipped DANG!!
    How does he find these things?
    I have had dreams of finding something like that.
    May have to start saving for a trip to Tahoe.

  2. don vogt
    don vogt says:

    double cool. I know don will do a great job on it and will look forward to seeing it at tahoe. Remember that Paul Harrison picked one up at the Todd Warner auction, so maybe this will stimulate him to get his in tip top shape, too. It would be neat to see them together at the show. (there are gull wings on the top, too. Very campy. Gives the century coronado a run for its money.)

  3. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    yes, these are great boats and the one I acquired 3 years ago is still sitting in Portland, waiting. Styling is a “bit” more reserved than in the Coronado’s I would say. Unfortunately the interior in mine has to be replaced- it is close to original in appearance but not right. The engine has been done, and the woodwork awaits. I hope to get it done in the next year or so but it will be a 2015 boat, not 2014. By appearances, the wood in this one and in mine are very comarable and will need preservation more than replacement. The bottom on mine will have to be done – Don, how about the bottom on this one?

    Don and Pascal have a great find here, and it will be outstanding -as all Don’s boats are. I know he and I will be in regular contact as this process moves forward – we eneded up just doing nearly identical 1940 19′ BB’s that were at the show, side by side. Wasn’t planned but that is the way it worked out. Don, expect me by your shop during my next trip to ID!

  4. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    Steering wheel is definitely not right, and what engine does it have, Don? Mine is the 430, but you could also get the small block in these. Apparently very little performance difference due to significantly higher weight of the 430.

  5. cobourg kid
    cobourg kid says:

    Really compelling header photo today Alex… Spiders out boating now that’s different . BTW I note that the camera boat was underway at the time the pic was snapped which ads some drama Hmmmm…. was someone else at the helm while you were snapping away at that ol’ stowaway spider or was this one of those multi-tasking moments that you are famous for?

    • Alex
      Alex says:

      CK, my daughter, Marion, was driving her namesake boat. It’s our user, hence the missing chrome on the light. I never even saw the spider until I was reviewing the many photos I took that night. Sometimes I guess the camera gets lucky.

      • cobourg kid
        cobourg kid says:

        No need to explain, without that missing chrome the spidy shot would not have been even half as compelling as it turned out. Why is it that many of us (myself included) can’t stand imperfections in our own boats, cars , homes and boat houses but when it comes to other folks stuff we become entranced by scenes that reveal the odd beauty of the imperfect world. Case in point ; one of my favorite pics this year was the my shot of Larry the Lyman’s poor ol’ disintegrating cousin Cruisette

        • Alex
          Alex says:

          CK, great question. Could it be because the imperfections are “their problem,” not ours? I tend to think it’s more than that. With our boats, we’re so close to them. With the boats of others, we can view them from a step back. It also might be a case of “grass is greener.” Or it could be that we covet what we don’t have. Maybe it’s some combination of these things. Either way, I see your point.

          And I see your point re the beauty in that photo of the decrepit Lyman. I took several pics of graveyard boats this summer. A triple and a 22U stood out in particular. Both were pattern boats / basket cases. The triple had a beautiful sheen to its grey wood. And the upswept pieces were still there, so the elegant lines were preserved. The 22 was totally exposed to the elements, and the boat had quite a sag to it. I was moved to see several coniferous trees starting to grow underneath it and alongside it. An artist would say it was the trees reaching up to claim it. It also has an ashes to ashes symbolism. That boat will, as it decays, fertilize those very trees.

  6. Tommyholm
    Tommyholm says:

    The steering wheel is a modern wheel from the 70-80s that Century used. With a little more work that CC could be as cool as a Coronado 🙂

    Nice fine, lots of luck

  7. donald hardy
    donald hardy says:

    These are fun to share thru Wood Boater. Only way, to get it out. to all who appreciate these boats of the past. We did not make it to Tahoe this year. The BB award was at the CDA Id Show. Last month. Enjoy the barn finds.

    • Bob Menzel
      Bob Menzel says:

      Tho it has probably been suggested before the restoration of this beautiful CC could really be a “Reality TV show” worth watching! If that is not possible please keep us updated on the progress of the resto’. Thanks!

  8. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Thanks to Popeil (marketers of the famous Popeil pocket fisherman) you can now get Popeils Official Barn Dust in a can and create the “buzz” instantly with any boat you have sitting around.

    This is different than their dehydrated water in a can … see below.

    • Jimmuh
      Jimmuh says:

      Back in the good old MAD days, we had cases of that stuff in our bomb shelter……I think by now it’s probably all dried up though….

  9. Tyson K.
    Tyson K. says:

    As I am blessed to have my rad little ’61 Ski boat, Paul H. knows my feelings on the 21′ Continental. I threatened to move into his when his is done. It is my dream. It is my Eleanor. (Gone in 60 Seconds ref:).

    You have found the proverbial Unicorn. Congratulations on your magnificent find.

    But I am sad to say, this particular 61 is junk. But I am here for you, and I will be happy to take this eye sore off your hands so that you can be rid of it, and go on with your lives, please send me an email so I can give you my address and you can have it shipped to me.

    No, no, no need to thank me. 🙂

  10. David Harris
    David Harris says:

    Here’s MY Barn Find!

    Gents, Loved finding this post and reading about this Boat! I just uncovered the exact same boat last week in Shreveport, Louisiana….1961 Chris Craft Continental Hard top with a 430 Lincoln.

    • Kurt Lutzow
      Kurt Lutzow says:


      Love you find:) I have CCC # 0061 in TX on Lake Conroe and a home in Slidell. I would love to see your boat or at least talk. Please email me if you would like.

  11. David Harris
    David Harris says:

    Ok, Ok so Endless Summer ISN’T a true barn find…she has been in a barn…but I’ve known Exactly where she’s been since 1977, when I got her! I use to show her in the Dixieland Chapter while living in Memphis, but now she’s down in Louisiana and in need of a restoration.

    I’m new to the Woody Boater site but like what I’ve seen so far. I was thrilled to come across this site last week and finding the Woody of the Month and that unmistakable transom of the 1961 Continental…along with all the comments…very Cool!

    Don Hardy-I’ll be contacting you soon!

    In case you are wondering, the engine is original and has 537 Hrs.

  12. Bruce Barton
    Bruce Barton says:

    It’s time for a t.v. show on Woody restorations. But please…, no yell and screaming about it has to be done in the morning.

Comments are closed.