Is This The Oldest Higgins Boat Out There?

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Serial Number 99

We got a wonderful note from fellow Woody Boater Brett Fecho regarding his fathers Higgins, they believe its a Higgins Sport Speedster owned by millionaire Walker Mccune he moved from the states to Canada and he ended up selling the boat to a friend of my grandpas and he bought it off his friend the engines restored just needs a bit more work to get it in the water we can’t find a whole lot of info about the boat but he ordered it before WW2 and the serial no is 99 any info would be awesome.

The Manufacture plate, but is the year right?

Strong man!

Looks cool, but would it have been all red?


The transom

That’s all we got, the boat is buried in a garage under piles of stuff. If anyone out there in Woodyboaterville has more info on Higgins and the age of this? Speak up. We have done a bunch of stories on Higgins, but mostly they are all referencing Post War Higgins. Is this a Pre War Higgins? is it the only one out there? We for sure want to see more images from Bret! HERE IS THE BEST STORY WE HAVE ON HIGGINS FROM TEXX!


15 replies
  1. Trudy Fecho
    Trudy Fecho says:

    Hi Brett Fecho’s mom here. It is a 1940. It is wrote in the wood on the back of the seat. Looks like authenticly done when manufactured. Boat just needs the wiring done and the last coats of paint in red and white.

    • Brett Fecho
      Brett Fecho says:

      We can take some just have to find time to clean out some of the stuff in the boat to crawl in and get photos for you!

  2. Matt
    Matt says:

    Newer photos of details would help. The real question is this a acurate show condition restoration or a Lets have some artistic freedom? If it is one of the early ones. I think it should be done to the most accurate way possible for future generations to know more.

    • Brett Fecho
      Brett Fecho says:

      Planned to restore it to original it is not finished and we will paint it white and red again just haven’t got to that stage yet as money is a factor

  3. Jeff Davey President HCBA
    Jeff Davey President HCBA says:

    The earliest tag to date that we are aware of is H-17-C #218 a ’17 Higgins in Michigan built in 1946. Hull #18,400 is one of the last to be built before the factory doors closed in 1963. The HCBA is not aware of any sport boats being built before or during WWII. We know they built work Boats, swamp boats and commercial boats before the war. All records were lost and Hurricane Katrina finished off what was left. That doesn’t mean that hull 99 wasn’t built in 1940, just that we at HCBA are not familiar with any pre-war sport boats. It would be nice to have the engine serial # verified if original engine is still with the hull #99, this would help confirm the year the engine was built. This may help determine the year of your boat. Regardless of the year, your hull#99 is believed to be the earliest surviving Higgins we are aware of. We welcome any information as we are continuously learning about the identification tags.

    • Brett Fecho
      Brett Fecho says:

      Hey we can get more photos and send them to you can i have your email the boat was built for the wealthy heir to the pennzoil company walker mccune and he played cards with my grandfather ee had no idea he was as rich as he was but we knee he was fairly wealthy they started building it and had to stop becuase of the war he got it after the war ended the engine is original was restored in the 80s

      • Jeff Davey
        Jeff Davey says:

        We would like to try to help you get answers, can you please send pictures of the engine serial number tag and also the strip serial number tag on the rear frame by the shaft log if it is still there. Also the dash and instrument cluster Maybe this is a start. Send to

        • Brett Fecho
          Brett Fecho says:

          Just found the hull tag says 40II I N 99

          Rnhime serial number is 12694 I messaged a parts company and can see right on the engine it is a Chrysler ace m6 marine engine the first of the serial numbers for that engine began at 10001 so it is 2693 of the production but the engine was built in Detroit the boat in new Orleans I beleive now that the hull was built pre ww2 than once it broke out they couldnt source the engine as materials were prohibited during ww2 and finished the boat after the war

    CLIF AMES says:

    Great Higgins story. Hope to hear more. My first speedboat ride (1948) was on South River, MD in a Higgins red and white. Dr Ed Wilson’s boat

  5. George Emmanuel
    George Emmanuel says:

    One of the deciding factors of a Higgins is its dash. Since they used an automobile dash I doubt they would use one earlier than the manufacture of the boat. Engine serial numbers IMHO would not be totally conclusive either. Higgins are hard to document! If I could post a picture of my 1948, I would.

  6. Diane Laenen
    Diane Laenen says:

    We are in the process of restoring a 1946 17′ Higgins. It’s certainly not like restoring a Chris Craft. Information is not available anymore and the Higgins Classic Boat Assoc. is a great source to turn to. Our tag also starts with #40 which we think may just be part of their serial numbering. Our total tag number is 4011-3-N-218…. it’s always an adventure!

    • Brett Fecho
      Brett Fecho says:

      Possibly the seats said 1940 though as did other things in the boat if true than yours is 1940 too

  7. Matt
    Matt says:

    This is great info and does help. We are going to spend more and more time on Higgins boats, so stay tuned.

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