Conqueror 1

Vintage Chrysler Sport Boats Brochure – Circa 1974-ish


With the ongoing debate about classic fiberglass vs classic wood – today on Woody Boater we decided to feature something for everyone, a fair & balanced approach to classic boat reporting, right? Both featured boats today also have an interesting connection to the automotive industry. Here at Woody Boater we love them all. – Texx

1974 Chrysler Conqueror 105 – Fiberglass Outboard

A few days ago we came across a craigslist ad from Appleton, Wisconsin featuring what appears to be a very nice, and very cool 1974 Chrysler Conqueror 105. Although we have featured a number of stories about late 1960’s – early 1970’s Chris-Craft and Donzi fiberglass speedboats, I don’t think we have ever touched on the Chrysler Sport Boat line from the same era – until today. After spending more than 10 years attending classic boat shows around the country, I can’t remember ever seeing a early 70’s Chrysler sport boat like this at a show.

The seller of the 1974 Chrysler Conqueror on craiglist doesn’t get into much detail about the boat other than mentioning the tires on trailer have been replaced, battery and spark plugs are new, etc. So we decided to put together some basic information on the Chrysler marque, including a few vintage 1974 brochures we borrowed from fellow Woody Boater Dane Anderson’s archive (thanks Dane!).

There is also an excellent story on Allpar.com which covers the entire history of Chrysler Marine from it’s beginnings in 1927 producing marine engines to 1993 when the remaining marine divisions were sold.

courier

Photo courtesy www.allpar.com

An excerpt from the Allpar.com story – In 1965, thanks to the purchase of West Bend Outboard, Chrysler had 29% of the U.S. marine engine market. With West Bend came their factory in Hartford, Wisconsin; and Chrysler acquired Elgin, another maker of outboard engines, in 1966. The new purchases led to a new division, separate from the Marine Engine Division, called the Chrysler Outboard Corporation.

George Shahovskoy, former Contributing Editor for Power and Motor Yacht, wrote that the West Bend outboards “looked great but had a horrible reputation and were awfully noisy.” Chrysler immediately commissioned a new line of power boats, its first such line, from Don Mortrude.

Chrysler also bought Lonestar Boat of Plano, Texas in May of 1965; Lonestar had started out in the mid-1950s. It was re-named the Chrysler Boat Corporation. – Allpar

Conqueror 2

Vintage Chrysler Sport Boats Brochure – Circa 1974-ish

For 1974, a new deep-vee Conqueror 105 was added; Chrysler called it “the first boat ever designed for a specific outboard motor – the classic Chrysler 105.” A shallow-vee Chrysler Conqueror was also added, along with a Carvel III Hydro-Vee. 1975 saw a new 17 foot Conqueror 135 added; the Conqueror 105 was already the most popular Chrysler boat by this time, so it was perhaps no surprise to see the name appear on a sailboat in 1976 (a 21-footer that could handle a V8 stern drive and jet power). – Allpar

Here are a few photos of the 1974 Chrysler Conqueror 105 from the craigslist Appleton, WI ad.

Craigslist Ad 1 Craigslist Ad 2 Craigslist Ad 3 Craigslist Ad 4

You can Click Here to go directly to the craiglist ad which includes the sellers description of the boat and trailer. The asking price is not included but the seller states “Make a REASONABLE offer.” – Texx
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1936 Chevy-Chase Mahogany Car-Boat
“No Hills, No Stop Lights – A Drivers Paradise”

Yesterday our friend & fellow Woody Boater Robert DaPron sent us a link to an unusual story & video that was posted on the popular automotive website www.BangShift.com. Although this story will no doubt make it’s way around the Internet, we just had to share it with our viewers today.

But just keep in mind folks, “You can’t un-see a video once you watch it…”

chevy-boat

“Chevy-Chase” – Photo courtesy www.BangShift.com

An excerpt from the BangShift.com story – The late Percy Hunt of Buffalo, New York seems like he was one heck of a guy. Hunt was a large Chevrolet dealer in the Buffalo area and a very astute business man (as you’ll learn about in a minute) who had the amazing craft that you’ll see in the video below built for him. We’re not sure who the boat builder was but when Hunt told the guy he wanted his boat built around a 1936 Chevy sedan we have to imagine that there were some raised eyebrows and perhaps a little bit of scoffing as well. But, as the old saying goes, “money talks” and as you’ll watch below, Hunt got his boat and it is one of the neatest things we have seen in a long, long time.

At first we were thinking that we’d see a floating car but instead what we see is a beautiful mahogany boat with the body and running gear of a 1936 Chevy serving as the cabin and wheelhouse. The boat’s name? Chevy Chase, of course. Appropriate for a guy who sold Chevrolets and had a last name of Hunt. – BangShift.com

You can Click Here to see the full story of “Chevy-Chase” at BangShift.com

With the depth of knowledge our viewers have here at Woody Boater, it would be fun to try and identify what the original 35′ donor hull was before it was (cough) “customized” for the late Percy Hunt from Buffalo, NY.

Texx
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24 Responses to “Twofer Sunday – 1974 Chrysler Conqueror Fiberglass & 1936 Chevy-Chase Mahogany”
  1. Rick

    The Chevy-Chase once again proves that just because it can be done doesn’t mean it should. Also just because it costs a lot doesn’t mean it’s not tasteless .

  2. m-fine

    Never ever trust a guy from Buffalo NY! They think things like the Chevy Chase or Century Arabians are classy.

  3. Dennis Mykols

    on that Chrysler boat, if he had to replace the floor boards, I would suspect the stringers were also rotten. That is one of the bad things to look out for, buying little boats like these. If they stay out in the weather for years, water damage can plan havoc in hard to see places. These were built with a lot of wood in them at that time.
    Buyer beware…

    • Leo Kiser

      I bought the Chryser boat features in this article. The floor is perfect and original. It has the original gelcoat that still shines. The motor starts and runs very strong for a 41 year old motor. It does have the famous “Chrysler cough” before it starts. Most of the vinyl is in good condition. My wife and I use it on small lakes in Wisconsin. What a blast from the past.

  4. Wilson

    I recall too when my daughter first started dating he husband he had a Chrysler sailboat….A little heavy as I recall. We quickly cleaned it up and sold it.

  5. Mike W

    Good to see something on the Chrysler boat line. My first real job out of college, skip the first two years of aimlessness, was with Chrysler Marine and worked at the HQ in Warren. I could tell stories for a long time about the failures of both the boats, management and corporate hierarchy.

    Some of their boats were leading edge in design while many were tired and well behind the times. The Conqueror was a great running boat and good looking as well. Their Courier line was a mix of a V and cathedral hull and a excellent hull but not very good looking. Their last boat was a 22′ V hull with their own designed outdrive. It was a fantastic running boat with a lot of freeboard but was launched at the very end of the divisions life so only a few were made. I’ve only seen one in recent years. Same to be said for their sailboat line. The sailboats were Hershoff designed and very nice boats but poorly built.

    Their outboards were simple in design but nothing was ever invested in new product. No through hub exhaust, poor tolerances and their initial production of electronic ignition was a mess. All they ever did was marketing with graphics and raising a lowering the horse power by 5 to create new models.

    As some of you may recall, Chrysler had a bit of a problem back in ’79/80 and they sold or closed of their non-automotive divisions. I was able to find other work and eventually Bayliner took them over. More of the same after that.

  6. Troy in ANE

    You guys find the damnedest stuff.

    I don’t dare say it, but I kind of like it. Just because it different and strange. Kind of like a girl wearing sausages.

  7. MikeM

    Sorry Matt. Like the great Percy Hunt, most Buffalo boys are refined and not likely to stoop to m-fines level and engage in an online spat.

    Incidentally, the source of m-fines contempt, The Mighty Arabian, is looking for a new home. I suggest m-fine and Alex pool their resources, buy it and then destroy it.

    The Chrysler is a cool boat. I also love the lines of the car boat, minus the car. That hull has beautiful lines.

  8. Bill Anderson

    This is a fiberglass boat that was moulded from a wood boat and a 46 chevy sedan,actually good shape but don’t know when I will do it,,not hi on my list there was supposedly 2 made by a couple bros Bill

    • Texx

      Thanks for posting these Bill. I have seen shots of this boat before but didn’t know it was yours, and knew nothing about it. Now I know it’s in good hands.

      Looks like a challenging restoration. – Texx

  9. Steve Moreau

    But what if she was sporting bacon!

    My brother and I had a king fisher tub stick steer with a 55 Chrysler. Never left us out. Unless we died and we’re some where In between!

  10. Jack Schneiberg

    I’ve always been skeptical of the Chrysler Marine produces. In fact my current Century Imperial Sportsman came with a 45 hp Chrysler and I sold it quick and replaced it with a Mercury Mark 55. But I’va always driven Chrysler products and I did work for Chrysler in the ’70’s. Plus I live in West Bend, Wisconsin near Hartford and remember the sale of West Bend outboard to Chrysler Marine. That 105 does intrigue me. It is a stylish untie. Like the motor. Like the boat……Hmmmmm!

  11. Texx

    Last Sunday (Nov. 2, 2014) the Chrysler Corporation officially became Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. as FCA shares began trading on the stock exchange in Milan, Italy, and on Monday, on the New York Stock Exchange.

    This also meant that after 52 years, Chrysler’s original Pentastar logo was officially retired in favor of a new FCA (Fiat Chrysler) corporate logo.

    The Pentastar was developed in 1962 by Lippincott & Margulies, Chrysler’s advertising agency, at the direction of Chrysler president Lynn Townsend. His goal was to create a new, easily recognizable symbol to represent all of Chrysler’s brands, one that could cross both borders and cultures while still remaining relevant.

    An estimated 800 designs were submitted by Lippincott & Margulies, with the Pentastar design (penned by Robert Stanley, who also created the Pentastar name) ultimately winning out. In designing the logo, Stanley hoped to achieve a symbol that was, “not too complicated for people to remember,” yet possessed of a “very strong, engineered look.” – Texx

  12. Leo

    I just bought the Chrysler 105 pictured in is article. Still shines after 41 years. Floor is original and solid. Motor runs perfect. My son and I ran it on Green Lake (Wisconsin). What a blast! Zero to 40 in a few seconds. I bought it to exploer small lakes and rivers where I can’t take my 35′ Carver.

    PS: I also worked for Chrysler in the early 70’s.

    Leo from Fond du Lac WI.