A huge thanks to long time fellow Woody Boater Randy Mueller for dragging Miss Madison out of the barn in Washignton State to our show. This is just the kind of rare boats that our show has. Take that Lake tahoe.. And best of all. We can all cough, and spew and all be safe. Take that… mmm Me? Okay, here is MISS MADISON!
You might want a little background on what led me down this ‘insane’ path.
Back in the early ’50’s, living in the Seattle area (Ballard, home base of the unlimited hydroplane Miss Bardahl) hydroplane racing was the number 1 sport. Well, to be truthful it was the only sport in town. No professional football, basketball, soccer, or much of anything else. Oh, we did have a minor league baseball team — but hydroplane racing (outboards & limited inboards) ruled the roost around here.
But when the now famous Slo Mo IV traveled back to Detroit in 1950 and won the prestigious Gold Cup Race that sealed our fate. By winning that race she earned the right to bring the Cup back to Seattle and the right to run that race in 1951. The Pacific Northwest went crazy. For us, this race was the Super Bowl/World Series/etc. all wrapped up into one!
Another improved Slo Mo was built to compete for that race — it was called Slo Mo V, and it was my all time favorite Hydroplane. In the mid-’50’s it was damaged in a crash, repaired and renamed Miss Seattle. It remained my favorite hydro and I always had a soft spot in my heart for her.
By the early ’70’s I was out of college and had turned to sailing. I vividly remember in the Spring of 1974, after moving up to a new sailboat, seeing an ad in the classified section of the Seattle Times newspaper listing the unlimited hydroplane Miss Seattle for sale — $5000. Boy, I had to think long and hard about that opportunity. But reality set in — these old plywood craft required inside storage to survive, and this was the defining issue for me. That, and nobody really was collecting or running these pieces of history at that time. I had to pass. Fortunately, she was saved and reappeared many years later restored and running — currently on display at the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum.
I was aware of the history behind the unlimited Miss Madison, and of that famous Gold Cup Race in Madison, Indiana in 1971 — which she won in front of her hometown crowd. In the early 2000’s I accidentally ran across her locally while helping to prepare one of the turbine hydros for the beginning of race season. She was outside, but had several older tarps covering her. This is a tenuous situation at best, and I visited her numerous times when I was up that way volunteering at the Hydro Museum — she was only about 5-miles from there. After monitoring her for a few years, and not hearing any positive response to questions about her showing up at the museum for a restoration, I decided to propose a sale to ensure her survival for a future restoration. Like the Slo Mo V/Miss Seattle there was just too much history here to jeopardize by leaving outside in the elements.
I immediately moved her to covered storage and shop vac’d all the old leaves and debris out. Being open and under cover she dried out nicely.
… and now you know the rest of the story.
STAY TUNED, WE ARE GONNA KEEP THE LAKE DORA SHOW VIBE GOING HERE THROUGH OUT THE WEEK! YOU CAN APPLY SUN SCREEN AND SNIFF SOME VARNISH IF IT HELPS!
Here is a great video Dane Anderson found. COOL!