Love It Or Hate It! The Plaid Rocket, Gets Her Mojo.


NOS plaid interior

As we have been talking about the Plaid Rocket preservation over the past couple months,  we have had some mixed reactions, and I think that’s the coolest part of this preservation.  Now, what is being preserved here is far far more important than the wood. This story is more about preservation of emotion, and that is a bigger mission. So what emotion is being preserved? Well, the drama of design, love, hate and how a company responds to sales numbers and emotion.

Bungs being put in

This interior was part of the original design concept, introduced as such, and after a very short time, replaced with a normal interior. No doubt because people came into the dealerships, or the dealers them selves said NO WAY. To extreme. And that conversation has no doubt taken place during interior restorations on these limited Rockets over the years. Either through interior folks who couldn’t find a match, or the owners wanting a more normal interior or thinking the fabric has disappeared. Until now. Love it or hate it, its a very important historical thing to go back to the original fabric concept. And hopefully, the debate will continue at the boat dock. And that is what a real preservation is all about. A huge thanks to the team at Katzs marina for sharing the fun and keeping the preservation of design and ideas alive! We also deeply appreciate that they are willing to take risks and have the courage to share with all of us.

She is getting done!

Preserved for us all to argue about!

20 replies
  1. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    Plaids we’re very popular back in the 50’s. I had a shirt that looked very much like that print in 1956 when I was 6 . I love it!

  2. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    We have also had the discussion of classic vs simply old. Designers have bad days too, and not everything they produced should be preserved. Some poor guy from Chris-Craft is rolling in his grave. “Dammit, it was a bad Monday morning, I was hoping we could all forget that one and move on, but No! someone has to “preserve” it and keep torturing my soul.”

  3. Matt
    Matt says:

    HA! I bet the opposite is happening. That designer fought hard for the plaid. As a designer we are always pushing ahead of the general public and like extreams because they capture emotion. I bet he is thrilled that someone apreciates his or HER? fight!

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Did Chris-Craft employ women designers back then? I’ll have to dig up some old photos, but I think I remember the design team looking like a very white male bunch.

      So you think someone fought hard for that stuff and the management team gave in to him until the customers delivered a reality check? Nah! The way I imagine this going down is a very attractive young saleswoman from the plaid factory took out an overweight balding designer/purchaser from Chris Craft for a 3-6 martini lunch. Next thing you know, Chris Craft has a 100 yard roll of the stuff and needs to find a place to use it. Meanwhile, said designer has a hangover, an angry boss at work, and an angry wife at home. And now more than half a century later, Matt and Seth are reminding everyone of his bad day, and he is getting the cold shoulder and lots of angry glares in the afterlife.

      • Matt
        Matt says:

        HAHAHA! yes, I am sure that happened, BUT, this was all the rage in the car world, and we know that Chris Craft used designers from detroit and also used alot of car stuff. Sterring wheels, dash parts etc. So its not a leap to think that this was the “cool” thing to do. And the company that made this was a serious large supplier to the auto world. So most likly the boat sales people were the chubby white guy varety.

  4. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Love it / Hate it! good day / bad day?
    It is another one saved from the burn pile, that is what I LOVE!

  5. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    I love it. And if I were restoring a vintage Porsche 911 I’d go for one with their classic houndstooth plaid.

  6. Mark Bigda
    Mark Bigda says:

    I asked Rocket Man what he thought on the subject.

    He is happy to see another sibling rescued even though it is kind of a “wild child”.


  7. Stenz
    Stenz says:

    I’m with Rabbit – I have a few vintage Porsche 911’s and that pattern would look great in all of them. Reminds me of what Singer Vehicle Design is doing with their “restyled/rebuilt” 911’s -classic!

    • Rabbit
      Rabbit says:

      Stenz, any Woodyboater with an interest in cars should look at what Singer is doing with vintage Porsches. They are insanely expensive (@$500k now) but show what attention to detail is all about. If I were a man of such means I’d take a Singer over any modern Porsche, Ferrari or Lamborghini.

  8. Bill Anderson
    Bill Anderson says:

    THis is just a fiberglass but I found NOS top and all side curtains,we have more plaid for display in back,but would like more of this pattern to do interior sometime,we have cushions for now

  9. Briant
    Briant says:

    Love the boat and love that history, no matter what the colour scheme, is being preserved…..

    But my God that plaid is hideous. Plaid should be only on some tough Scottish bastard’s kilt.

  10. Darthtrader
    Darthtrader says:

    The upholstry company probably did the tooling and produced a roll to appease some automotive interior designer, and when the big boss said “Not No, but Hell NO! What were you thinking; didn’t you do a focus group and pass it by the womens committee? Show me the research numbers” the upholstry company was left holding the bag as it were. They immediately gave it to their aftermarket sales team with a challenge. Sure enough, somebody, probably the girl with the short skirt managed to unload it on a CC stylist with some big lie like “I was able to sneak this roll out just for you. It’s the coming thing” You will be ahead 0f the curve for once; nobody else will have it”.

  11. Bruce
    Bruce says:

    Yeah, even the top design teams put out a dud on occasion. This loser of a design only lasted a year before being changed to the superior one-piece glass.

  12. Don Vogt
    Don Vogt says:

    Matt, i suspect there may be an interesting story about finding the nos upholstery. do you know it?

  13. Johnny V.
    Johnny V. says:

    As you are probably well aware, if you plan on having the boat judged make sure you’ve got your documentation handy and are present when the boat is evaluated by the judging team. I remember getting flack for the fire red upholstery in my ’56 Sportsman even though it was listed on the hull card and I had a swatch of the original material.

    I think the plaid is great!

  14. Frank Miklos
    Frank Miklos says:

    The correct plaid will be extremely hard to find in vinyl. If you look it is a very large plaid pattern. But if found and duplicated I would do it. if you can’t get close to the correct pattern then I would not do it. In my mind it would have to be a 90%+ match to consider doing it.

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