Behind The Scenes Thursday At The 2015 Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance

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“CANDY” preparing to go in the drink at Obexer’s Marina – She’s a 1948 19’ Chris-Craft Racing Runabout 158-hp., 6-cyl. Chris-Craft MBL engine Chuck & Kathy Michel, Lake Arrowhead, Calif.

IT’S ALMOST LIKE A SYMPHONY WARMING UP BEFORE THE BIG PERFORMANCE – and California correspondent (and fellow Woody Boater) Steve Natale was behind the scenes today at Obexer’s Marina to capture the action with his new Canon camera. And yes, these photos will enlarge by clicking on them today.

And it’s not very often we get to experience photos of a premier boat show come together in advance of opening day, so this is fun to see today. Along with his wonderful photography (exclusive to Woody Boater today) Steve Natale also writes a regular column for the San Francisco Examiner which covers a wide range of vintage & classic cars, transportation and of course classic boats. Steve is a regular at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concourse and related car events that begin next week on the Monterey Peninsula. – Texx


Steven at Obexer’s taking care of a few last minute details on one of the big Gar Wood triples. (He loves his job – Texx)


In the staging area “A VERY GOOD YEAR” 1955 19’ Chris-Craft Capri 120-hp., 6-cyl. Chris-Craft engine Dave Samson, Ventura, Calif. and “AIN’T SHE SWEET” 1960 17’ Chris-Craft Sportsman 185-hp., 8-cyl. Chris-Craft engine Wayne Barker, Danville, Calif.


“BILLIE BEA II” being carefully backed down the launch ramp at Obexer’s – An amazing 1936 23’ Earl Barnes Runabout 135-hp., 12-cyl. Kermath Sea Zephyr engine David & Deborah Clark, San Diego, Calif.


“LUNADANZA” and her happy crew arrive at the marina with All Hands on Deck! – This is a beautiful 1970 22’4” Riva Ariston 220-hp., 8-cyl. Riva Crusader engine John & Allyson Fryhoff, San Ramon, Calif.


Steve captured this great shot of “MY SWEETIE JOHN FRANCIS” a glorious 1954 33’ Standacher Hacker Step Hydroplane 1500-hp., 12-cyl. Allison engine Kenneth Muscatel, Seattle, WA.


Thursday afternoon before the show opens to the public is when the team of Judges begin going over their designated boats. Each judging group (normally 3 judges and their escort) is given a select number of boats to judge, which takes place over tow days, starting on Thursday afternoon and usually finishing up on Friday. Under the experienced and watchful eye of Chief Judge Terry Fiest (and his team), these guys get it right.


The judging team on board the 1955 19’ Chris-Craft Capri.


Judges judging on Thursday afternoon – it’s always great to get a head start on the process before the crowds arrive at the docks on Friday.


“MIA BASILLISSA” arrives for the party amongst the Gar Woods and the 1961 Chris-Craft Continental in the background. The Riva is a 1969 21’ Riva Olympic 220-hp., 8-cyl. Riva Crusader engine Paul & Deborah Selak, Tahoe City, Calif.


Steve Natale snapped this great shot of “FIN & TONIC” a stunning 1961 21’ Chris-Craft Continental Gull Wing Hardtop 275-hp., 8-cyl. Lincoln engine owned by Derk Brill, Mountain View, Calif. This Continental was recent completed by our friend Don Hardy at McCall Boat Works in Idaho.

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Then tonight we received this photo and e-mail from the owner Derk Brill: Texx – Here we are at Tahoe with our ’61 Chris-Craft Continental Hardtop “Fin & Tonic” restored by Don Hardy at McCall Boat Works. Lot’s of great boats, but no Woody Boater shirts… Derk Brill (Note the red shirt)



“JOLTIN’ JOE” arrives at Obeser’s Marina. A very special 1948 22’ Chris-Craft Utility 115-hp., 6-cyl. Chrysler engine City of Martinez, Martinez, Calif. The “JOLTIN JOE” was originally owned by legendary New York Yankee great Joe DiMaggio. The boat was bestowed upon DiMaggio in 1949 in a ceremony at Yankee Stadium by fans grateful for his monster season (one of many) the year before.


“Good Grief” a 1940 Chris-Craft Barrelback that’s not included in the program!! Must have been a late entry. Brian Robinson will have to chime in on this one for us… – Texx


Our friend Tim Robinson from Robinson Restoration in Southern California guides a great looking Chris-Craft Capri into the docks on Thursday.


“BALI HAI” cruises in for the show – A beautiful 1953 24’ Chris-Craft Express Cruiser 145-hp., 6-cyl. Chris-Craft engine presented by Warren Bray, Tahoe City, Calif.


“TUCKER” – A 1956 20’ Chris-Craft Custom Sportsman 158-hp., 6-cyl. Chris-Craft MBL engine owned by Bob Swenson, Rancho Mirage, Calif.


Getting ready to splash “My Sweetie” – As you can see, the water levels in Lake Tahoe are down this year due to the extreme drought.


And last but certainly not leasy – “LEADING LADY” arrives, an elegant pre-war 1940 24’ 6” Gar Wood Custom Utility powered by a 115-hp., 6-cyl. Chrysler Crown engine. Presented by Terry & Carol Clapham, Jamestown, Calif.


Don Ayers sent us this great image of Lake Tahoe last night as the sun set.

So the gang is all here in Tahoe – and Woody Boater has many “Boots on the Ground” (or should we say “Flip Flops on the Ground”) to cover this year’s big Lake Tahoe Concours from many angles.

Stay tuned for daily updates from the show and the announcement of the different Class & Perpetual Award Winners on Sunday morning right here on Woody Boater.

Special thanks to Steve Natale for his contributions this week, we really appreciate the effort!


7 replies
  1. 7FTCWBY
    7FTCWBY says:

    I would like to replace all the family photos in my house with these instead. Shh… don’t tell my wife maybe I will next April Fools Day!!

  2. Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson says:

    Texx, Good Greif is there on its trailer in the boats for sale area, $75k, I think. It is a special 1940 19′ with factory brown leather and sportsman windshield.

  3. Ron S
    Ron S says:

    Wow! Nice pix Steve!
    But, as an ex USCG guy, and a boat guy for about 50 years, it is my understanding it is illegal to have any body part hanging outside your boat. Bow riding especially. It has been known to be fatal. Be safe!
    Wish I was there!

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