Mt Dora or Bust! – "Amarillo by Morning"

It’s now Saturday night, stopped just west of Amarillo, Texas for a short rest at one of those luxurious 39.99 motels along I-40. Should make “Amarillo by Morning” (Matt please que the George Strait music)

Delivered the 1959 Red Fish 17 to Vintage Boatworks in Bakersfield, CA on Friday and had the pleasure of spending the entire day with the owner on Vintage Baotworks, Larry McKay. Larry is passionate about these late 50’s fiberglass classics and now specializes in restoring them for himself and his customer’s. Here’s a few shots of his beautifully restored 1957 Larson Thunderhawk. Larson Thunderhawks have a distinctive hull design and were manufactured in Little Falls, Minnesota.
Another of Larry’s personal gems currently under restoration is this rare 1958 19′ Lone Star Caribbean. In terms of classic fiberglass sedan’s from the late 50’s, this boat is extremely original and considered to be very collectible these days. When completed, it will be powered by a pair of period correct big twin outboards. In 1958 Lone Star dealer’s sold these boats for $1,895.00. A sedan with Fins!

Among Larry McKay’s personal collection of 18 fiberglass classics, I found this wooden runabout. It’s a 1958 Mercury Sabre 16′. Not much is known about this marque and if anyone out there has any information, please let us know. The boat has planked hull sides and decks, and although it now has a small Ford V-8, Larry thinks it was originally shipped with a Grey Marine 6. Check out the wooden trailer – Yikes! Imagine burning up a wheel bearing on the interstate and the trailer catches on fire…..

Vintage Boatworks prepared a perfect, period correct 1957 Mercury Mark 55 to take to Mt Dora for the ’57 Lake n’ Sea. The Mark 55 was also delivered with NOS Mercury controls for the show. 50 year old controls in the original Mercury box – Wow.

Then on Friday morning, I stopped in Nevada to check out this restored 1946 EZ Float boat trailer. The period correct wheels and tires for the trailer were stored inside to prevent any UV damage. According to the owner (restorer), this trailer was originally used to transport a Gar Wood Ensign. A very simple and effective design for the period I am told. The stern is raised up with a mechanical winch / crank (on the right of the pic), and is suspended by a rubber sling at the rear of the trailer.

Time to get down the road to stay on schedule with some serious “Windshield Time” on Saturday. Nevada to Arizona to New Mexico to Texas. Over the last few days, looking at all the classic boats along the way, it’s only fitting to stop and remember the days when everyone traveled the across the land via Historic Route 66.

A view of the Grand Canyon from the South Rim. Words cannot describe the natural beauty and shear size of the canyon.So….. Why are we immediately drawn to anything that was made from wood in the 1930’s?

The seams need to be re-calked, but other than that she looks pretty good!

Stay Tuned – Texx

3 replies
    FRANCHINI says:

    This is almost like "Where in the world is Matt Lauer." Having a blast checking in daily on the progress of his trip and trying to guess where is Texx going to end up today? Crank up the music and have a great drive!

  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Good eveningTexx and all, I would love to get in touch w/Larry about his Mercury Sabre. I have a 1959, 18" Mercury Sabre. I know some history of the company and my boat and would love to share it with him!

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Mercury Boats were made at Piru, California. They made lots of inboard runabouts and utilities. You see their ads in the old boating magazines of the 1950s and 1960s.

    Bob Speltz has a chapter on them in Volume II of "The Real Runabouts" book series, page 71.

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