Some Days It Can Be A Small Hobby – But In A Good Way


August issue of Autoweek Magazine featuring the Mercedes Benz GL350 Bluetec

Yesterday I received an e-mail from my buddy Rob DaPron, a wooden boat restorer in Seattle, with a photo from the new Autoweek Magazine. They did a story about the new Mercedes Benz Bluetec SUV, which included a photo of a big Chris-Craft triple. And of course the first thing that comes to mind is “What exactly is that boat, who owns it, and where was the photo taken?”

Then today I noticed that our friends over at Classic Boating Magazine posted a similar photo on their Facebook page, asking the same question. A fellow responded on Facebook to say that Dutch Mandel from Autoweek was in the Hessel / Cedarville area at the end of July and stopped by to visit the Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarville, and he recognized the Mercedes in the Autoweek photo.

Autoweek - Copy
So tonight, I thought it would be fun to answer the question, and e-mailed Rob’s photo to fellow Woody Boater and restorer Tommy Mertaugh, our friend from Classic & Antique Boats in Hessel, Michigan. For the record, Tommy Mertaugh has this amazing computer-like memory when it comes to the more than 300 wooden boats in the Les Cheneaux area. And let’s not forget that there are a ton of Chris-Craft Triple Cockpit runabouts in the Les Cheneaux area, many still in original condition.

Tommy e-mailed me back within 20 minutes with this…

Texx – “It is “HUMIDOR”, a 1929 Chris-Craft 26 foot triple owned by Bill Campbell of the Les Cheneaux Club. You can tell because this boat was changed to wood interior panels, from the upholstered ones.”

And get this… Tommy also recognized the dock, which is at the Les Cheneaux Golf Club.

It’s a small hobby when you know who to ask. Great stuff. Thanks Rob & Tommy! By the way, that big Mercedes GL350 Bluetec diesel looks like one sweet tow rig to drag your classic boat around the country, lots of GRUNT…


3 replies
  1. Alex
    Alex says:

    My wife has the previous generation GL diesel to this new one. The guys from Top Gear said this about it, and I paraphrase…

    It’s enough to cause us concern the Germans are rearming.

    It’s true. It’s Teutonic. The vehicle is amazing. Unreal in Michigan’s worst inclement weather.

    Re this new model, I drove it (a 450 GL (gas)) a couple months back. The thing is incredible! Big, yet little. And unbelievably quick. It’ll pull that 26′ triple like its not even there. While the rivaling siblings inside fight obliviously over the remote for the DVD player.

    Re Tommy, Texx got it right. Don’t even try to “stump the chump” re the history of any classic boat in these parts!

  2. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    Nice to see this ad – it amazes me that this hobby does not have more high-end sponsor type relationships with companies like MB – they all like the elegance and luxury that old wooden boats exude.

    We are getting the ML 350 with a BlueTec- no kids and don’t need more space. Superb vehicles and I am a diesel convert (again). It still surprises me that the reputation and execrable performance of the disgraceful Olds Diesel in the late ’70’s has continued to sully the passenger vehicle uptake of diesel in the US – 3/4 ton and larger trucks excluded. If people had such long memories when recalling prior automotive messes, they would never have bought another fuel injected or turbo charged car, after GM’s early and unsatisfactory forays into those technologies – later ’50s and early ’60’s if I recall correctly.

  3. matt
    matt says:

    If there ever was the perfect image of timeless design this is it. One design from the 20’s and the latest in technology together and yet they both go together. Thats classic design. Pure and simple. Imagine this shot with a mid 80’s boat? Or a Kia SUV? Not the same. Kudos to Autoweek for capturing that. And to ad to that, Hessel just got 4G service. Old and new working together to improve our lives

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