The Dave Wright Boat Collection Is Selling Fast – But A Few Project Boats Remain For Sale
Although not widely known, our friend Dave Wright gathered together quite a collection of rare and unusual wooden project boats on his farm in Southern California – all destined for future restorations. With Dave’s recent passing, his friends Tim and Brian Robinson (from Robinson Restoration also in Southern California) are assisting Dave’s wife Linda with the process of inventory and liquidation of the collection.
To streamline the process, two weeks ago a limited offering was distributed to collectors and restorers, resulting in some of the inventory selling within days of the offering. Although a number of boats are now sold, some project boats are still offered for sale. However, we thought our viewers (and potential buyers) would be interested to see the entire Dave Wright collection c/w pricing to give you a sense of where the market is for project boats these days. Here’s the summary from Brian Robinson.
Linda Wright asked me a couple weeks ago to inventory Dave’s collection of boats, engines, and parts. This is a daunting task, but one I am happy to do for her. She asked that I get the boats on the market ASAP. Since the boats are the easy part, I present you all the list and some photos of Dave’s 12½ boats. What is unique about Dave’s collection is they are all project boats, all “gray” boats. They are all mostly complete with most of the hardware etc. We have tried our best to price them all very fair, priced to sell. All prices are firm. I am not making any commission. All boats sold on Bill of Sale only.
1. 1929 Gar Wood 28’ Baby Gar model 28-30 Triple Cockpit.
Includes mostly complete original numbers matching Chrysler Imperial 6cyl 106hp engine. This is an unmolested very original boat down to the remnants of original upholstery. #293105. No Trailer. $30,000 SOLD
2. 1929 Gar Wood 28’ Baby Gar model 28-30 Triple Cockpit.
Offered with complete rebuildable Scripps 202 6cyl 678ci 200hp engine. #293170. Has original gauges and windshield but little hardware. Road-worthy trailer included. $25,000. SOLD
3. 1930 Gar Wood 28’ model 28-30 Triple Cockpit #2021.
Has original windshield, Consolidated panel and some hardware. No engine, no trailer. Straight hull. $25,000. SOLD
4. 1930 Hackercraft 26’ Triple Cockpit.
Only original 26-footer known to exist originally powered by optional Sterling Petrel 6cyl 780ci 200hp engine. Includes nice rebuildable correct Sterling, missing one cylinder head and carburetors. Most hardware including windshield, steering wheel, perfect original gauge panel, and new fuel tank. One of the prettiest designs ever. On non-road-worthy trailer $33,000. SOLD
5. 1937 Gar Wood 24’ Streamline Cabin Sedan utility #5994 .
Very rough condition, but extremely complete with all original cabinetry etc. Original numbers matching twin Chrysler Ace engines. One of 4 twin-engine 24’ built in 1937 (have great original photo of a sister boat #5933 – the New York show boat). One of five twin-engine 24’s ever built. On scary trailer but it did make it down from Tahoe. $22,000
6. 1947 Chris-Craft 20’ Custom Runabout.
Some work had been done but still a major project. Includes original M 130hp engine. Includes windshield and most hardware. #R-20-156. Originally delivered to Wilmington, CA. Trailer included. Includes complete Concours quality red leather interior. Original Honduras mahogany boat. $14,000.
7. 1947 Chris-Craft 22’ Utility.
A rare factory varnished Honduras mahogany version. Most Hardware. Includes core correct Chrysler SM-7 engine. Missing bottom planks. Not gray! #U-22-492. Trailer included. $3,000
8. 1948 Chris-Craft 19’ Red & White Racing Runabout.
Sides and deck are off. Very little rot. MCL engine included. Trailer included. #R-19-109. $9,000
9. 1955 Chris-Craft 19’ Capri. #CP-19-010.
Includes mostly complete original numbers matching K 95hp engine. Some hardware. Includes non-road-worthy trailer. $5,000
10. 1959 Chris-Craft 17’ Ski Boat.
Currently upside down, but does include the starboard half of another 17’ Ski Boat! No engine. FREE. SOLD
11. 1960 Century 16’ Resorter.
Very complete, on trailer with original Gray Fireball V8 170hp engine. FREE. SOLD
12. 1964 Chris-Craft 17’ Super Sport.
Includes original 327F Chris-Craft engine. Complete with original gauges. FREE. SOLD
Please contact me for more photos, or to set up an appointment. We have yet to inventory all of the engines, but among other things there is a Scripps 202 and 208, a complete Liberty V-12 and a ton of Liberty parts, and several K series Chris-Craft engines.
Thank you Matt and Texx, and thank you all!
Brian Robinson 760.468.1009
Good luck Brian – We hope this will help to get the word out to the community about the remaining boats from Dave’s collection for sale. For our viewers, this collection is in good hands with Tim & Brian Robinson and if you are interested, don’t hesitate to call, where you will receive straight, knowledgeable answers.
Thx texx. Very nice of them to do this for mrs. Wright.
Paul h., the gw looks like a great addition to your sedan collection!
I was marvelling at that Sedan, and admit to a certain amount of skepticism about just how retorable the GW sedan is, and what it will take to do it.I know what it takes and I admire the courage and hopefully the tenacity of the buyer.
I would guess a minimum of at least 2 to 3 for a professional concours quality restoration. Could put it up there with Hapike, the gw commuter, as a singular restoration. One of the really neat features is the dual engines. Perhaps Brian can enlighten us as to how many gw’s are out there with 2 engines. Not many I suspect. I think for example what a cool boat Leading Lady is, the great gw pre war utility at Tahoe. Although a fabulous boat in any event, the two engines just seem to be the frosting on the cake that put the boat over the top.
only a couple listed in acbs directory. dick dow has been restoring his gw ’36 20′ utility sedan. would be interesting to get his take on this.
btw a picture of leading lady attached, the 1940 24 ft. owned by Terry Clapham. Wonder if they use the same basic hull?
Bringing that sedan home might be rewarded with multiple tickets for littering as you leave most of it behind as you hit bumps in the road. Take it on the Cross Bronx Expressway and you’ll have an empty trailer (or not even that). Encase it in plaster the way they move fossils……………then use it as a mooring anchor.
I believe the most interesting among these will find deserving homes.
As for the less rare, one can always hope. And if not, at least their parts can go to support the survivors. Like donor organs, all is not lost.
Still have my grey 20 Custom. And a green light from my wife to restore it. Though the light is quite faint. In fact, you really have to squint to see it. Or maybe I’m just imagining it…
BTW, what’s after grey? White?
Oh. I got it. Petrified.
Alex – You are on the dance floor, but can barely hear the music…
Dirt comes after grey.
Brian, I would like to thank you for all your effort. Helping Linda with this is an enormous relief for her, SOOOOOOOO, Everyone interested in these boats, these sales are helping Linda. Thank you, David Black.
….and Brian, David would be very proud of you for what you are doing. David.
Come on Paul, start from the other end this time. All new Wood? Save this vessel. We are going to do the first four.
It will take awhile….
Don – thankfully somone else has bought that GW Sedan already, but no matter how rare, I would never consider a boat in that condition. I know too much about restoration costs, or it is perhaps that I have little enough money that I have to care about expenses like that. Either way, none of these project boats are for me. That said, I hope those that have bought them enjoy the process and get them back on the water.
All joking and wisecracks aside I am amazed that the sedan is considered restorable. Seriously, other than the hardware is there anything that can be salvaged?
Paul, the Gar sedan is still available.
Rick, it’s in bad shape, no question. The interior cabinetry needs little more than refinishing, the original engines, fittings, and hardware are all good. But the hull itself is a pattern. As they say… I’ve seen worse come back to life. Boats like the sedan are too rare and awesome not to restore.
thanks Brian – I thought it was sold. Sadly though Don, the rest of my thoughts remain true. It would be a wonderful boat once done and I hope someone with the vision and perserverence sees fit to take it on. My own preferences run more to preserved originals, and as Brian says, there is not much there that can be saved, other than interior fitments. Good luck to the eventual buyer!
I am a daily reader of W Boater, but never posted. Re: Gar sedan. I think it is worth mentioning that this is a great opportunity for a self restorer. A person with a passion can have a wonderful learning process and in the end make big bucks of you don”t count your time. What is your time worth , you could be sitting in front of the tv!
Thanks for commenting Curt – We value your insight and experience.
Curt is 100% right about that. The extent of the work it needs puts it outside the realm of possibility for folks like me who lack the skill to do the work, but a skilled do-it-yourselfer could end up with a near one of a kind gem. I had dinner tonight with a fellow on the St. Johns River cruise with a fellow with a small Lyman that was in similar condition when he bought it as a project. A few years later, he is on the water in a perfect little Lyman, which if it were not for his efforts would have been lost. Thanks for the input and persepective Curt – there are lots of people who could do a project like this themselves.
If the buyer consents when purchased, please let us know. It will make a fantastic story. Probably the only dual engine sedan around?
Will do Don. Yes, according to my research and Tony Mollica’s, it is the only twin-engine 24′ sedan known to exist.
Dave was the best. in 1999 he restored my 1937 25ft triple Gar Wood and together we won best Gar Wood of the show and Best over all boat of the Show at the Lake Tahoe Concourse.
Brian, Thanks to you and Tim for selling the boats for Linda. I do not need another boat at this time as I still have my 1937 25ft Gar Wood Triple, my 1937 26ft Gar Wood Streamline Custom Sedan Cruiser and my 1956 Chris Craft 26ft Sport Cruiser.