Victoria Sells At RM Arizona Auction!

victoria SOLD

Photo courtesy RM Auctions / Wayne Davis Photography

STORY UPDATE: Live-ish from the 2014 RM Arizona Auction in Phoenix – “Victoria” a 1990 Gar Wood 33′ Baby Gar re-creation hammers for $150,000.00 plus fees. The Turcotte Brothers built boat was presented on Thursday evening, and the auction was streamed live on the RM Auctions website. It’s great to see a wooden boat offered at a high-end classic car auction like RM Arizona.

We received an e-mail from Dave Bortner live from the auction floor in Phoenix. He said there was a lot of interest in the boat and two or three serious bidders… Bidding started at $100,000.00 and quickly rose in $10,000.00 increments, before it hammered for $150,000.00 plus fees. Also, the 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS (shown below) hammered for $320,000.00 plus fees. – Texx

Victoria Set To Cross The Block In Arizona
Original story from Saturday, January 11th, 2014

In the collector car world, mid January marks an important time of year, as folks gather from around the world for Arizona Auction Week. Many of the countries largest auction houses such as RM Auctions, Gooding & Company, Barrett-Jackson and Bonhams will once again set up shop in the Phoenix & Scottsdale area to sell millions of dollars worth of classic cars next week.

Over the last few years Dave Bortner from Freedom Boat Service has been testing the waters by presenting classic wooden boats at selected RM Auction events in Arizona, Florida and Pennsylvania – and the results have been impressive. (You can click on the highlighted states to see the auction results / story in the Woody Boater archive – Texx)

This year, Dave is presenting “Victoria” at the RM Arizona auction – A 1990 Gar Wood 33′ Baby Gar re-creation built by the Turcotte Brothers at GarWood Custom Boats in Brant Lake, NY.

Vic 2

“Victoria” on Lake Geneva, WIsconsin 2013 – Photo courtesy RM Auctions.

Here’s the detailed description of “Victoria” from the RM Auctions digital catalog. – Texx

RM Auctions is excited to kick off its 2014 calendar of events with our return to Arizona for a two-day sale from January 16–17, 2014. The Arizona auction week is widely regarded as a barometer for the new collector car season, with last year’s Arizona sale achieving more than a 42% increase in sales, representing an all-time high for RM Auctions.

Lot 44

1990 Gar Wood 33′ Baby Gar “Victoria”

To be auctioned on Thursday, January 16, 2014.

Auction estimate $175,000 – $225,000

Hull no. GAR33060C495

425 hp, Marine Power 502 cu. in. V-8 engine. Length: 33 ft.

•Beautiful recreation of the vaunted Baby Gar
•One of the most desirable boats of its day
•Vintage boating experience with modern conveniences

Vic 3

Photo courtesy RM Auctions / Wayne Davis Photography.

Garfield Arthur Wood was one of the first “rock-star” industrialists in America. After inventing and carefully patenting the hydraulic mechanism for dump trucks, Gar Wood Industries became a successful enterprise. World War I increased demand for the hydraulic devices, as army trucks that were building and repairing roads under enemy fire needed to deposit their loads quickly and get out of harm’s way.

Since Gar Wood Industries was very familiar with the process of selling their products to the government, they also had an inside track on buying from the government. After World War I, Gar Wood bought 4,500 surplus Liberty V-12 engines from various manufacturers, and he formed the Detroit Marine-Aero Engine Company to convert them to marine use. The availability of these engines prompted Wood to begin building 33-foot Baby Gar runabouts for the wealthy few who could afford a boat that cost three times the average three-bedroom home in America.

Vic 4

Photo courtesy RM Auctions / Wayne Davis Photography.

From the rather unplanned beginning, Gar Wood Inc., which became the boatbuilding division of Gar Wood Industries in 1937, had a major impact on pleasure boating in America, and it was supported through the Depression by the considerable financial wherewithal of the company. The boatbuilding division was driven by Gar Wood’s passion, not profits. As soon as he retired in 1945, at the age of 65, the directors of the company voted to discontinue building boats.

It must not be overlooked that Gar Wood boats were some of the best engineered, best built, and most beautiful ever produced. Boatbuilding was a personal passion for Gar Wood, and his other endeavors allowed him the financial freedom to build in the quality and attention to detail for which he was known.

Vic 5

Photo courtesy RM Auctions / Wayne Davis Photography.

The first “production” boats built by Gar Wood were the 33-foot Baby Gar runabouts, and from 1922 to 1929, a total of 67 of these Baby Gar hulls were built. The first 22 hulls were constructed by the Smith family of Chris-Craft fame, who had been Gar Wood’s original race-boat building partners. The subsequent 45 hulls were built by Gar Wood’s own company.

This example was built in 1990 by the Turcotte Brothers, who hold the Gar Wood trademarks and are the only builder authorized to brand their boats as Gar Wood. This 33-foot Baby Gar was built using modern cold-molded epoxy construction that encapsulated the mahogany and provided a light-weight, strong, low-maintenance hull. It is powered by a Chevrolet-based, big block marinized V-8 with a reduction transmission. This powerplant provides plenty of speed, while also maintaining the original handling characteristics of a 1920s-era boat with a large propeller at relatively low rpms.

AZ14_r222_001 - Copy

Photo courtesy of RM Auctions.

Modern amenities have been built into the Gar Wood, including a hidden stereo and a bow thruster, for ease of dockside handling. Also included with the sale is the custom-built triple-axle trailer that the Baby Gar is presented on.

Modern construction and vintage design: what could be better?

For more information on “Victoria” and any other classic wooden boats in Dave’s inventory, you can go directly to the Freedom Boat Service website by Clicking Here.

RM Auctions continues to be one of the top classic car auction companies in the country. The RM Auctions and Sotheby’s Art of the Automobile sale was held November 21, 2013 in New York City, resulting in $62,797,500 of sales and a 93 percent sell-through rate – with only 31 hand-picked automobiles, two motorcycles and seven pieces of artwork.

The top result at the RM Auctions New York City sale went to a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM that sold for $14,300,000, a new world record for the model at auction.

I know this is a classic boating website, but I just want to share one of the many classic car lots which will featured at this years RM Arizona auction. Once considered my many to be the black sheep of Ferrari sports cars, today these wonderful Ferrari Dino’s are gaining in popularity with collectors, with values increasing significantly over the last few years.

Lot 19

1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS

Auction estimate $350,000 – $450,000

175 bhp, 2,419 cc four overhead-camshaft V-6 engine with triple Weber 40DCNF/7 carburetors, five-speed manual transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 92.1 in.

•Finished in vivid Giallo Fly over black leather
•Only two owners from new
•Recipient of a recent and thorough servicing restoration

RM Dino

Photo by Robin Adams ©2013 Courtesy of RM Auctions

Today, it could be argued that Enzo Ferrari’s son, Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari, was as forward-looking as his father. Recognizing the potential for small displacement, high-technology six-cylinder engines, his vision is more relevant today than ever before.

This 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS has been a California car since new, and it has passed through just two owners in its 41-year history. It is a high-specification example that was originally delivered with both air conditioning and power windows. Although it lived a sheltered and pampered life on the West Coast, this Dino Spider has recently been brought up to a high standard, thanks to a recent engine-out restoration.


Photo by Robin Adams ©2013 Courtesy of RM Auctions.

To learn more about the RM Arizona auction, to view the entire list of lots or to stream the auction live from Arizona, you can visit the RM Auctions website by Clicking Here.


42 replies
  1. Don Ayers
    Don Ayers says:

    Neat boat but I would not have put a 502 V-8 in it.

    Not when they could have used a 750hp BMP V-12.

    • cobourgkid
      cobourgkid says:

      Is this what your looking for? Massive 12 cylinder BPM shoehorned into in Rainbow I’s engine bay. 2013 Gravenhurst Boat Show .

    • steve bunda
      steve bunda says:

      Don, I like that engine , how much? I have been looking at the Illmor engines V12 , but wonder if a straight drive trans is available?

  2. Don Ayers
    Don Ayers says:

    I saw the BMP while on a visit to the Mayea Bros boat works near Algonac, MI. They use them in their custom boats. I also saw one in a 30 Hacker owned by Alan Jackson years ago at Tavares.

    The really cool part is they sound like an old V-12 does. Very nice!

  3. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Seems a bit pricey for a boat that is 0% original, with no history, and modern power. Plus it is not even a new reproduction, it is 24 years old.

    Speaking of 24 year olds, if you want that thing to sell at the asking price, I think they should get rid of the old people riding in it and let Troy spruce it up with a few younger models that can better show off the bright work.

    • Jimmuh
      Jimmuh says:

      @ M-Fine –
      How is this boat not original? Built new by the owners of the Gar Wood brand, in 1990, powered by its original V8 motor. Do you believe Garfield A. Wood would have still been building Liberty-powered boats in 1990? Not keeping up with the times?

      Broaden your horizons a bit! Accept epoxy as your saviour! Big blocks rule!

      • Doug P
        Doug P says:

        Matt, I believe that the “brand, or Trademark” was not acquired until several years later (2003)… and the mark acquired was one word. Garwood, not the Gar Wood. Therefor the name is not the original.

        (Basis http://WWW.USPTO.GOV (Trademarks)

  4. Alex
    Alex says:

    I seem to remember when those Dino’s could be bought for nuttin.’ That was the recent past too, when they were classics in age but not recognition. Now look at them!

    So what are the classic boating equivalents? What do we think can be bought for a song today that will be worth more than a song tomorrow? (I mean a song where one hasn’t had to feed and clothe the singers all through the years.)

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      Interesting that you should ask, Alex……

      I believe the answer to the question is quite simple – what is “classic” in age and appreciation resides in the eyes of the beholder at the time the question is being asked. It most often harkens of course to the time in beholders’ life where the object in question resided and implanted, if you will, a resonant emotional connection. It has little to do with age or engine or construction material alone – it has to do with what “moved” the guy in a lasting and emotive way. The answer moves forward inexorably, with the simple passage of time.

      I also agree with my friend Jimmuh – this is an original 1990 Gar Wood, built by the company as it existed at that time. What did a 1930 33′ Gar get in 1954 when it was being sold? Peanuts, would be my guess. The boat appears to be just what it is – a 24 year old wooden boat that is as-built. It is being presented accurately. I would say it is more authentic that a tribute car, where some near identical grocery-getter body is re-built into a “clone” of a very desirable muscel car. Whatever one thinks of newer wood boat production, this is a 1990 33′ Gar.

    • Dane
      Dane says:

      Great question. Matt’s refrain of great design being timeless comes to mind.

      Rivas from the 60s, like the the Ferrari certainly are more valuable today then they were in the 70s or 80s. Boats like your XK or Supersport are on the upswing, along with Donzis.

      I think a Glastron Futura like Paul has could be viewed as having great potential. Also the Carlson CVs from the early 70s are dirt cheap today and very attractive boats to me.

  5. Rich Marschner
    Rich Marschner says:

    Does anyone know what this new-ish Baby Gar cost when is was delivered in 1990? I’ll be it was less than the cost of three suburban ranch houses in Nashville or some similar place …what, maybe $375,000 at that time for three simple homes?
    Today, those three homes might sell for more like $750,000…if any of this math is actually relevant.

    • cobourgkid
      cobourgkid says:

      Rich, Just for fun I checked the wayback machine to see if I could find an answer to your question.

      Wayback indicates that Gar Wood Custom Boats did not have a website until 2003. In its maiden appearance on the inter-web the firm politely suggested that its Baby Gar model could be procured at a base price of $135,000.

      Needless to say the value of Victoria today has little if anything to do with what was originally paid for her, on the contrary the current value will be established solely on the basis of functionality, desirability, rarity, craftsmanship condition, originality and most importantly whether there are two or more folks on the auction floor who are interested in her. whether they have been drinking and most importantly whether they have a powerful desire to out-bid each other!

  6. Texx
    Texx says:

    Here’s a shot of the beautiful 700HP BPM V-12 with it’s six twin-Weber carbs that Doug Morin installed in “Amy Ann” – a Morin Boats custom 30′ runabout that he had at Lake Geneva in 2011.

    And yes, the engine sounded as good as it looked.

  7. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    If I licensed the name Chris-Craft and made a plastic and wood boat that looked something like a 1941 barrel back, powered by a mercruiser v6, would you really call it original? The only thing original is the name. The name Gar Wood attached to that boat is nothing more than a trademark. It means nothing.

    The outward appearance might look like the original it is attempting to copy, but the cold mold epoxy construction hull is not what Gar Wood was selling. More like fiberglass where the glass cloth has been replaced by wood veneer. The engine doesn’t even try to pretend so keep the hatches closed.

    Paul, I am sorry to say, I think the tribute car a anology is a perfect fit. Stay 20 feet away, use it in a movie, or whatever and you have a nice substitute for a Garwood. Open the hatches and take a close look and it is obvious the resemblance is only skin deep.

    What’s it worth? A nice user boat, good looking, more reliable and lower maintenance than the real thing. Perfect for a tour boat or water taxi where you wouldn’t want to damage an original but where the clone looks great and is cheaper to operate. I can see why someone would want it, but price wise it is nothing more than an old used clone.

    • Rich Marschner
      Rich Marschner says:

      I’ve collected various mechanical antiques for 50 years. As I have gotten more knowledgeable, I have come to realize that originality is everything. I have gotten to the point that I won’t even look at anything that is refinished, incomplete or otherwise messed with. I’d rather have a 100-year-old clock with a ratty, nearly unreadable dial than one with a perfect reproduction dial.

      So for me, that makes this boat just interesting, not in any sense collectible.

      So for me, your comments are right on the mark.

      • Doug P
        Doug P says:

        The trademark Garwood (one word) was applied for in 2003, the boat in question is a clone made in 1990 with the name Gar Wood (two words), without the proper use of the trademark.

      • Paul H.
        Paul H. says:

        If you are collecting, yes. If you want a user boat – not so much. This Gar is much more usable than any Liberty-powered original would ever be, so for a guy that wants to boat in something cool, this is the ticket. It is also a fraction of the price of an original.

        I agree on the originality thing strongly from the purist/collector point of view. A good buddy of mine has a thing for the really old military-esque Dodge Power Wagons. He sent me a link to one for sale all resto-modded up with a 502, 3 spd. auto., 4:11 gears in perfect show condition. Don’t know that ask but it was high. I said “Looks great in a parking lot” but try driving it with that driveline in it – unusable due to noise and high revs. Too nice to take off-road. Told him to go find an original in somewhat decent shape, maybe a later one if they came with a V-8. I told him I liked them more when they looked they lived in the bush their whole lives. He actually completely agreed.

        A purist would not buy this Gar, nor would a collector. A guy wanting to go boating would. I would not buy it because I certainly fall on the purist side of things and more or less demand original power. It has appeal as a great user, not really as a collector boat at this point. Maybe it never will, but it is not pretending to be something that it is not. The same can be said of all the more recent Hackers – some of which must be 30 years old now.

        • Doug P
          Doug P says:

          Paul, It is pretending to be something what it is not. It is a replica same as a $50 Rolex is not a Rolex. So lets pay pretend.

          Let’s see who buys this.

          • Paul H.
            Paul H. says:

            Doug, I don’t think it is pretending to be anything at all. It is a 1990 Gar 33′. It is not an exact replica or a restoration and it does not claim to be. It is what it is, like it or not. No one knowledgeable enough to care would ever mistake it for an original. Many times in business, trade marks are bought and sold and new products appear with old names. It has been going onsince there were trademarks. I doubt manufacturer of the Frigidaire fridge that I can buy today has anything to do with the company that made the 1953 Frigidaire by General Motors beer fridge that I have at my cabin, for instance. Is today’s Chris Craft anything like the CC of 60 years ago?

          • Doug P
            Doug P says:

            It can not be a 1990
            Turcotte received the right to use the name Garwood (not Gar Wood) in 2003, not 1990.

            Electrolux owns the name Frigidaire, bought from White, who bought the mark from one of GM’s subsidiaries

      • Troy
        Troy says:


        This brings up something I have been thinking about for a while. (Since I am a day late posting this I doubt you or anyone else will read it to comment) Are many of our boats not being ruined in some way by putting on 5200 bottoms. I think the next generation to care for these boats will end up swearing at us for the damage we have done with this method.

        Maybe I can get Matt to put it up as a converstion one day.

        • Rich Marschner
          Rich Marschner says:

          Troy —

          That’s a good point.

          The fact that the waterproofing modification is invisible is parallel to putting domed pistons in an old engine to boost compression. It’s there; it’s not original. One difference: it’s reversible.

          Whaddya think, Matt and Texx? Worth a day of WB editorial space?

  8. Coop
    Coop says:

    Just a few corrections I feel need to be made…
    Steve Bunda says he’s looking at an Illmor V-12, they don’t make a V-12 just a V-10, based on the Viper engine.
    Don Ayres said the 30′ Hacker had a BPM, it did not. It had a V-12 Falconer installed by Travis Hickman.
    John Kadimik says Kim is standing between 2 BPM’s, they are actually Seatex diesels built in Europe.
    The main attraction to the Victoria would be the cost, as original ones with V-12 Liberty’s are selling in the $600,000 range. Any new wood boat in the 30-33′ range will cost between $250,000 and $350,000.

  9. Jack
    Jack says:

    Can’t pull a boat trailer with that car, therefore it has absolutely no value.

    The boat on the other hand has a hull, engine, steering, seats, etc, everything a boat needs.
    Not sure if “PEDIGREE” is needed to make it a worthwhile investment. Does it make it prettier or faster?

  10. Ronald
    Ronald says:

    I thought these early reproduction triple cockpit hulls encapsulated with West System epoxy were the ones a few years ago that started so much conversation from Mr Danenburg about the epoxy being so hard that it was cracking and letting moisture in with no way to escape after a few short years of use. It was causing the encapsulated wood to be mushy if I remember correctly. After that the Smith sealer came on the market as an alternative.

    • Jimmuh
      Jimmuh says:

      Ron –
      I don’t know if that was true for the Turcotte GarWoods, but it was the case for some number of the early Morgan Hackers; many needed new bottoms in just a few years. Those began the whole “West bottom” discussion, tho with many not understanding the details, even today!
      Also, CPES was by then already a common product in westcoast boatbuilding.

  11. Kentucky Wonder
    Kentucky Wonder says:

    Victoria looks like a really nice boat, and I might be interested in it if I had extra cash laying around, and a place to store the boat when not in use.

    Many people currently in the classic boat hobby, and a majority of those that want to be but are not current owners, would appreciate Victoria for what she is – a more modern boat constructed to look like a classic. No one is saying this is the boat Gar Wood would have built if he were still around. Wasn’t Garfield Wood more of a visionary, technology and progressive man? My guess is that he would have been constructing from something other than wood LONG before this boat was built.

    And he would certainly have installed a state-of-the-art powerplant. With all that said, a boat built by Garfield Wood in 1990 would have cost much more, and been a techno tour de force. Victoria does not land in that league. But she is still worth having!

  12. tim
    tim says:

    What’s in a name? I feel like there is enough ugly on this planet. I’ll spend some time appreciating attempts at beauty like this. If someone wants to spend 2 million on this boat I say, “Good for them and good for the boat to be so desired”. Some of my friends drive junk around and call it original. I say…Nope. Originally it was nice, shiny, and not a pile of junk. Here’s to the brand worshipers out there. Grace Kelly didn’t need a name tag to prove her beauty. It spoke for itself. So does this boat.

  13. jan
    jan says:

    i have a 1990 Hacker craft 30 feet and i have a bpm v12 in the boat:)
    bay it now for to mounths .
    and this boat is in Norway now.

  14. jan
    jan says:

    i have a 1990 Hacker craft 30 feet and i have a bpm v12 in the boat:)
    bay it now for to mounths .
    and this boat is in Norway now.

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