by Garry Spencer
Garry Spencer of Tampa has had a long relationship
with OMC, going back to when he was a child and his father, Chap, was an
Evinrude Sales Representative. Garry has a wealth of historical
knowledge, interesting stories and many pictures that he is willing to
share with us. Watch for more!
Garry writes: "I
have lost the original captions (to these pictures). They don't
make archival scotch tape. I'm sure the one with "Doc" on his
shirt is Doc Jones, and the driver, I believe was Hu Entrop. The
date was March of 1960. The APBA inspector certifying the gas and oil
used, but it looks more like a plug
for one of the sponsors. The record was set, and the challenge was
taken by Mercury, and retaken by Evinrude. But the fastest Evinrude is
not in the record books. The driver was killed on the return run.
Everyone agrees, breaking the record has just become too dangerous.
Doc Jones was the Evinrude Dealer in Arizona that sponsored Hu's run on
the record. When Evinrude re-engineered the "Fat Four" of '58
into the smooth running 75 of 1960, it didn't go as fast as engineering
had hoped. They had tried Fuel and Oil injection, But the technology was
not ready. And so it was a carbureted version that was delivered.
Entrop saw the potential of a world speed record. He had seen Carl
Kiekhaefer take his hotrod super ten and make a real head turner by
adding his Quicksilver 1 to 1 lower unit and thought, "What
if..." Hu took his ideas to "Pep" Hubbell, who had
manufactured many racing parts in his California shop. They came up with
an over drive racing gear case and short transom bracket for the
powerful V-4. A suitable three pointer was designed for the rig and Lake
Havasu chosen for the record attempt. This effort culminated in
the setting of the 114.65 MPH two way average speed over a measured
As seen in the photo, the Starflite too is really flying over the water
at 115 MPH. The only thing touching the water is the tips of the sponson
fins and the skeg of the gear case. You can see in the rooster tail the
splash of each propeller blade as it chops into the water. A real
tribute to the engineering that went into this successful record run.