Jim Wynne, Bob Hammond, Tom Bottomsley, Jim Black
Glastron introduced its now famous Aqua-Lift hull, their version of the
Made after Bob Hammond met Harry Schoell, one of the first designers of the deep V,
the first V-194 was introduced with huge success. Two special V-194s were built using
twin "highly tuned" factory supplied Volvo 100hp engines. These were entered in the highly
prestigious Around Long Island Marathon. Bob Hammond and Jim Black, a Volvo representative, drove one. Jim Wynne, the inventor of the Volvo stern drive, and Tom Bottomsley, a writer for Boating Magazine, drove the other. Wynne and Hammond both
broke the course record taking first and second place respectively.
Glastron's entry into racing and they sure started off with a bang!
1963 turned out to be even more huge. More big wins started when plant manager Ray Atwood won the Around Long Island Marathon in a V-194 running a 225hp Mercruiser II.
Then Hank Bowman had a record breaking win in the Hudson River
Marathon in a twin engine V-171. And after that two outboard powered Glastrons won 1st and 2nd place in the Salton Sea 500. Four other titles were also taken by Glastron boats as well.
saw twice the wins as 1963 with 16 titles, many of which were long distances
highlighting the toughness as well as power of Glastron boats.
In 1965 a long distance record was broken when 2 V-163 outboards ran 1,438 miles from New Orleans to Chicago in 39 hours and 16 minutes breaking the old record by more than 7 hours! Nearly as many wins were recorded as in 1964.
efforts and wins tapered off a bit the next couple of years, but then in
step in Glastron racing took place. Read on below.
Bob Hammond and Angelo Molinari
Color ad below reads:
Glastron signed an exclusive agreement with Angelo Molinari of Como, Italy
manufacture his designs in this country. These exciting boats have won the European
Chanpionship for the past several years and are now revolutionizing racing in this
country. They, along with the Carlson CV15, are available only to qualified enthusiasts
for racing and assist us in our continuing effort to explore all types of hull design.
The Molinari 2+2 Sport Runabout is a direct descandent of this famous design directed
toward the experienced boatman who wants superior high speed performance.
and Carlson designs are produced in our moderen Carlson Division plant
in Anaheim California. This company is acknowledged in the industry as bringing
the art of custom fiberglass fabrication to its highest degree"
See history of Molinari further below.
a note by Sam Cullis
"They always had this paint scheme. 3 or 4 variations. Yellow was most
popular, reversed was next. Some were light blue with black, I think.
Notice the open exhaust pipes on the motors, really loud! Dual engines were
very popular back then in endurance racing. Some other makes of boat carried
as many as 5 motors. 3 and 4 were not uncommon. Somewhere there is a pic of a
Glastron V hull with a pair of Evinrudes with pipes. That boat had special
after market racing lower units made in Texas by Walter Peterson before OMC
made their own."
Here is the public release of the Molinari, the 2+2 Sport Runabout
Supplied by Sam Cullis
built hydros in Cumo, Italy when they began their involvement in
racing. As outboard motors got bigger, Angelo Molinari began experimenting
with semi-tunnel hull designs much like Art Carlson's C-100. From pictures
in a book I have it looks like they made and sold fiberglass semi tunnels as
pleasure boats. By 1963 they had evolved their racing design into the full
length mirror image sponson design. In 1964 Renato Molinari (Angelo's son)
entered one of their tunnel hull racers in the 24 hr race near Paris and won.
Soon copies of the design were being made several places in Europe, but not
in the US. Racers in the US were still using twin hull catamarans such as
Stylecraft, Switzer, and Powercat. In 1966 Austrian racer/builder Deiter
Schultz decided to try a tunnel hull at the Lake Havasu, AZ race. To cut down
on costs he sent plans of what he wanted to the Swift boat company, famous
for little outboard hydroplanes. Also he arranged for Jon Culver, a famous
racer and son of the Ohio area Mercury outboard distributer, to prepare a
single racing motor for him. He arrived in NYC, bought a used station wagon,
drove to Swift, picked up the boat, drove to Ohio and picked up the motor and
proceeded to Arizona. Against 80 or so boats, many of them inboards and twin
and triple outboards, Schultz finished second over all, first in the outboard
division, ahead of a lot of twin engine rigs. He had no trouble selling the
boat and station wagon before his return trip to Austria. The next year all
of the fast racing teams bought or copied Schultz, Molinari, or Scotti
tunnels. Ceasar Scotti was Molinari's cousin from the other side of Lake
Cumo. Isn't it strange that this new boat racing design came from the
Italian and Austrian Alps?
The only catamaran that remained competitive was the Switzer. The Switzer
"Wing" had a retractable flap at the back between the hulls. At high speed
the flap was pushed down and this caused the boat to lift and ride almost
clear of the water, much like a tunnel hull. Also, the Switzer could handle a
large fuel load, allowing few or no fuel stops in a long race. After 67 of
them were made a fire destroyed the Switzer factory in IL.
Anyway, Glastron, Carlson and Molinari got together. Renato Molinari raced
on the Merc factory team and supplied boats to the other team members,
usually one improvement ahead of what was made at Glastron/Carlson. Molinari
remained on the Merc team until Bill Seebold complained that even he was
given slower boats than what Molinari kept for himself. It seems as though
Molinari would build a few prototypes, test them and keep the fastest one. By
1975 I think Glastron was out of the raceboat business. The Carlson CT-15
racer was never really competitive in OPC oval racing, but more than a few
were raced. In drag racing they did OK. In fact, a CT-15 was converted to the
first enclosed cockpit, laydown driving position race boat. Rigged by the
Chrysler Outboard racing department with two 96ci 4 cylinder Chryslers on
McCulloch 630 racing lower units, Gary Ferguson set a drag speed record that
lasted for many years.
Glastron Carlson CT-15
1970 Lake Havasu Outboard Racing Championships notes supplied by Sam Cullis:
Colorado River, at Lake Havasu, AZ, they used to hold a famous outboard
endurance race. Usually 4 hours on Saturday and 4 more on Sunday. Only
3 racers have ever won the World Outboard Championship race twice. One
of them was Bill Sirios, who won back to back around 1970. One of those
years Bill won $19,875; the purse of the race was $64,700. There
were 114 entries. Here are 2 pics of his
"Up, Up, and Away" Molinari. This was one of the last major races to use
multi engined boats and one of the last to allow the very very loud "open
exhaust stacks". These tuned length megaphones upped the hp of the Merc
racers about 12%. The 1970ish 140 hp racing Merc claimed 155hp when converted
with Merc's "tuned pipe kit".
The race committee refused the entry of two women racers. The grandson of the inventor of the X-Ray, K.M. Roentgen, from SouthAfrica entered then flipped in practice. 12 Tahitians raced. Joe Feilder from Austin, TX. nosedived right in front of the pits and was used as a turn bouy until a press boat got in front of him, he broke his neck but survived. Bill Seebold was
fast but had a three foot crack in his 20 foot Ron Jones. Mercury Outboards took 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and tenth. Molinari hulls took all top ten positions.