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I have a question for all of you Slo-mo-shun fans.  I am currently working at the Detroit Historical Museum entering photographs of hydroplanes to their collections database which will eventually be available for viewing for everyone. Today I came across a photo of Slo-mo-shun IV taken on the Detroit River.  The Whittier Hotel can be seen in the background so I am sure the river is Detroit.

Since the boat was only here in 1950 and again in 1956 I was sure the picture was from 1950, but the picture clearly shows the raised strips running down the deck just above the number which I thought were not added until after 1950. Only a driver is present in the cockpit so I am assuming the photo is from the 1950 Gold Cup Race. Did the boat have these strips of wood in 1950?

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There are some great images of the IV on the Slo-mo-shun web site:

http://slomoshun.com/slomoIVpics.php

Perhaps these can help validate your image.

Dale,

Thanks for your reply.  I looked at the pictures, but unfortunately none have dates, so they really don't answer my question, which was, when were the raised strips running down the deck of the boat added.

From pictures and videos I have seen I know they weren't there when the boat was new.

I have a newspaper photo of the boat on a trailer, which was supposedly taken when the boat came to Detroit in 1950, and in that picture no strips are visible. But in the running shot I referred to in my original post, the strips are there.  Could they have been added while the boat was in Detroit in 1950? And if so, why were they added?

Tim;

I'm amazed that no one has dated your pictures for you?  I'm 99% positive I can do it, if you'd please send me a copy of the picture, I'll check back here in a few days, to see if you've posted them.  Or, if you'd prefer, my regular email address is: roblinda@gci.net.

  Thanks, Rob

The tailfin will be the clincher. The basic triangle fin was for the 1950 Gold Cup only.

 

Randall,

Thanks for your reply.  I am almost certain that the picture was taken in 1950, since the boat only came to Detroit in 1950 and 1956. But my question, which would confirm the year, was "were the two raised strips which ran down the deck and came to a rounded point near the bow added in 1950 while the boat was in Detroit, and if so, why?" Was this a repair to the boat because of damage? I know the boat ran in both the Gold Cup and Harmsworth. Was it damaged in the Gold Cup which required repairs before the Harmsworth? In the picture the strips look like they might not have been painted at that time. I know they were painted red in other pictures. Sorry I can't post a copy of the photo in question. I don't have access to it.

By the way, are you the gentleman who wrote for Powerboat magazine several years ago? 

I believe you are thinking of Rusty Rae. There is no deck reinforcement in 1950. Boat was redecked in '53. David Williams book has a photo of the IV & V in the water and the IV still has the low back seats in it, but has the full length "Plank" reinforcements you are talking about. Roger Newtons  info said high back seats were added in '55. Don't think I can narrow it down any further. Next !

When will the hydroplane database be available to view the photos?

Even on the drawing board, they were planning the raised "stripes".  If memory serves, they were to be nothing more than a stepping, and kneeling, area for the mechanics to be without marking up the finish on the beautiful decking. (much like the walking areas on the wings of an airplane)  However, they were never put on during any of the initial testing, nor the 1950 record run.  But they were added by the time they raced for the GC in Detroit.  And, they were "still" there for the Harmsworth run.  The same tail fin was also used in both races.  By the time I got my ride in the IV, in 1954, the raised stripes had been removed, and replaced with the painted stripes that came together at the nose. (like the V had) This had been done the year before, in 1953.  The same year she had the "aircraft" style fin.  So - I'm guessing, since I really haven't seen the photo your talking about, it could have been taken at either of the races.  In any event - it would be a prized picture, since it was taken at a moment that would change the sport forever.

Rob



Robert B. Frank said:

Even on the drawing board, they were planning the raised "stripes".  If memory serves, they were to be nothing more than a stepping, and kneeling, area for the mechanics to be without marking up the finish on the beautiful decking. (much like the walking areas on the wings of an airplane)  However, they were never put on during any of the initial testing, nor the 1950 record run.  But they were added by the time they raced for the GC in Detroit.  And, they were "still" there for the Harmsworth run.  The same tail fin was also used in both races.  By the time I got my ride in the IV, in 1954, the raised stripes had been removed, and replaced with the painted stripes that came together at the nose. (like the V had) This had been done the year before, in 1953.  The same year she had the "aircraft" style fin.  So - I'm guessing, since I really haven't seen the photo your talking about, it could have been taken at either of the races.  In any event - it would be a prized picture, since it was taken at a moment that would change the sport forever.

Rob

PS: Darn, why didn't I think of this before: 

In the Gold Cup, Ted Jones drove, while Mike Welsch rode as mechanic.  But in the Harmsworth, while Ted Jones was nursing a broken hand, Lou Fageol drove - by himself, to save weight !  So, if your picture shows 'only a driver', it almost has to be the Harmsworth.

Photo from 1950 Gold Cup shows no planks on the deck.

Randy;

WhoaI've never seen this picture!  If, in fact, this is the Detroit River, and I'm sure you'd be the best judge of that, then the stripes MUST have been added after the Gold Cup.  This shot clearly shows Jones & Welsch.  Both of which rode in the G.C.  Pic does look more like it might have been taken during a test, rather than competition, but still - the stripe is missing isn't it!  This is getting more interesting by the moment.  The picture I posted below, showing the stripes, and only a driver (presumably Fageol) almost must have been from the Harmsworth.  And that the stripes were added between the two races?  Don't you just love a good mystery?

Rob


 
Randall E. Roe said:

Photo from 1950 Gold Cup shows no planks on the deck.

For sure! Your shot is absolutely the Detroit River. Mine, I'm not sure now that it's enlarged. It was from an article about the 1950 Harmsworth, a prelude type article. I had thought the judges stand was in the background, but that's not it. Anybody recognize the background ?

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