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1977 Atlas Van Lines

Construction updates as the famous "Blue Blaster" is restored to her original racing condition. Updates by Don Mock and Phil Lampman - Photos by Phil Lampman

Members: 67
Latest Activity: Nov 14, 2020

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Comment by Don Mock on May 15, 2018 at 8:02pm
Hi everyone. This Atlas group page has now become the main communication source for the crews, volunteers and fans of both the 1982 Atlas Van Lines and the 1977 Blue Blaster Atlas. Over the past few years, the crews of the two boats have morphed into one Atlas super-crew. So check here often for reports about what’s up with both boats. 
We’re close to confirming that the Blue Blaster will run along with the Pay n’Pak and hopefully the ’80 Budweiser at Seattle’s Seafair early August. We’ve been slowly making several updates to the Blaster over that past winter. We did some re-clear coating and buffing a small section of the deck on the right side and re-welded a small crack in the right “A”frame.
We also built a new skid fin which will hopefully help the boat turn a bit better. The new fin is a couple of inches deeper and canted forward a bit. Chip has noticed the left sponson lifting and letting go at times and suggested adding more angle to the fin. We’ll never get the Blaster to corner quite as well as the ’82 Atlas but hopefully closer. The ’82 Atlas has a more modern fin and mounting system. It also has newer generation sponsons which include inside non-trips and anhedral/dihedral primary riding surfaces.
A huge thanks to Dan Heye for rebuilding the Blaster’s blower and re-timing the valves. We had some issues with the blower leaking when we last ran the boat at the 2016 Spring Training in Tri-Cities. Dan replaced the seals and fitted everything together correctly. We’ll be ready to mount the engine in the boat early June.
It’s been great having original Atlas crew member Tim Ramsey working at the museum on the Squire project. He’s filled in several gaps we didn’t know about the Blaster’s history.
One mystery he solved was explaining why the boat ended up with the mis-fitting cowl in 1980. He says the original, with the external air-scoops, came off the boat in Miami and was damaged. So the team grabbed a cowl off one of the Atlas Van Lines display boats. They didn’t have time to re-paint it so just left it for the rest of the ’80 circuit. The stripes on the new cowl didn’t line up with the cockpit and it didn’t have the dark-blue and while stripes along the top. And instead of the familiar air scoops on each side, the crew experimented with NACA internal scoops, which worked well. So any photo of the Blaster in 1980-81, you’ll see the inset NACA scoops on the cowl.  For the 1981 season, the crew repainted the entire cowling adding the raised headrest on the right side. 
-Don Mock

Comment by Marc Connelly on October 30, 2016 at 9:50am

Great story, Don! Thanks for sharing it.

Comment by Don Mock on October 29, 2016 at 5:04pm

Here's a little story about Bill Muncey and the Atlas you may not know. -Don Mock

Comment by Don Mock on September 14, 2015 at 12:00am

Here are some photos from this years Gold Cup in Tri-Cities. The first is a split shot showing the Budweiser driven by David Williams and the Blue Blaster driven by Chip Hanauer. Below are the same two boats in 1980 with Dean Chenoweth and Bill Muncey.

The next shots by Chris Denslow show the Blaster's improved boat ride following last winters sponson modifications.

Comment by James D Ballenski on April 5, 2015 at 6:15am
what an incredible experiance to see the U-1 in person. a breathtaking restoration. Thanks for taking the time to show me around, Don, and for the sweet model tour. incredible work there too...James in CO.
Comment by Don Mock on December 18, 2014 at 11:20pm

Check out the PDF about the Blue Blaster Restoration DVD which is now available.  -Don Mock


Comment by Gerry K. on August 12, 2014 at 4:57pm

Wonderful work everyone. Congratulations! on your "Blasterpiece". Everyone agrees that in a perfect world she  would've been the center piece at Bayfair's 50th. Too bad the timing's a bit off. Regardless, she's the jewel of the fleet and you all deserve a big pat on the back for your dedication and sacrafice. "Warm Wishes and Happy Hydroplaning!"

Comment by Randall E. Roe on July 16, 2014 at 5:11am

Don, it would be interesting to see what it weighs now, John Walters told me it only weighed 5400 lbs.brand new !

Comment by Randall E. Roe on April 8, 2014 at 11:45am

Don, thanks for letting me see it while I was in town, hope you make Seafair The Paint is beautiful.

Comment by Steve Muncey on January 19, 2014 at 6:55am

Its very frustrating following the progress on the Blaster living so far away in Ohio,  especially since that's what I do for a living... repair and restore boats.  I so wish I could be there to help.  Don it was great talking to you last week..... I'd love to meet you in Detroit this summer and the Blaster again, once I compose myself and stop sobbing like a child when I get to see her again....


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