Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum

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1946 G-13 Tempo VI

Reprinted from Skid Fin Magazine, 2003, Volume 1 Number 2

The G-13 was originally built as "My Sin" in 1938 for millionaire Zalmon Simmons. Simmons, who made his fortune with the Simmons Mattress Company, reportedly spend $100,000 for the boat and a custom built V-16 Miller Motor. The boat’s design was a gamble at the time. All previous Gold Cup winners had been long, thin mono-hulls. The My Sin was a three-point hydroplane with two forward sponsons and one rear-riding pad. The widely spaced sponsons reduced the area of contact between the water and the hull, cutting drag and increasing speed.

The design was so unique that the boat’s designers, father and some team Adolph and Arno Apel, patented the boat in 1938. The My Sin was only 24 feet long, dwarfed by the longer step hydros of the day, but the little My Sin soon quieted all doubters by winning the 1939 and 1941 Gold Cups. The three-point design was so successful that – except for the My Sweetie in 1949 – a step hydroplane never again won the Gold Cup.

Gold Cup racing was canceled during World War II, but when racing resumed in 1946 the My Sin had been sold to famous bandleader Guy Lombardo. Lombardo renamed the boat Tempo and won the 1946 Gold Cup race; setting a new world record of 68.072 mph. Lombardo and Tempo went on to win National Championships in 1946 and 1948. In 1948 Lombardo replaced the exotic V-16 Miller engine with a more common Allison. In 1950 Lombardo hired veteran boat builder and driver Dan Arena to lengthen the boat to 30 feet.

As significant as Lombardo’s accomplishments on the racecourse were, his contributions to the sport off the racecourse were far more profound and far-reaching. Lombardo is credited with introducing both Bill Muncey and Bernie Little to hydroplane racing!

Joe Frauenheim bought the Tempo VI in the early 1990s and painstakingly restored it. Frauenheim and his volunteer crew removed Dan Arena’s modifications and returned the boat to its original 24-foot length. The beautiful red and gold mahogany boat is now a favorite at vintage events all around the country.

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