We're racing through history!
The Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum is the nation's only public museum dedicated solely to powerboat racing.
This last week, we lost an icon in the Unlimited hydroplane racing community. Fred Alter, also known as “Fearless Fred” or “Fast Freddie,” past away in a Florida hospital on Saturday evening following a fall experienced on the previous Wednesday. He was 94.
Fred was one of a kind, active in the Unlimiteds since the early 1950s. "Fearless Fred" is known for driving nineteen different Unlimited hydroplanes in competition, more than anyone else. One of these was the turbine powered 1973 Miss Lapeer, the first turbine powered unlimited to enter a race. He also drove the hull called Atlas Van Lines in the movie Madison.
Following his retirement as a driver in 1975, he became the Unlimited Racing Commissioner from 1981 through 1983. He helped bring sponsorships and national television coverage to the sport, and was named the Unlimited Racing Commission Official of the Year in 1977.
Recently, he founded the “Pioneers of Powerboating,” an arm of the Great Lakes Maritime Institute, to preserve the history of the sport. Rest in Peace, Freddie.
We will miss you.
Written by Doug Ford
Now, it's time to head back to the pits, refuel, change your props and get ready to get back on the water!
We know 2020 has been rough on lots of people - It's been rough on us, too.
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THE HYDROPLANE & RACEBOAT MUSEUM WISHES EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU A VERY SAFEE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I just got done reading Doug Ford's book
What were they thinking", and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Being from Detroit and having started following the Unlimiteds in 1969, I had some familiarity with many of the boats but this added a lot of information I didn't know. I appreciated how Doug did somewhat of a root cause analysis of each of the boats at the end of each chapter.
I also learned about some boats that were before my time.
I have been in Dave Bartush's warehouse a few times and saw some of these boats first-hand as they sit gathering dust, so it was cool to see pictures from there.
The Video Vault is a private Group, on our web site, that provides Museum members access to hundreds of hours of hydroplane video footage. Some of the footage is very rare, not seen in public for decades. Here is how you can join!