Yankee Chapter: Making Waves With Old Outboards


Indian Well State Park, Shelton CT - September 7th 2007

Johnson Outboards 85th Anniversary Celebration

By Jon Sonman

The Johnson 85th Anniversary Celebration was easily the most successful meet our chapter has ever held with attendance at well over 100 people including friends and family. AOMCI members from as far off as Maryland and Virginia were in attendance with several folks spending the night at hotels nearby.

The real measure of success for any Yankee Chapter meet is our members running motors and having fun, so in this regard it was a perfect day! At one point I counted over 30 boats on the beach with many others out cruising around, what a great crowd! But, of course, the stars of the meet are the motors and this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some very unusual and rare Johnson outboards and related items. I’m sure if Lou, Harry and Clarence Johnson were looking down from heaven they were beaming at the wonderful turnout for the outboards bearing their name!

On display must have been the largest gathering of early Waterbugs/Light Twins since they left the factory, over 25 were counted. And there were many really lovely original and restored open flywheel motors from the 1920’s through the 1940’s. (These are always among the most popular outboards with Yankee Chapter members.) Classic motors from the 1950’s were also well represented and got a good workout along with the vintage (and more modern) boats they were attached to!

The photos below can only give you a taste of what was displayed at the meet. Some things like the Allard's wonderful display of Johnson advertising and dealer promotional items, Bob G's XR-55 and Bob Z's 1929 Johnson Stern Drive are beyond description.

Greatly appreciated are the photos seen here provided by Tom C., Matt M., Frank P., Norm W. and Harry S. (the "Hurricane" retired for the day) And a special tanks to "Team Maffei" who provided still photos and put together 4 U-Tube videos of the event. I know many of us will re-live the meet many times through these as the winter closes in!

Shelton 2007 Video Link #1

Shelton 2007 Video Link #2

Shelton 2007 Video Link #3

Shelton 2007 Video Link #4

Lots of parking for boats & trailers at the Indian Well State park in Shelton CT
General view of the judging area
Very nice Johnson QD-14 10hp
Pair of beautiful unrestored 1958 18hp
On the right - Rich C's almost perfect original 1954 Johnson 5 1/2 - people marveled at how nice it is!
Bob G. checking in - "where is the Mercury display?"
Poor Scott (in the background) was all alone at the Johnson meet!
Formal judging area
Bill B's amazing display of the first Johnson outboard sold, serial # 507 from 1922
Gregg J checks out the photo display and paperwork
Bill shows Kevin S. the history of # 507
Bill talking to Dan T about # 507
Serial # 507 - The first Johnson sold!
Restored 1924 Johnson A
Bill & Sandy's terrific Johnson display
80 years of Johnson's in Bill's family - I could have looked at the display for hours! (Nice 1922 A!)
More of Bill's display
Art S. and Harry S. with (L to R) 1922 A, 1929 A-45, 1961 5.5 and 1925 AB-25
Some of Art D's reproduction parts for sale
Restored LT on later Johnson accessory stand
Bill A. and Brook N's motors
More of Bill A. and Brook N's motors
Brook's Johnson P-50 - It runs as great as it looks!
Another shot of the judging area
A few of the Johnsons Gary M was selling - we liked the little MS sausage tank!
Another shot of the larger motors Gary had for sale, P, S and an early A.
Bill B. and Bob G.
Bob G's display - note the very rare XR-55 on left
Another view of Bob's display
The XR-55 - WOW!!!!!!!!!
Mr. Johnson himself (Bob Z.) is amazed at Bill's display!
Bob G. brought this super rare Johnson inboard - note thru-hull and lower unit.
Another rarity, Johnson VE-50 - electric start version of the V-45. This one of Dave S. runs great too, see it in use at our Webster MA meet earlier this year.
Another view of the motors on display
Harry S's 1961 Johnson CD-18 5.5hp
Johnson 210
Johnson A's (L to R) 1922, 1924, 1925 and 1925 AB
210, DT, MS and HS
Johnson K has been well loved but still goes!
Dan D's Johnson Pacific Pumper
Gregg J. and Dan T. get it set up
That baby really pumps
Dan and Rich G. went to fill the test tank and blew it into the river!
You thought outdrives were a new idea? Here is Bob Z's Johnson's 1929 Tilting Stern Drive model SD-10
Another shot of the Johnson Stern Drive
Time to launch some boats.
Bob Z also brought his 1972 Johnson Stinger GP Model KR-15M. If you are not familiar with it, this is the 8 carburetor racing version of OMC's big 99 cubic inch V-4 motor. It was paired with his Magnum tunnel boat - INCREDIBLE!
Norm W's beautiful Johnson KR
Louisa G. and Sandy A.
Another view of the motors on display
Note the red tanks on the two Johnson OA-55's.
The 1933 OA-55 was a depression era budget offering from Johnson $109 when new
Joe R. and Walt L. look at the Evinrude Lightwin 3hp
Some of Dan T's Johnson motors
Bob G. also brought this early Evinrude RBM
Some of Norm D's items for sale
Two Eltos, looks like a 30's Fisherman and a G Ruddertwin
Peter F's Johnson J-65 with McNabb-Kitchen rudder. By redirecting the prop stream it can effect neutral & reverse
Peter explains how it works to Dean P. & Kevin C.
Some of Ray S's Johnson outboards, '59 5 1/2, '55 5 1/2, TD, TS, HD-25, HD-15 and HS
Here is something unique - the paint was bad on Kevin C's 1954 Johnson 5 1/2 so rather than repaint it he polished it!
Dan T, Frank P and Keith M take a break
Walt & Joe still talking about that Lightwin!
Tom C's Waterwich, Elto and Pal
A couple of the "modern" motors - 1983 Johnson 15 and a Scott 25
LT Johnson was a nice restoration
Another shot of the QD-14, K-80 and some green motor on the ground...
Rich C 's nice little '55 Johnson 5 1/2 on the boat he built
Nice '57 10 or 18hp - Twin 9.8hp K's on the right
Great display of Johnson, A, D, M and H series motors
Roger H's runabout & a Feathercraft ready to go!
Keith M. having a blast out for a spin in Ken B's Alumacraft
Over 30 boats were out on the river - here is a view of the beach showing just a few
Ken B's Alumacraft & Frank P's Skimmer (check out the video link of them in action!)
Another view of the beach
Nice classic boat & Johnson 35
Michael S and Frank P. check out Ken B's K-80
Dan T. gives Ken words of encouragement on his K-80
Ken's words to the K-80 can't be reproduced here....
Gary M. and Brook N. enjoying a break
Bill A. and his cool 1920's canoe with Johnson J 1.5hp
Two more views of Bill's canoe
Bill A's other boat; 1929 Johnson made skiff with a matched Johnson S-45
Bob & Harry (both Mercury fans) don't see eye-to eye on the Evinrude RBM
Dan and Johnson S
Brook N and Garry M were just tubing behind the Johnson V-45 - boy was that a cool thing to do on a hot day!
Guys in an Amphibicar saw all the old outboards and stopped by to chat!
Dean P's Feathercraft Rocket & Merc Mark 55
Ken B's Alumacraft & Big Twin
It was a great day for the Feathercrafts on the Housatonic. I like the '53 25hp Johnson!
Frank's Skimmer & Mark 20
Frank, Ken and Dave out for a spin
Lone Hurricane in a storm of Johnsons!
Lenny R. out running his little Gale
Roger H. out runnin' about!
Beautiful Penn-Yan and 1957 Johnson 35
Rick P's early fiberglass skiff and 1928 Johnson PR-40
What a great river to run your antique outboard on!
Peter demonstrating the McNabb-Kitchen rudder
Rod C's 1954 Feathercraft Vagabond and '57 Evinrude 35hp
Rod & Dave discuss the extra 35 parts motor!
Ken's not giving up on the K-80.....
Keith, are you going to give Ken back his boat.........?
Yankee Chapter members believe that antique outboards were ment to RUN & HAVE FUN! Proving this beyond any doubt, Bill A. at the helm of Brook N's fabulous Johnson V-45 while Brook tubes behind it. That V-45 is certainly no saw horse queen!

Yankee Chapter: Making Waves With Old Outboards

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