Yankee Chapter: Making Waves With Old Outboards


Shelton CT - September 12th, 2015

The Yankee Chapter formal meet was on September 12th and held once again at Indian Well State Park in Shelton CT. This year the theme honored the AOMCI's 50th year and celebrated outboards and boats from the 1950s.

A representative of just about every brand sold in the US in the 1950s was on display: Champions, Chris Craft, a mighty display of early Clintons, Dragon Fly, Elgin (including two of the early 16hp motors), Lauson, Neptune (one Mighty Mite was even still in the box!), Martins, Oliver and Oliver-made Wizard, a display of the early West Bends, several Scotts and most of the Scott private brands, and of course lots of OMC and Mercury plus their private brands. There were also many great classic boats and motor combinations.

There was a lot of swap & sell activity, too much to go into detail. It was a great day, weather was almost perfect being cool and low humidity with just enough clouds to keep you from getting a sunburn.

Thanks to RC for helping with the formal judging. Running the meet doesn't allow for a lot of time to take photos of everything and everyone - herewith below are a few shots with some thoughts/commentary.

(Click on the images for a larger version)

1950 Elgin 16 is a rare duck - this one is Bob G's and got a good workout later in the day
Champion 4LHD Hydrodrive
Bob swears this Lauson full shift 6hp twin has a good coil!
1956 Oliver J-2 "Five 1/2" with original tank and aftermarket Vollrath Oliver stand
West Bend provided motors to Sears under the Elgin name and had a non-compete clause with them through 1955. Starting in 1956 they began offering motors though their own network that would grow to become the 3rd largest outboard company ten years later. Seen here are early West Bends, 1956 5 1/2, 1957 West Bend Pike 6hp and the stylish (or just plain weird) 1959 West Bend 16hp Barracuda - all runners and unrestored cosmetic condition
In the "don't get no respect" category: first year and 100% original 1954 Clinton Model 25 & Chief Model 24 (each 2.5hp) with binder of documentation, 1955 deluxe Model 62 5.5hp and 1959 Clinton J-9 (with all the original tank and documentation including the sales receipt) - These motors seem to be universally reviled by most AOMCI members who lump them in with other "bargain" motors. They are actually well engineered and quality outboards
Bob Z. brought the original 1955 JW and Norm D. the stunningly restored 1955 Johnson QD 10hp and display.
Even less common than a Corsair is the 1950 sales banner!
Doug P. (Captain Mighty Might) brought this cool motor in a box. (I didn't want to risk messing up the old brittle cardboard so I didn't poke too deep into the box - later Doug took it out and showed us but I didn't have the camera with me.) It was technically out of the date range for our formal judging, being from the early 1960s, but was fun to see none-the-less!
1957 Mighty Might 1.7hp (I think this was also Doug's)
1957-58 Robertson Hedges Dragonfly Model 80 Cruiser. It's loud, doesn't push your boat very fast (the Mighty Might can run circles around it) hard to carry, would give an OSHA Inspector a heart attack, smokes like a chimney on the 10:1 mix and drinks gas faster than if the tank simply drained into the river. However, it's a blast to run!
Rich C. brought these nice original Martin Models 20 and 100
Original 1955 Johnson CD 5.5hp, stunning 100% original 1956 Scott Atwater 7.5hp, 1957 Scott 7.5hp and 1952-53 Pluvier Boatmaster (From The Netherlands) 0.7hp.
RC brought these great displays of 1950s petrolina, close to the full line of 1958 Evinrudes: 3hp, 5.5hp, 7.5hp, 10hp, 18hp and 35hp - the 50hp was left home. (My back hurts just looking at the photo!) Also a fun display of 1950s speedometers
Norm W. brought this wonderful display of the Mercury Mark 25 that he purchased new as a kid. The motor has been beautifully restored and the display included every piece of documentation imaginable including a note to him from the Kiekhaefer Corporation congratulating him on his purchase!
Even Bob T. was able to dig up a couple of post-war classics to display and run like the Johnson QD-12 10hp seen here. The empty stand is for his 1954 Evinrude 7.5hp Fleetwin, his first outboard. (Bob had to bring at least one RBM with him for security - he doesn't trust motors with recoils...) We had quite a number of 1958 Evinrudes at the meet, I believe the one seen here is Don K's 10hp Sportwin.
Joe R. and Walt L. hamming it up with Walt's 1950 Elgin 16hp. It is rare to see one of these motors yet we had two at the meet!
Bill An. didn't have a classic but made up for it with this great early runabout and Evinrude Speeditwin. The boat was equipped with a period correct mechanical tach and speedometer that were fully operable!
Bill Al. brought his custom Feathercraft and 1958 Johnson Super Sea Horse 35hp

Bill out for a run up-river!

And coming back - he's really moving and in fabulous 1920's style!
Back to the Classics, more 1958 Evinrudes: Fastwin and Sportwin
Bill W. brought two Scott 16hp motors to test, a 1956 (seen here) and a 1958. Think he's on the phone to Scott expert Jim M. regarding a slipping clutch dog issue!
Nice little Buccaneer 3hp
Larry S. brought the 1958 Starflight he recently went through and ran it for the first time - it definitely qualifies for "Big Iron"!
Brennan B., Cole B. and Hurricane Harry take a spin with the 1956 West Bend 5 1/2hp
Here's Bob T. out running the QD seen in the photo earlier on this page. He says: "Not bad for a NEW motor".
Tom C. and his '58 Fisherman gesturing for Bob to slow down.
Bob complied, settling into the familiar 2-3mph he's comfortable with on the RBMs.
I got to take a run with Bob G. and his 1950 Elgin 16hp, a motor I've always wanted to try. You don't see these motors very often and it's even rarer to actually see one run at our meets. This motor ran very well and had better performance than I was expecting. However, the recoil with the convoluted routing of the rope took an amazing amount of effort to pull over, we're just glad it started right up! And at a whopping 92 pounds, it's not light!!
Eric T. wasn't able to make it until late due to prior commitments - his beautiful Stauter and Mark 55 were great to see!
While the day was a celebration of classic motors, Dave C. couldn't resist bringing the gorgeous 1914 Waterman he just finished restoring and doing some break-in runs. It ran great and was a treat to see and totally in keeping with the club's 50th anniversary!

Yankee Chapter: Making Waves With Old Outboards

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