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View Full Version : 1966 Thunderbird Gas Turbine



David Hartmann
09-24-2014, 11:28 PM
I wanted to upload some photos so that they are available for all. I know that this boat is awaiting restoration and that the transmissions just now are finding there way back to the current owner.

I hope it is ok with the host.

David Hartmann
09-24-2014, 11:39 PM
After the race

David Hartmann
09-24-2014, 11:49 PM
I am pretty sure these are photos taken in the Broward ship yard during the development. Not sure where the corvette is. The boat called the Eagle was also powered with the same gas turbines.

David Hartmann
09-25-2014, 12:23 AM
More to come

f_inscreenname
09-25-2014, 01:19 AM
Been watching that restore for years over on OSO. Seems stuck on engines.

Craig S
09-25-2014, 12:26 PM
fascinating...the tool to rotate the boat. And the Caprice.

Offset
09-25-2014, 03:39 PM
That is one serious train wreck behind the Corvette.

Cooling looking race boat.

David Hartmann
09-25-2014, 11:24 PM
I am curious what the chase boat was

David Hartmann
09-26-2014, 12:05 AM
more photos

Greg Guimond
09-26-2014, 07:23 AM
A very cool set of photos. Thanks for posting. As you mentioned this 32 footer was designed by Jim Wynne for Merrick Lewis's Maritime Boats. I did not know that Wynne also raced this model. Merrick owned both Thunderbird Boats and Maritime Boats before he bought and added Formula in mid 1964. It would be interesting to know why the Maritime 32 was named "Thunderbird". Jeff Hall on the board may have more info.

Edit: I was wrong, Walt Walters designed the 32' hull, not Jim Wynne. Thanks Jeff.

Marlin275
09-26-2014, 08:51 AM
She was a great, great boat, ahead of her time.
I remember her racing in Florida.
Outlawed because she was too good.

http://www.pt6nation.com/en/articles/article/history-the-pt6-colourful-past/
The Thunderbird was a 10-metre boat designed by racing-boat champion Jim Wynn. It boasted two ST6 engines and two Chevrolet truck transmissions. On the day of its launch, it clocked 109 km/h. In the February 22, 1966, Sam Griffith Memorial Race, it was one of only two boats out of 31 to complete the challenging circuit. Although it won the race with a time of four hours and 43 minutes, it was denied official recognition because of its “experimental” nature.

HallJ
09-26-2014, 09:47 AM
A very cool set of photos. Thanks for posting. As you mentioned this 32 footer was designed by Jim Wynne for Merrick Lewis's Maritime Boats. I did not know that Wynne also raced this model. Merrick owned both Thunderbird Boats and Maritime Boats before he bought and added Formula in mid 1964. It would be interesting to know why the Maritime 32 was named "Thunderbird". Jeff Hall on the board may have more info.

Not sure but Walt designed it, not Jim. Jim would have done things like the rudder and mechanical arrangements. Here's an article from the newspaper up here in Rochester where Walt is from.

Merrick probably wanted to promote his Thunderbird brand.

Jeff

Greg Guimond
09-26-2014, 10:46 AM
Not sure but Walt designed it, not Jim. Jim would have done things like the rudder and mechanical arrangements. Here's an article from the newspaper up here in Rochester where Walt is from.

Merrick probably wanted to promote his Thunderbird brand.

Jeff

Thanks Jeff for the correction with the article. :yes:

Greg Guimond
09-26-2014, 10:49 AM
She was a great, great boat, ahead of her time.
I remember her racing in Florida.
Outlawed because she was too good.

http://www.pt6nation.com/en/articles/article/history-the-pt6-colourful-past/
The Thunderbird was a 10-metre boat designed by racing-boat champion Jim Wynn. It boasted two ST6 engines and two Chevrolet truck transmissions. On the day of its launch, it clocked 109 km/h. In the February 22, 1966, Sam Griffith Memorial Race, it was one of only two boats out of 31 to complete the challenging circuit. Although it won the race with a time of four hours and 43 minutes, it was denied official recognition because of its “experimental” nature.


That picture is awesome Marlin, look at the lines on that sumbitch. Keep hoping to run into you on the river. Do you happen to know who is in that picture left to right?

mattyboy
09-26-2014, 10:54 AM
about 7:30 the gas turbine appears


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kALNooZRYfM

some more here in part 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zZvSmz4lsc

part 3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl_q7oyMK-s

Marlin275
09-26-2014, 11:28 AM
That picture is awesome Marlin, look at the lines on that sumbitch. Keep hoping to run into you on the river. Do you happen to know who is in that picture left to right?

Other than Jim Wynne, I don't know who is in that picture, David probably does?
It was great on the river with you, first Donzi Classic I saw on the Hudson in 10 years.
Rare indeed . . .

HallJ
09-26-2014, 01:44 PM
This is the first one built. Where is it today? Wisconsin?

http://books.google.com/books?id=kIvLPt5QEmwC&pg=RA1-PA5-IA55&lpg=RA1-PA5-IA55&dq=maritime+thunderbird+walt+walters&source=bl&ots=ldQOO6-Fr2&sig=xuqzHQfzNOEz-fqX5RdeEBvnZ-E&hl=en&sa=X&ei=GqQlVKWMHcX4yQTNooGoDQ&ved=0CEIQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=maritime%20thunderbird%20walt%20walters&f=false


Jeff

Greg Guimond
09-26-2014, 08:11 PM
Other than Jim Wynne, I don't know who is in that picture, David probably does?
It was great on the river with you, first Donzi Classic I saw on the Hudson in 10 years.
Rare indeed . . .


lets see what Hartman might know. No more 16 river runs for The Mule after today, blew my motor up trying to run down some guy in a Active Thunder with twin wackers :frown:

MDonziM
09-26-2014, 10:18 PM
Sorry to hear about your motor.

I was trying to reach you the other day but misplaced your #. Could you pm me?

Thanks - Marshall

David Hartmann
10-08-2014, 11:45 AM
Other than Jim Wynne, I don't know who is in that picture, David probably does?
It was great on the river with you, first Donzi Classic I saw on the Hudson in 10 years.
Rare indeed . . .

I can make some guesses but I really don't recognize any of those people. Allen Brown may know some of them.

David Hartmann
10-08-2014, 12:03 PM
I have a tremendous amount of stuff regarding Jim Wynne. I am about to donate most of it to the current owner of the Thunderbird. I am going to scan some of it and store it on the Hornet Marine site and maybe post it here.

It brought me to thinking... Does anyone know of a good place for such things. I am sure many of us have some very cool literature. that is well worth preserving. Wouldn't it be cool if there was a trusted steward for such things. We could drop our stuff in the mail and include a donation of cash maybe and then someone would scan and post the documents for all. If there is such a thing let me know.


I still do not know many of the people in the photos.
The engineer looking guy with the crew cut and glasses is my father Harold Hartmann. He was the project engineer for the "Turbo Power and Marine" division of "United Aircraft" Which became part of Pratt & Whitney and United Technologies.

as a side note. Does anyone know how to rotate the pictures after the upload?

HallJ
10-08-2014, 02:03 PM
I have a tremendous amount of stuff regarding Jim Wynne. I am about to donate most of it to the current owner of the Thunderbird. I am going to scan some of it and store it on the Hornet Marine site and maybe post it here.

It brought me to thinking... Does anyone know of a good place for such things. I am sure many of us have some very cool literature. that is well worth preserving. Wouldn't it be cool if there was a trusted steward for such things. We could drop our stuff in the mail and include a donation of cash maybe and then someone would scan and post the documents for all. If there is such a thing let me know.


I still do not know many of the people in the photos.
The engineer looking guy with the crew cut and glasses is my father Harold Hartmann. He was the project engineer for the "Turbo Power and Marine" division of "United Aircraft" Which became part of Pratt & Whitney and United Technologies.

as a side note. Does anyone know how to rotate the pictures after the upload?

Graham at http://www.powerboatarchive2.co.uk/

He loves the old stuff!!!

Jeff

bertsboat
10-10-2014, 03:32 PM
All Walt Walters drawings are at the Mystic Maritime Museum. For a fee they copy it and send it to you. Their coppy machine is not the best but they do store it and they will never destroy or sell it. They also call it by your name. Walt's is the Walt Walters collection.

cadillacboats
09-29-2015, 11:02 PM
I am curious what the chase boat was
Looked like a 28' Donzi to me. Cadillac