The 1955 U-60 Miss Thriftway reproduction headed back to Vashon Island on Sunday after a weekend of racing at Lake Chelan. These vintage recreations don't actually race any longer, but do give rides to people at events. The boat is owned by Vashon Unlimiteds LLC. SEE THE GALLERY OF IMAGES BELOW FOR THE SLIDESHOW
SLIDESHOW: Miss Thriftway cruises through West Seattle
People at the Fauntleroy ferry dock were treated to a close up view of a genuine hydroplane on Sunday Oct. 7 as the Miss Thriftway, a reproduction of the original 1955 thunderbolt headed back to its home on Vashon Island.
The boat had been at Lake Chelan for the weekend as part of a larger event, the Mahogany and Merlot boat event. Also part of the event were Miss Bardahl, Miss Thriftway, Miss Wahoo & Miss Burien.
In charge of the hydroplane at the dock were Steve Payne (partner) and Leslie Parker.
At the event they sold rides, basically four laps around the lake. "You sit there for two and then we give you the steering wheel for two laps. You go 130 to 140 mph," said Payne. The rides are not cheap though. They go for $1000. "We had one gentleman, who had just turned 60 and we told him how much it was and he said, 'I'll talk to my wife,' and she's saying 'Well, maybe next year dear,' and they went away then ten minutes later he comes back and says, 'How about now.' "
The design of the boat was by legendary designer Ted Jones but that boat, the original, was destroyed in the Governor's Cup in Madison, Indiana on Sept. 29, 1957.
The 1955 Miss Thriftway was Bill Muncey's first winning ride starting with the 1956 Gold Cup on his way to 62 wins which set a record. The paint scheme on the reproduction is the same as the 1955 boat.
"It actually has four of the parts from the orginal boat" said Parker.
On the dock, prior to driving on the ferry, people emerged from their cars to look and ask questions about the boat which Payne and Parker kindly responded to.
The reproduction is owned by Vashon Unlimited's partners Steve Payne, Larry Fuller, Rob Wheeler, and Steve Compton from 2003 to 2007. It has an Allison V-1710 engine, is 28 feet 6 inches long, 11 feet 8 inches wide and the design was copied from the original and assisted by Ted Jones son, Ron Jones Sr.
You can learn more about the boat by visiting www.missthriftway.com .
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