Vintage Powerboat Racing Photos

We're excited to present this collection of photos loaned to us by "Fearless Freddie!" Fred Alter. He is one of many distinguished powerboat racers from the Detroit area to be inducted into the Unlimited Hydroplane Hall of Fame.

All 78 pics are shown as thumbnail photos below, in order of general appeal. Click on any thumbnail to see the larger JPG version (they average 35K-65K bytes each).

A beautiful Miss America IX (downsized reproduction)
Miss America IX won the Harmsworth trophy with George Wood driving.
in Detroit, date unknown.
Dean Chenoweth and Bill Muncey
This is a fabulous photo of the friendly reception they received in Acapulco, 1981. One of the last photos of Bill.
Budweiser crew member Sandy Ross
Laughing with Roy Duby on the right.
Steve Reynolds at the back of Circus Circus
Looks like he's waiting to watch the next heat.
A great pic of Mariner Too and Fred Alter
This hull was the Miss Detroit driven by Chuck Thompson.
Probably in Detroit. 1967
Bob Maschmedt ready to go
Driver of Oh Boy Oberto (78) and Dr. Toyota (79).
I really like this pic of Bill Muncey
Coming back to the pits the casual way.
Propeller mag titled this photo "The African Queen".
Acapulco. 1981
A WONDERFUL pic of Dean Chenoweth
"Under 50" Age Division.
Likely early 80's?
Bill Cantrell on a Gale boat
The famous "Seven Sisters" in the distance behind Bill.
The Seven Sisters landmark was recently demolished.
Date unknown
Having a bad day in Washington D.C.
Fred Alter points to the shape above the boat and says "See, there's me" as casual as one would looking at a yearbook. Such Crust IV. 1961

Photo by Associated Press staff photographer.
Dean Chenoweth Does a Headstand in Smirnoff at Detroit (photo caption)
This hull nicknamed "The Lead Sled" became the 1st Atlas, and later a Roostertail.
PAY n PAK and Miss Madison
A great shot!
San Diego. 1970
An early Les Staudacher "out-rigger" hull. Later pickle-forks by Les worked much better. Tommy "Tucker" Fults driving.
U-5 Schwepps and Budweiser take the Roostertail turn
Fred Alter and Bill Sterret, respectively.
Detroit - 1969
Miss Schweppe's and Miss Budeiser
Bill Sterret Sr. spins out chasing Fred Alter in Schweppes.
Detroit - 1969
Spirit Of Detroit Trophy Stand
Scott Pierce and Bill Wurster (owner).
An older Spirit Of Detroit Trophy Stand
Fred Alter at the microphone and Bernie Little in the brown shirt. Bill Muncey is just out of view behind Bernie. 1973
Fred Alter, Bob Shroeder, and J. Lee Shoenith
An old-timers reunion on Sindbads' Tug.
April 1985
Gale VI (the first one)
This hull was a Miss Roostertail. The building behind is the Roostertail restaurant before it's current day remodeling.
Gale VI (the second one, right?)
Fred Alter led 9 of the 10 laps before his boat expired.
Seattle. Date unknown

Photo by Bob Carver
The Martini & Rossi trophy
Fred Alter, Bernie Little, Stan Fitts (APBA), and Count Theo Rossi. Count Rossi is a winning Gold Cup owner & driver himself, in 1938 aboard ALAGI at a speed of 66.0 MPH (in Detroit).
Photo circa 1981
Fred Alter showing Such Crust III to Betty Skelton
Betty was a top-notch aerobatic pilot of the day, and a Michigander. The name of her airplane was Little Stinker.
Twin engine Such Crust under construction
At the shop.
May 12 1962
Miss Budweiser Hangs Over Water at Coeur d'Alene (photo caption)
Bill Muncey bringing in Miss U.S., the white boat is Harrah's Club(?).
Such Crust and Fred Alter
Behind the main grandstands in Detroit.
This is an all aluminum hull.
About 1964
Blue Chip, Mariner Too, and Gale's Roostertail
Fred Alter, Warner Gardner, and Bill Cantrell.
Detroit. 1965
Towne Club spinning out.
Terry Sterret in Atlas 2. Fred Alter in Towne Club.
Gold Cup 1971 in Madison.

Photo by Rich Ormbreck (Seattle).
Miss Madison
In Evansville? Date unknown
Miss Joe Ricci / Spirit Of Detroit
Detroit. Date unknown
The results of a blow-over in Tri-Cities.
Atlas' Blue Blaster
Chip Hanauer getting in.
Detroit. 1982
Don Campbell's Food Service
A Bob Patterson boat.. said to be a fast one. Pretty paint job too.
Scott Pierce
After a blow-over in Miss Pringles.
A later Circus-Circus.
Mariner Too in pieces
Photo taken in Detroit.
About 1963
Miss Hawaiian Tropic
Now there's a MISS! :) Atlas boat in back.
Miss Dixi Cola in a spectacular spin
Fred Alter driving.
Sacramento(?). 1966?
The Squire Shop at Detroit
Chip Hanauer driving.
Detroit. 1978
John Kress - racing a Lauterbach hull hard
Other boat unidentified.
Detroit - Sep 1 1952 (date on photo)

Photo by Detroit News staff photographer.
Notre Dame team
Dr Fraser MacDonald, Bob Espland (Dave Cully behind him), Bill Sterret Jr(?), Mike Welch, Shirley Mendelson-MacDonald, and Chuck Hickling.
Gilmore Special
Driver: Scott Pierce. Ex Circus-Circus hull.
A very serious looking V8
Twin quads and dual turbo-chargers, maybe N2O too.
One of Jimmy King's Grand Prix motors?
Detroit. Date unknown
Savairs Mist
This hull was the first(?) Miss Michigan, then Savair.
About 1965
Miss Hy-Per-Lube
Driven by Bob Gilliam.
My Gypsy
Later run by Cantrell and Graham Heath as the Kentuckiana.
Date unknown
Mariner Too
An oil unit broke off the back of the motor, the oil ignited and burned through the aluminum firewall. Fred Alter was burned but escaped.
Seattle. 1963

Photo by Associated Press International
Miss Madison
Driver is Detroiter Ed O'Halloran.
In Madison? Date unknown
Gale's Miss Roostertail
Jerry Schoenith driving? This hull later Schweppes then Towne Club.
Probably Detroit. Date unknown
Well, it says Miss Owensboro
The name has been added to the photo for PR reasons. Original pic taken in 1967 with Mira Slovak at the helm. This hull was originally the Chrysler Crew!
Date unknown
Miss Schweppes
Fred Alter driving.
Probably Detroit. 1969

Photo by Ransier-Anderson Photography Inc.
Atlas 2 and Towne Club
Terry Sterret in Atlas 2. Fred Alter in Towne Club.
Probably Detroit. 1971
Bardahl, Miss U.S., and Miss Bud
Fred Alter, Bill Muncey, Bill Sterret Sr.
Fred mentions a trailer boat that made them all skip
a beat - see the nose-dive in progress by Miss U.S.
Seattle. 1969
Bardahl and Atlas
Fred Alter and Jim McCormick.
Seattle 1969
Oh Boy Oberto
Acapulco. 1981
Bill Cantrell Sr., Judy and Fred Alter
In Detroit. Date unknown
PAY n PAK and Miss Budweiser
In Evansville? 1974
Towne Club and Miss Budweiser
Fred Alter had spun out once and lost the tail.
I'm guessing this pooch's name is BUD!
Six-pack would work too.
Miss Vernors coming into the pits
Fred Alter. This hull was the 67-69 Miss Bud.
Detroit. 1975?
Miss Towne Club
Graham Heath, Fred Alter and Wally Wrobrouck(sp?).
Such Crust IV
This hull was the Gale IV, then the Yellowjacket/Hornet. In Washington D.C., September 1961
Miss Atlas Van Lines
This is the "Lead Sled" hull again, but without the twin-fin tail. Immediately after Bill Muncey won his 5th Gold Cup, tying Gar Wood's record!
Detroit. 1972
The last twin engine Gale boat
Named Gale VI but was really a VII.
Such Crust III and Tempo
Driver: Fred Alter(?). Danny Foster to the right.
About 1954
Fred Alter showing off Miss Bardahl
Notice the open exhaust pipes that give this away as a Rolls-Royce V12.
4 "Interceptor" engines installed in Moosomin
This isn't a raceboat, but an R.C.M.P. Patrol boat.
Miss U.S. 1
Fred Alter driving.
June 14, 1958

Photo by Detroit News Staff Photographer DENEAU.
The original Blue Chip
First it was Breathless II, then Blue Chip(?). Looks like this photo has been doctored for PR reasons. This hull is now the Hawaii Kai replica at the Seattle Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum.
On the move.
Detroit. 1969

Photo by Ransier-Anderson Photography Inc.
Such Crust IV
This is the boat that Fred Alter later broke up in Washington D.C. First this hull was Gale IV, then Yellowjacket, then Such Crust.

Photo by Bob Carver
Miss Cauffiel with Fred Alter driving
Detroit Yacht Club in the background.
F-2 Miss Detroit and F-222 My Son
Bill Muncey in My Son, Fred Alter in Miss Detroit.
Detroit - 1951 perhaps?

Photo by J Higgins
Fancy Pants in Detroit
Fred Alter getting her started.
A nice shot with 4 boats
Not sure what boats, but the CF-2 is Canadian.
Buffalo - 1952 or 1953?

Photo by Bruce Hancock
A Such Crust and Barracuda
Fred Alter and Gibson Bradfield driving, respectively.
Detroit - The larger building to the left is the old Sindbad's. In the 50's.. maybe '54.
Such Crust III
Fred Alter taking Jack Schafer (owner) for a cruise.
Detroit - 1956

Photo by Creative Services Inc.
Fred Alter with trophies
Someone stole them all from his garage years ago. :(
About 1952

Photo by Louis J. Ramsey
Owner of the Towne Club boat
Taking a pleasure cruise.
About 1975

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