Museum Honors Wood & Chenoweth

Racing legends Gar Wood and Dean Chenoweth joined Bill Muncey and Chip Hanauer in the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum Hall of Champions in ceremonies held at the museum Saturday night.

Garfield Arthur Wood – the immortal “Grey Fox of Grayhaven (Michigan)” – was Unlimited hydroplane racing’s first superstar. In the years prior to World War II, “King Gar” personified power boat competition in the eyes of the world.

He won the APBA Gold Cup four times as an owner and five times as a driver, and captured the Harmsworth International Trophy eight times as a driver and nine times as an owner. Gar was the first to average over 70 miles per hour in a heat of Gold Cup competition (in 1920). He was also the first to average over 100 miles per hour on a straightaway mile (in 1931).

In his five Gold Cup wins, between 1917 and 1921, Wood started 15 heats, finished first 12 times and second three times.In his nine Harmsworth Trophy wins, between 1920 and 1933, Gar was the winning driver every year with the exception of 1931.

Dean Chenoweth drove Unlimited hydroplanes from 1968 until his death in 1982. Like few drivers before or since, Dean could guarantee results. And in so doing, he raised boat driving to the level of an art form. Known primarily for his championship exploits with Bernie Little’s MISS BUDWEISER team, Chenoweth won 25 Unlimited races. He captured the Crown Jewel of APBA competition, the Gold Cup, four times in 1970, 1973, 1980, and 1981. Dean also won four National High Point Championships and, in 1980, set a world lap speed record of 138.249 miles per hour on the Columbia River at the Tri-Cities, Washington.

Pictured left to right:   HARM Executive Director David Williams, Hall of Champions Driver Chip Hanauer, Bud crew member John Rhineberger, crew member Dixon Smith, crew member John Bianci, Bud Crew Chief and Dean’s brother-in-law Jeff Neff, designer-builder Ron Jones, Bud Crew Chief Dave Culley, HARM BOD President Eric Mann.

Photo by Ed Clark

May 16th, 2011|