Tahoe Thunder 18×24″ acrylic on canvas
In 1965 the last Lake Tahoe Unlimited Hydroplane regatta was held on its south shore. This race featured Bill Harrah’s (Harrah’s Casinos), hydroplane “Tahoe Miss”. These boats were called thunder-boats due to the roar from their 1200 hp v12, Allison and Rolls Merlin aircraft engines. Coming the down the straights of the 3 mile oval course, speeds would reach close to 200 mph. Needless to say, at that speed it was very common to witness spectacular flips.
In my youth I attended many boat races and owned a few small outboard racing hydroplanes as well as a couple of inboard race boats called cracker boxes. They were used more for recreation but whenever challenged I would never pass up a good race. At one time I actually gave some serious thought about racing in APBA (American Power Boat Association) regattas. That thought didn’t last long after I found out how much it would cost just to be competitive as well as the attorney fees for a divorce.
An original pit pass…Today a collectors item.
If interested, you may want to rent the movie Madison. Its based on a true story and very well done.