Vintage Hydroplane Exhibition
The roar of the World War II V-12 piston engines is back on the shores of the Columbia River in 2014 with the ‘Legends of Thunder’ vintage hydroplane exhibition. Multiple vintage Thunderboats from the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum will perform in a series of exhibition heats that will evoke memories of the original Atomic Cup races.
The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum is the nation’s only public museum dedicated solely to powerboat racing. Formed in 1983, their mission is to preserve and exhibit important artifacts from the sport of hydroplane racing. The museum features an incredible collection of vintage hydroplanes spanning seven decades, including boats that have won 17 Gold Cups.
The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum is also the nation’s primary resource for historical and educational information on hydroplane racing. Their extensive collection of books, magazines, race programs, newspaper, photos, trophies, and other memorabilia dates back to the turn of the last century. They have over 200 hours of rare, vintage racing films transferred to videotape, covering hydroplane racing for the 1940s to the present.
In addition to great archives on the the history of hydroplanes, the museum is also a fully equipped boat restoration shop. Over the years, they have restored seven of the most famous Gold Cup and Harmsworth winners to full running condition. These include the Miss America VIII (1929 and ’31 Harmsworth winner); Slo-mo-shun IV (1950, ’52, and ’53 Gold Cup winner); Slo-mo-shun V (1951 and ’54 Gold Cup winner); Hawaii Kai III replica (1958 Gold Cup winner); Miss Thriftway (1961 and ’62 Gold Cup winner); the legendary “Green Dragon” Miss Bardahl and the 1967 Miss Budweiser. Most important, these great hulls have been restored by Museum members, people like you who loved the boats and simply could not see them fade away.
Because of the efforts of the museum and an army of volunteers and enthusiasts, these restored vintage hydroplanes are available to run at a number of exhibitions during the year, including this year’s Columbia Cup.
Enjoy a look into the past of unlimited hydroplane racing, when boats were powered by the V-12 aircraft engines of World War II fighters and let out a roar of thunder that could be heard miles from the river.