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1953-54 race accident in New Ulm, MN - Wilson Boat

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  • 1953-54 race accident in New Ulm, MN - Wilson Boat

    Hey all,

    I am new to the forum. I am writing an article on the history of WILSON BOAT of Rice Lake, WI. They started making wooden boats in 1947. Small row/motor boats and three point hydros were their focus. George Wilson and his two sons Jack and Jerry ran the operation. Jerry was a very active racer and won many trophies in the Upper Midwest area.

    In 1953 or 1954 or thereabouts Jerry Wilson was seriously injured in an accident during a race in or near New Ulm, MN. After a spill, he was hit by the prop of another boat. His arm had to be amputated.

    I am trying to narrow down the when and where of the race to find newspaper articles from that time.

    Anyone have any recollection of this accident? Any clues as to how to narrow down the date of the accident? Are there any archives for APBA?

    Does anyone have a WILSON BOAT? I'd like to find some pictures of these boats.

    Andreas in Minneapolis
    Owner of 11 or so vintage boats (none of them race boats!)
    email: thompsonboat@msn.com

  • #2

    Re: 1953-54 race accident in New Ulm, MN - Wilson Boat

    Stu Mills, up in Windsor ON has a Wilson runabout,
    and a brochure.
    I will give him this msg.
    Brian Hendrick, #66 F
    "the harder we try, the worser it gets"



    Comment


    • #3

      Re: 1953-54 race accident in New Ulm, MN - Wilson Boat

      Thanks very, very much!

      Andreas

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: 1953-54 race accident in New Ulm, MN - Wilson Boat

        Wilson Runabout

        Hello Andreas,

        About a month ago, I acquired a very old runabout which was in a wreck some thirty years ago. The bottom of the boat had a skeg and propeller rip through it. I have not had any success finding out the make of this runabout. It was raced right here in Minnesota. It would be interesting to find out if this could be a Wilson runabout. Who knows? Here are a couple photos.

        Thanks, Bruce
        Attached Files

        Comment


        • #5

          Re: 1953-54 race accident in New Ulm, MN - Wilson Boat

          Thanks for the inquiry. I have never seen a Wilson Boat in person. I have a few little itty bitty photocopy of ads. I really cannot assist in identiying your boat. I just don't know anything about this type of watercraft.

          Andreas

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: 1953-54 race accident in New Ulm, MN - Wilson Boat

            I am not sure if Stu Mills comes on this site, but here is a Wilson brochure he sent to me;
            Attached Files
            Brian Hendrick, #66 F
            "the harder we try, the worser it gets"



            Comment


            • #7

              Re: 1953-54 race accident in New Ulm, MN - Wilson Boat

              Someone was kind enuff to private message him and Stu has already emailed me the stuff he has. I appreicate all the help so far!

              Andreas

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: 1953-54 race accident in New Ulm, MN - Wilson Boat

                George Wilson was also not to proud to build boats that he didn't design himself. I know of at least a couple of Ben-Hurs that he built for MN racers for D and F hydro as well as a 14ft. F runabout for one guy. If you wanted it he would build it. Back then new boats would run in the $4-500 range. Quincy throttles were $12 new etc.

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: 1953-54 race accident in New Ulm, MN - Wilson Boat

                  Here is a pic of the Wilson I have.
                  Stu
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: 1953-54 race accident in New Ulm, MN - Wilson Boat

                    Hi Andreas,

                    I was a racer in my youth and I still have my Wilson
                    runabout from 1954.
                    I've not yet done a resto on it, but that will happen soon.
                    I'm retired now and I'm beginning to collect some of boats and motors that I had long ago.

                    Here's some photos of my boat. Sorry their not better pictures, but the boat is in storage in my race shop right now.

                    As you can see, it's in quite good shape for a boat that has been in storage ever since 1957.

                    Regards,
                    George Taylor
                    gwt@2oldracing.com
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: 1953-54 race accident in New Ulm, MN - Wilson Boat

                      [QUOTE=... would be interesting to find out if this could be a Wilson runabout..[/QUOTE]

                      1st pic is of the transom of Stu's utility. The bottom extension is similar to yours.
                      Stu's is probably 15 yrs older, and a lot of water went by in that time.

                      2nd PIC is a DSR I have that we have not identified, 12'3" OAL length, a C or D?,
                      round chines on both sides, coamings resemble Wilsons.
                      It came out of MI, so could be a Wilson also
                      Your runabout and mine are the same period,
                      late 60s to 70s.

                      When did he stop building boats commercially?
                      -is he still alive?
                      Did he build the more modern flat deck runabouts,
                      as compared to the 50/60s open utilitys?
                      Attached Files
                      Brian Hendrick, #66 F
                      "the harder we try, the worser it gets"



                      Comment


                      • #12

                        Re: 1953-54 race accident in New Ulm, MN - Wilson Boat

                        Hi Brian,
                        Go to this url on BRF. It will answer your questions.
                        http://boatracingfacts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8855

                        I doubt your white boat was built by George Wilson.
                        Actually it looks like a "knock off" of a DeSilva runabout.

                        Regards,
                        George

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Re: 1953-54 race accident in New Ulm, MN - Wilson Boat

                          George Wilson died at age 87 in September 1985. Wilson Boat Corp. became Rice Lake Boat Company circa 1959 with Wilson as a co-owner. They made open utilty and runabout pleasure boats. Fiberglass boats started to be built by them circa 1958. Mr. Wilson was forced out of the firm in a leveraged buy out (hostile take over) about 1961. Ellis Huntsinger, the horse radish sauce king from Eau Claire, became sole owner.

                          Rice Lake Boat Co. made their own line of boats called "El-Rae" and circa 1963 started to make boats for Span America under a sub-contract basis. In November 1964 Span Boats, Inc. purchased all assets of Rice Lake Boat Co.. Any El-Rae and Rice Lake boats were converted into Span Boats or dropped. Span Boats ceased to exist in 1970.

                          Andreas

                          Comment


                          • #14

                            Re: 1953-54 race accident in New Ulm, MN - Wilson Boat

                            In the Winter of 1959 - 1960 my Dad and I bought three new racing boats from George Wilson. We bought two B runabouts and one B hydro. We lived in Minnesota and drove to Rice Lake, Wisconsin and picked up the boats one at a time as they were completed. George built them in the garage of his lakefront home.

                            I don't have any photos of the runabouts, but attached, is a photo of the hydro with me driving it at a race in Saint Croix Falls, Wisconsin during the Summer of 1960. I'm running an alcohol burning Champion Hot Rod. A couple of weeks later I stuffed it at a race on the Mississippi river in Saint Paul and got my first ride in an ambulance.

                            I got to know the entire Wilson family and was at a race where five generations of Wilson's all competed with the youngest just 15 and the oldest about 90.
                            Attached Files



                            Comment


                            • #15

                              Re: 1953-54 race accident in New Ulm, MN - Wilson Boat

                              Found a little newspaper article on the Winona (MN) Republican Herald from Tuesday 14 August 1951. Indicated races at New Ulm, MN on previous Sunday (12 August) that Jerry Wilson (age 16) was seriously injured. This is the accident that cost him his arm below the elbow.

                              Also obtained article from the New Ulm newspaper confirming that the accident was on Sunday 12 August 1951. This article indicates his age as 18, not 16.

                              Andreas
                              Last edited by thompsonboat; 11-17-2010, 06:50 AM.

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