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Back to Inventory The Scottsdale Auction | January 26 Register to Bid
LOT 15

Selling on Friday

1959 Lauterbach ‘Miss Miami’ Vintage Hydroplane

  • The 'hero' boat in the 1964 film 'Racing Fever'
  • Recently raced on Lake Chelan in Washington
  • Accompanied by original movie poster and media guide
  • Original livery replicated during restoration

VIN: WNZ6511DL767

Register To Bid Auction Info

One of the legends of hydroplane boat building was the late Henry Lauterbach, who designed the 1967 World Champion Unlimited Hydroplane, Miss Chrysler Crew. Henry started building race boats in the 1940s. No one ever complained about the quality of workmanship on a Lauterbach hull, which was always impeccable. He built over 200 hydroplanes and all were basically hand-built with meticulous attention to detail. For sheer craftsmanship, Lauterbach was one of the all-time great "wood butchers". He will be remembered not only for his boat building ability but also for his skill as a driver. During the 1950s, Henry was National High Point Champion in three different APBA inboard classes and was inducted into the APBA Hall of Fame in 1956. Henry retired from competition in 1963 and retired from full-time boat building in 2001 leaving his son, Larry Lauterbach, to continue with the family tradition as a driver and builder.

This example is one of Henry Lauterbach's earlier creations, a 1959 Series 5L. It is just 18 feet from stem to stern and is currently powered by a Chevrolet 350-cubic-inch small-block V-8 engine specially modified for marine duty. It features a 266 class hull that is fiberglass and wood construction and was discovered a few years back. It was apparent that this historic watercraft had quite a bit of racing history, for there were several layers of paint found that covered its original livery. The hull was stripped down with the base layer preserved so it could be replicated in the restoration. Finished in red with hand applied gold trim, it carried the numbers F-3 and the name 'Miss Miami'. Vintage hydroplane expert David Williams from the Hydroplane and Race Boat Museum in Kent, Washington inspected the craft and verified its authenticity. It was also revealed that this was the lead boat in the 1964 film 'Racing Fever', a film of suspense and intrigue centered around the rough and tumble world of hydroplane racers. Since its restoration, it has competed in several vintage boat races on Lake Chelan in Washington. Included in the sale is an original copy of the Racing Fever film's media kit and an original numbered movie theater poster featuring an illustration of the boat.

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