Auburn Fall | Lot 7056
1935 Gar Wood 16-Foot Speedster - "Miss Conduct"
$70,400 USD | Sold
| Auburn, Indiana
6 September 2015
- Gray Marine Fireball inline six engine
- Tri-carburetion, single plug
- Famous and rare Gar Wood Speedster design
- Reported as one of nine built
- Only five believed to exist
- Professionally restored in 1985
- Beautifully maintained since
- Well-presented throughout
- All fittings are equally nice
- Sporty and exclusive
When one compiles a list of the famous boat builders of the era represented by Miss Conduct, Gar Wood is a standout. Miss Conduct herself has an individual history that is part of the impeccable Gar Wood lore.
Garfield Wood did not search out the boat building business. His goal was to personally set every speed record on water and be recognized as the world’s speedboat king. However, as he set forth to achieve these goals, he was influenced by colleagues and friends and as a result built one of the world’s finest line of production recreational sport boats. Along the way, race wins and fame became commonplace for the industrious Mr. Wood.
The year 1934 saw the introduction of the 16-foot split-cockpit runabout. Approximately mid-year, Gar Wood received a special request from his good friend Edward Noble, owner of the Lifesaver Candy Company. From 1926, Noble had been hurtling on the St. Lawrence River in his famous 33-foot Baby Gar, named Snail. He told Wood that he and his friends on the St. Lawrence wanted a small, sporty racer-type boat that would be like a water version of a popular European sports car. Gar Wood’s answer was a rapid 16-footer with two seats aft of the engine; he called it the “Speedster”. Its performance and appearance was similar to a cut-down Miss America racer. Mr. Noble immediately embraced the design and the first produced were sent to the St. Lawrence River for Noble and his friends.
His speedster was named Miss Behave and others in the group were called Miss Adventure, Miss Chief and Miss Conduct. It is reported that only nine of these famous Speedsters were constructed, making this a rare opportunity indeed. Speedster racing became a regular event on the St. Lawrence River until the beginning of World War II.
Today Gar Wood boats are among the most sought-after classic boats in the world. This particular example is believed to be one of five Speedsters still in existence. The original Miss Behave is in the Thousand Islands Shipyard Museum in Clayton, New York. This rare and absolutely beautiful Gar Wood has been with this caring owner for the past 13 years.
Miss Conduct runs with a Gray Marine Motor Co. Fireball inline six-cylinder engine that has tri-carburetion and single plugs for its prescribed racing application. The Gar Wood was professionally restored in 1985 by California Classic Boats and was re-varnished in 2001 by Charles Gath. It is reported that this rare boat is in excellent overall condition, showing no visible flaws and that the mahogany wood is “impeccable and restored to the highest condition.” The paint, varnish, upholstery and gold leaf lettering are all said to also be in excellent condition, as are the additional fittings like lights, instruments and mechanical components. It is accompanied by a 16-foot trailer that has also been well-cared-for. It is fitting that the engine bay is as well-presented as the rest of the boat. The Gar Wood remains in great running condition, ready to explore your favorite navigable waters. Conveying sportiness and an aura of exclusiveness; the opportunity to acquire this exquisite craft is not to be overlooked.