316 hp, 894 cu. in. Scripps V-12 engine. Length: 25 ft.
Arizona | Lot 130
1937 Gar Wood 25' 740 Triple Cockpit Runabout "Triple Time"
$308,000 USD | Sold
| Phoenix, Arizona
18 January 2013
• One of only nine 25-foot runabouts built in 1937
• One of only three equipped with the Scripps V-12
• One of only two examples from 1937 known to exist
• Beautifully restored from stem to stern
Garfield Arthur Wood was one of the first “rock star” industrialists in America. After inventing, and carefully patenting, the hydraulic mechanism for dump trucks, Gar Wood Industries became a successful enterprise. In 1916, he began to realize his dream and passion to dominate powerboat racing. He purchased Miss Detroit, the winner of the 1915 Gold Cup, from the association that sponsored her. This began a six year boat-building partnership with Chris Smith (Chris-Craft) that changed racing on the water forever.
Gar Wood was personally involved in the design and construction of his race boats, and his attention to detail showed. He won the Gold Cup Championship from 1917 through 1921, at which time the rules committee outlawed the use of aircraft engines to try to lessen Wood’s domination of the sport. Wood was disillusioned by this development, and he decided to pursue racing on the international stage. He won the International Harmsworth Trophy in 1920, beginning an unprecedented string of annual Harmsworth victories.
The year 1937 was an optimistic one, as the country seemed to be on the road to recovery. Gar Wood built 267 boats in 1937, about 100 more than any other year in the 1930s. The example offered here is one of only nine 25-foot runabouts built in 1937, and one of only three equipped with the largest engine option, the Scripps V-12. The favored formula for making speedboats go fast in the 1920s and ’30s included a large displacement and low rpm powerplant swinging a large wheel (propeller). The Scripps V-12 engine, model 302, original to this boat, is no exception to that formula. With a cylinder bore of 4¼ inches and a stroke of 5¼ inches, the displacement totals 894 cubic inches. The engine was said to produce 316 horsepower at 2,600 rpm. The propeller is 17 inches in diameter, with a pitch of 25 inches.
The boat has been restored beautifully from stem to stern, including the original Scripps V-12 engine and the correct, original pattern and color leather upholstery. The restoration of the Gar Wood was completed from 2002–2003, with woodwork by Armstrong Boat Works, of Skaneateles, New York, and the engine restoration was completed by noted Scripps specialist George Shinn. The entire bottom of the boat was replaced at this time, including keel, chines, frames, and bottom planking, following original Gar Wood specifications. In order to insure reliability and durability, the Scripps engine and transmission were tuned by the experts at Freedom Engine Service in the summer of 2010. Currently, only one other 1937 25-foot runabout is known to exist.
While the story of Gar Wood, the man, and Gar Wood, the company, is interesting, it must not be overlooked that Gar Wood boats were some of the best engineered, best built, and most beautiful ever produced. Boatbuilding was a personal passion for Gar Wood, and his other endeavors allowed him the financial freedom to build in the quality and attention to detail for which he was known.