1929 Gold Cup Hydroplane
Designed & Built By -
Riding Mechanic - Jim Kondrat
SCOTTY is a one of a
kind Gold Cup race boat commissioned from the well known and respected naval
architect John Hacker in June 1928 and delivered to Sam Dunsford on Lake
Winnipesaukee on July 1, 1929. She is a three step hydroplane, is twenty eight
feet long, over six feet wide and weighs 2000 pounds. The builder was Hacker's
own boat yard in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. After brief trials, she was shipped by
rail to Lakeport, New Hampshire and towed across Lake Winnipesaukee to
Dunsford’s estate on Tuftonboro Neck.
Elmer Folsom, installed a Packard engine and started their own speed trials.
SCOTTY ran numerous times on Lake Winnipesaukee in preparation for the Gold
Cup race that was held on the Shrewsbury River in Red Bank, NJ on August 24
and 25. The power plant was a Packard 'Gold Cup' Six of 625 cid and this is
the type of engine that runs SCOTTY today. The engine is one of a handful that
were specially built and modified for the Gold Cup races.
was pleased by the speed of the boat, which can run up to sixty miles per
hour, but was not at all happy with the handling. She tends to start
porpoising at high speed and does not turn in corners well. Since the race was
a few weeks away, only minor alterations could be made before she was shipped
by rail down to the race. On 16 August, she was shipped from Lake
Winnipesaukee to New Jersey.
1929 Gold Cup race was run on a ten mile course in three heats of 10 laps. The
four entrants were IMP, SCOTTY, MISS LOS ANGELES and JERSEY LIGHTNING. Viewed
by 50,000 spectators, the first heat went well for all four
boats, with SCOTTY finishing 20 seconds behind the winner, IMP. The second
heat proved more thrilling when MISS LOS ANGELES, driven by Ralph Snoddy,
overturned in SCOTTY’s wake. Snoddy was sweeping wide around a turn when he
was passed by SCOTTY which, as reported the next day in the New York Times,
“was travelling like an express train, and left a
tremendous wake.” Snoddy and his mechanic were tossed out of MISS LOS
ANGELES. Dunsford, seeing what happened, turned around and shut off his motor.
He remained with his two opponents until help arrived. Once assured of their
safety, Dunsford re-entered the race. This gallant gesture, which was picked
up by all the papers of the day, cost Dunsford valuable time. He pushed SCOTTY
hard and managed to overtake JERSEY LIGHTNING but could not overcome IMP’s
lead and so came in second. Reporters covering the race said
appeared to be the fastest boat on the straight-aways” and
“lap after lap, SCOTTY hung tenaciously”
“losing distance as the boats rounded each
turn”. The third heat started out poorly and within a few laps,
SCOTTY developed engine trouble and was barely able to complete the circuit.
SCOTTY finished second in all three heats and placed second overall with 1046
was shipped by rail back to Lake Winnipesaukee after the race where Dunsford
and Folson began working to improve her handling. Dunsford’s goal was to
enter the President’s Cup race which was going to be held in Washington,
D.C. on September 14-15. Unfortunately, a railroad strike prevented SCOTTY’s
shipment to the President’s Cup race. Dunsford decided to concentrate on
improving SCOTTY’s handling and to that end, contacted Hacker. Many ideas
were tossed around, and eventually the best idea put forward was to install a
fourth step. This was duly added, on the bow, and after this change proved to
be ineffectual, the step was removed. In early 1930 Dunsford concluded he
would not be able to correct the handling and so decided not to race her again
but instead commissioned a second Gold Cup racer from Hacker which was named
SCOTTY TOO. The Packard engine and other hardware were removed from SCOTTY and
used in SCOTTY TOO. SCOTTY was re-powered and both boats were run on the lake
during the early summer of 1930 until the Gold Cup race. SCOTTY was later
placed in one of Dunsford's barns on Tuftonboro Neck and remained in storage
for 28 years until Dunsford's death in 1958.
In late 1958 Dunsford's
estate was auctioned off in Wolfeboro, NH at Goodhue & Hawkins Navy Yard.
The original Packard engine had been loaned to George Reis of Lake George, NY
and so was not part of the auction. Both SCOTTY and SCOTTY TOO were sold
together for $550. Sam Rogers of
Wolfeboro bought both boats and on the advice of Elmer Folsom, decided to hold
onto SCOTTY, and re-sold SCOTTY TOO to Ted Larter of Lake George, NY . Elmer
advised Sam that Dunsford never really liked SCOTTY because of her handling
problems and so did not even place her in the water after 1930. SCOTTY TOO, on
the other hand, was Dunsford’s favorite boat and had been ridden very hard
from 1930 until Dunsford’s death. Sam wanted a boat that didn’t need to be
rebuilt, so he kept SCOTTY. In 1969 Sam sold her to Harvard Forden of Laconia.
Sam Rogers neither ran SCOTTY much nor restored her but kept her dry and under
cover for the eleven years he owned her. Harvard Forden installed a modern V-8
in the winter of 1971 and ran SCOTTY sporadically
on the lake until 1986 when she was sold to Bob Valpey. SCOTTY was sold
again in 1988 to her present owner, Mark Howard of Center Tuftonboro.
Scotty - 1929 John Hacker designed
Gold Cup hydroplane - owned by
an NH industrialist who owned the N.E. Cable Company, which was headquartered
in Concord, NH. His company made wiring products for various uses, but his
main customer was Ford Motor Company. His contract with Ford lasted many years
and Dunsford supplied wiring looms for all Ford automotive lines. Although
Dunsford worked in Concord, he summered on Lake Winnipesaukee from the late
1910’s to his death in 1958. He was very active in boat racing, and was the
Commodore of the Winnipesaukee Power Boat Association. Local papers referred
to him as Commodore Dunsford and chronicled his racing efforts throughout the
20’s and 30’s. He traveled, and raced, all over New England, from
Portland, ME down to Washington, DC. He owned numerous racing boats of all
classes, from the Gold Cup class (SCOTTY, SCOTTY TOO, RAINBOW IV) to 151
class, (‘Pelican’ model named TIRED TIM TOO). He entertained many
dignitaries on his estate, including William Chapman, editor of
“Motor Boating” magazine. By the late 1930’s, the depression
caught up with Dunsford and all formal racing activity ceased. Still, local
residents remember Dunsford would regularly run at high speeds all over Lake
Winnipesaukee up through the 1940’s and was not afraid to take on any
challengers for impromptu races.
Folsom was employed by Dunsford from the
early 1920’s until 1958 as a mechanic and general caretaker / handyman.
Folsom lived on the Dunsford estate in Tuftonboro year-round and his daughter
lives in Tuftonboro to this day. Folsom worked on all boats Dunsford raced and
accompanied the boats to all the racing events. He raced with Dunsford in the
Gold Cup races throughout the 20’s and 30’s.
She handles today just
as she did in 1929, porpoising at high speed and difficult to turn into
corners. The bright work has been polished, a few coats of varnish have been
applied and, most importantly, an original Packard ‘Gold Cup’ engine has
been reinstalled. But SCOTTY has never been restored and is completely
original, well maintained through the many years.
A few, more recent
taken on 11/17/2003 - getting Scotty
ready to run.
The thrill of victory on 11/22/2003 - running some hot laps on Back Bay !!!
Wolfeboro - 2003
2 of Scotty - a 2004 Update
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