The Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum will be hosting its annual Hydro Fever Open House on Saturday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is FREE.
Come and see your favorite vintage hydroplanes – including the historic Miss Burien!
The museum has one of largest collections of Gold Cup winning hydroplanes in the world, including the Slo-mo-shun V, Pay ‘N Pak, Atlas Van Lines, and Miss Budweiser.
The museum features many other fully-restored vintage unlimited hydroplanes, including Miss Burien, Miss Bardahl, Oh Boy! Oberto, and Seattle’s first Unlimited hydroplane race winner in 1951 – the Slo Mo Shun V.
- You can also tour the current restoration project, The Squire Shop.
- Memorabilia vendors will be selling vintage buttons, pins and programs.
- A noon live auction will feature rare hydroplane memorabilia to benefit the museum.
- Casper model boat races are available for kids.
- Food and drink are available for purchase.
- There will be a hot lunch available.
For more information, email [email protected], or call (206) 764-9453.
More info at https://thunderboats.ning.com.
And now, some little additional info on Burien’s own Bill Brow, who drove the Miss Burien:
Bill Brow – “The World’s Fastest Milkman” – from Burien, Washington, raced Unlimited hydroplanes from 1958 until his tragic death at the Tampa Suncoast Cup in 1967. Best remembered as being the first to qualify for the APBA Gold Cup at better than 120 miles per hour with the Miss Exide at Seattle in 1965, Brow scored six Unlimited race wins, including a first-ever victory for the Miss Budweiser. Brow worked his way up to the Thunderboat category after many years of driving Limited hydroplanes in the Seattle area, including his own Miss Vitamilk.
In mid-season 1958, a local Unlimited, the Miss Burien, needed a driver, and Bill got the assignment. Miss Burien, truth to tell, was a “backyard job,” built in 1956 as a hobby by original owner Norm Christiansen and maintained by a volunteer crew. The boat measured 27 feet 4 inches, which is now considered rather short for anything with an Allison engine. Brow demonstrated his potential in his very first appearance as an Unlimited driver. Midway through Heat 1-A of the Diamond Cup at Coeur d”Alene, Idaho, Bill and Miss Burien were running third behind Fred Alter in Miss U.S. I and Bill Muncey in Miss Thriftway. Then, while exiting the lower turn, Brow executed a daring maneuver. He drove through Muncey’s roostertail, took the inside lane away from him, and accelerated into second place, leaving Miss Thriftway far astern. Brow averaged 101.580 for the 15 miles, compared to Muncey’s 96.878. This was the first heat at over 100 miles per hour in the three-year history of the Miss Burien hydroplane, whose previous pilots included Bill Tonkin, Norm Evans, and Mira Slovak. There was no question in the mind of owner Peter Woeck. Bill Brow definitely had “the right stuff.” Indeed, much would be heard from this talented rookie in the years to come.
The museum is located at 5917 South 196th Street in Kent: