90L x 21W x 23H (cm)
Baby Bootlegger 1924 – Gold Cup Racer
Baby Bootlegger is perhaps the most beautiful wooden boat ever built. She was designed by George Crouch and built by the Henry B. Nevins yard in City Island, NY for Wall Street bachelor, Caleb Bragg. Caleb Bragg was an ultimate sportsman, as the 70th licensed pilot in America, he pioneered speed records in the air and on land before turning to the water. After coming in second place overall, Baby Bootlegger won the 1924 Gold Cup race on a technicality, however, took home all the wins at the 1925 races on Long Island. Her Hispano Suiza aircraft engine was state of the art. She is the epitome of all speedboats.
Craftsmanship, design and unmatchable quality have been the hallmarks of Riva since the company’s founding in 1842 in Sarnico, Italy, one of Italy’s great boat-building centers. It’s there that Pietro Riva built his first “Riva,” known for quality craftsmanship and performance ahead of its time. By the 1930s, the business was managed by Pietro’s grandson, Serafino, under whose guidance the company became known for manufacturing small racing boats, which Serafino himself raced. Not content to remain in this niche, the Riva family increased its line to include boats built as much for pleasure as for speed. By the 1950s, the Riva name, under the leadership of Pietro’s grandson, Carlo, Riva became a symbol of quality, elegance, speed and, most notably, wealth. As a result, Riva gained worldwide fame as the luxury boat of choice for kings and queens, matinee idols, corporate titans, entrepreneurs and jet-setters worldwide
The legend of Chris-Craft began in 1884, when Christopher Columbus Smith began the Smith Boat House on the St Clair River in Algonac, Michigan, to manufacture small duck boats and power launches. Later, the company was extended to Chris Smith and Sons Boat Co. Many of his larger runabouts were used as taxis; transporting guests on the river front to resorts, or to various sightseeing attractions. In the twenty’s, mostly runabouts were produced, but with the introduction of his speed boats, Chris Smith’s fame took off.
The boat, Typhoon, was designed back in 1929 by George Crouch. The Typhoon’s origin began with Edsel Ford, who was an avid raceboat enthusiast. Knowing the background, and seeing the famous Teaser speedboat in action, Edsel Ford wanted a new fast boat just like it. He contacted the yard that built the Teaser and had an exact copy built, naming it the Typhoon. The Typhoon was a large brute, measuring in at 40′ in length with a 2000 cu. in. Wright Typhoon engine, she was made for racing. Edsel Ford never used it as a pure racer, however. His primary use for the boat was as a commuter speedboat between the Ford factory and his home in Lake St. Claire. In 1941, Ford sold it to Howard Hughes who kept it running during the war years, but soon sold it after the war. The Typhoon then went through a series of owners over the next few years ending up in Kentucky. Then in the late sixties, her current owners had her shipped from Kentucky to Seattle Washington. In the late 1960’s, at Bryants Marina in Washington, the boat that was docked next to the Typhoon caught fire. The fire raged out of control, and soon engulfed the Typhoon. The Typhoon was a total loss