While our focus is primarily on the restoration of Classic mahogany speedboats, occasionally a special project comes along that stirs the creative side of the Crew at Absolute Classics Marine. We recently completed a frame out restoration of a Glen L “Dragster”. It was built to their plans in the mid 1950’s in Idaho and was equipped with the largest OHV marine V8 available at the time…a 331 Cadillac with triple 2BBL carbs. A jack shaft linked the gearbox to a V drive and the prop shaft exited the boat through the keel.
A few years ago, the boat arrived at the Boathouse Bay Classics in sorry need of a restoration. The client wanted it returned to it’s original condition. Much of the existing wood was beyond repair and the Crew undertook a frame out restoration which included a new bottom, transom and deck. The plywood hull sides were retained. Epoxy and fiberglass cloth were applied to the bottom and hull sides, faired to create a flawless surface, then professionally painted to match the client’s resto-mod, 1953 Chev pickup.
Artistic licence is not used on authentic restorations, but with this Glen L, the Crew was able to create a spectacular interior. The original dash board was modified to allow for a polished stainless panel which featured an array of gauges. The engine box was designed to mimic the tumblehome at the transom. Grated mahogany flooring was installed throughout. An original set of post war Garwood windshield brackets were installed to create a “Speedster” style runabout look.
The clients took delivery of their boat this week. Her name, “Cha-Chi”, was hand painted using Gold leaf, on the transom. This was an emotional reunion as the clients fondly remember times out on the water with their children and can’t wait to see “Cha-Chi “ back in the water where she belongs with a new generation of passengers.
If you have a dream boat in mind…a Vintage speedboat, a retro style classic or a prefer something more contemporary, contact the Boathouse Bay Crew at Absolute Classics Marine in Kelowna, BC