Photographs Articles Winnings Accidents Griffith Cup Other Boats You are on the 1960s Page Moments Links


John Lewis had a love for going fast and pushing the limits
Here is how his career in racing all started
John Lewis his racing machine, 1965??

John in his first racing machine

1950-53? MG TD

Todays Boats
Next, John raced his 1964 Commander Studebaker, Chevy 283 Corvette, competively in 1/4 mile & hill climbs, but he did not enjoy working under cars (is there anybody who does??)
When he started skiing, he got an idea to race boats instead of cars, one reason for this decision, you pull the motor out to work on, no climbing under cars!

Pushing the limits once again

John and the Studebaker

Towing FIREBALL and substained rear end damage from the broken trailer axle

John Lewis' first boat - a ski boat with a
1962 Mercury Merc 1000 (100 H.P)
John slalom skiing
John slalom skiing

Victorian Water Ski Association

Victorian Water Ski Association

Look,  no hands !!
John showing off
Ski Boat with Mercury

Ski boat at Caribbean Gardens
Above - John's 1960 Ford Fairlaine 500 -TANK ! towing the Mercury at John's Favorite ski haunt, Caribbean Gardens

Fireball, from left - John Lewis, John Peet and Geoff Lewis at Boronia
(from left) John Lewis, John Peet
& Geoff Lewis at Boronia, Victoria

Fireballon the trailer with a broken axel
Fireball and crew stuck roadside
with a broken boat trailer axle

Fireball with a trailer and broken axel

John’s first speedboat was named Fireball. She was an ancient, heavy clinker fitted with a multiple-carburated 313 cubic inch VS Chrysler. Fireball could make it to 54 miles per hour, but this wasn’t good enough for John. After some months of learning the trade in 1968, John was ready to see Dave Gill about his new boat.

Left: The crew inspecting the broken boat trailer axle

Other Photos from the

Hurricane & MyTee-Too Albert Park Lake 1960's

**Hurricane & MyTee-Too Albert Park Lake

Albert Park Lake 1960's - Race Day
** Albert Park Lake - Race Day

Old Trophies from the Victorian Speed Boat Club, 1960's
** Old Trophies from the
Victorian Speed Boat Club

Victorian Speed Boat Tower with Bill Burrell
**Victorian Speed Boat Tower with Bill Burrell

** Jack Kavanagh standing with
an unknown boat at Camperdown
Jack Kavanagh standing with an unknown boat at Camperdown

** Lee Kavanagh pictured with his fathers (Jack) trophies (won while racing 'Skipper') Lee's grand father also raced 'Skipper'

Lee won some of these very trophies some 20-25 years later in his boats 'Kav's' and still holds the Victorian 5 litre Record

** Photos and Info donated by Lee Kavanagh

Lee Kavanagh pictured with his fathers trophies (won while racing 'Skipper')

This picture shows Fury's enormous dimensions of the Hemi Chrysler power plant

Left: Sydney powerboat enthusiast Ray Murdock after racing Whitley hulls around Sydney for several years decided in 1966 to take the plunge and develop a boat he hoped would become the fastest displacement boat in Australia. The Manufacturer building the hulls with the highest recorded speeds at this time was the Howard Boat Company in California USA so plans were made, orders placed and in due cause a Howard circle race hull arrived in Sydney. 
Another FURY from Tassy Left:
Another FURY
(from Tassy)
WildFire 25 1958

## WildFire No. 25 was built by my dad, Bill Blease, to an American design (flat bottom and did not corner well) and was powered by a 138ci Holden grey six, which was installed in the back of the boat, layed over on it's side 90 degrees and was dry surryied. It drove the prop through a chain box forward (the same as current V drives) and was probably one of thwe first rear engine displacement style boats in Australia. My father used to say, "People siad that the boat would sink stern first!" But this never happened.

It was built out of ply, 14'6" in length and was good for about 55 mph at 5500 rpm. This photo was taken at Albert Park Lake in about 1958

WildFire 84 1962

## WildFire No. 84, was built by my dad, Bill Blease, out of marine ply. It was his own design, a shallow V hull of 15' 6". It was powered by a Jaguar 3.4Lt (about 215 ci) DOHC six and was good for about 73 mph at around 7200 rpm. The V drive gearbox in the boat was made by my father and was cast out of used Pratt and Whitney aircarft pistons (from a Douglas DC3) Dad also made his own propellers.

I believe the first boat (No. 25)was destroyed by the person who bought it from my dad, by running it up on to the rocks. But the second boat (No. 84) up until 5 years ago was still going.

Wooden-Ewe - Chris Blease

## Wooden-ewe is a ski boat I used to own. It was
sold 3 years ago. It had a midmount 350 Chev
and was capable of about 63 mph

## Photos and Info donated by Chris Blease


# My Aunty sent me an old photo of some boats hitting the start line at Yeronga (SQPBC) The boat at the front is 'Flash', that’s the hull that all the Queensland Skiffs are taken from. My Aunties mother Mattie is the little lady behind the wheel! Next to that boat is my new toy, Volare' then a few of the other boats from the club.

#Wee Gee

#From the 1950's - 1960 of Wee Gee, which is a 5/8 scale (little 12'6" rocket) of the original that Volare was taken off. Wee Gee was raced by Graham in the seventies and his dad just before that.

# Photo's and Info donated by Graeme SQSBC

articles winnings accident griffith cup other boats 1960's moments links home