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The Sleek, Fast and Famous 1929 Miss Daytona Hydroplane

  • Photos by Mark Yaughn and video courtesy of Autoweek.

Ever since starting this site and calling it The Old Motor, we’ve tried to present vehicles and engines on occasion which are just a bit out of the vintage car mainstream. In doing so, we can present fresh perspectives from other related fields of collecting and at the same time share some very interesting machines to you. The weekend seems like the right time for doing this, so here’s the interesting story and a video about Miss Daytona, a Miller-powered 1929 stepped-hull hydroplane.


If you ever meet Bruce Meyer, it’s current owner, you’ll know right away that he is the consummate vintage and racing car collector. The several occasions I have spent a bit of time with him at an event or a concours have always been special. He happily shares his collection and contagious enthusiasm with others. After acquiring this boat from the late Tom Mittler’s collection, he had Morin Boats of Bay City, Michigan prepare it and set it up for a test run on the Saginaw River there.

In the Autoweek video (below), you’ll see a record of that event. Watch and listen in as Meyer takes the boat, powered by one of Harry Miller’s rare and noteworthy supercharged 151 cubic inch marine engines, out on the river and puts it through it’s paces. Take a few moments as well to read the excellent post by Rory Carroll at Autoweek for more information about this handsome craft, Morin Boats and Meyer himself. A visit with our capable friends at Phil Reilly & Co., who rebuilt the Miller engine, is also in order. And finally, if you like fast boats and films, here’s a chance to learn about the legend of Gar Wood.

5 responses to “The Sleek, Fast and Famous 1929 Miss Daytona Hydroplane

  1. Great piece,enjoyed Meyers reaction as he climbed into boat first time. He has to be thinking what if this thing sinks and all this effort goes to the bottom of the river. Well done good film of a quality restoration!

    • I bet not, as Harry never really was a very good businessman. If he did however he might have made quite a few dollars as the 151 is basically the forerunner to the big Offenhauser and it’s midget siblings that went on to entertain many up though the 1970’s.

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