Well gang, i finally made the jump and decided to create a Squire Shop Racing page to support this website. i will utilize the website as more of a reference tool going forward, and the Facebook page as a more "real time" outlet for Squire news.
There has been a lot of little things getting worked on for the project, and some of it is started to show some results from all the hard work of the crew. The internal hardware is taking shape, and the wiring and plumbing will be coming soon. We contracted out some welding to be done, and what has come back so far has been outstanding. John and Steve continue their work on the hull, while Tim has been working on the engine. Brad continues to do his thing on the fiberglass components, and the rest of the crew is helping out and getting stuff done in support. Great job team!
By the way......
Do you guys remember when we got those 2 salvaged drivers cowling pieces from Evansville a little over a year ago? Well..............thanks to Scott Raney from the u-11 team, they have been spliced back into a new cowling.
After some early on excitement crossing paths with a deer on the way towards Indiana, Jerry finally made it back safe to Seattle this past Friday. Bob Steil was on hand at the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum to greet Jerry upon his arrival, and Bob was impressed and pleased with the trailer we acquired for The Squire Shop.
Overall, I would rate the trailers current condition to be 9/10......so it's pretty nice and we are excited. There are a few minor things we want to "fix", but it will be a worthy trailer to this project for sure. We will need to completely go through it "inside and out" to evaluate what may need some attention, but on the surface everything looks pretty good.
Here are some close up pictures from a variety of angles.............you be the judge.
Disclaimer: The following experiences are my opinion and mine alone, and it does NOT represent The Squire Shop team/crew or the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum in any way.
With my announcement yesterday over on The Squire Shop restoration Facebook page concerning my recent purchase of the trailer the team will be using for The Squire Shop hull, here is how it all came to be.
I don’t want to focus much on the beginning part in this, but it is both relevant, necessary, and crucial to tell the whole story from the very beginning...
It all began with the hunt for the original 1979 Squire Shop trailer back in 2017, and the chance to bring it back to the boat where it all began. After months of trying to figure out the fate of the original trailer and where it eventually ended up, I learned it was last seen under the UR-5 Edge Gel hull in Tri-Cities. The Rutt brothers still owned it, and they had gotten it from Jerry Schoenith many years earlier in the early 90's. Jerry got it himself from The Squire Shop team shortly after they acquired the former Circus Circus hull in the early 80’s, and Jerry used it under the Miss Renault for a few years. You can see the journey that original trailer took in the 3 pictures below.
After months of negotiations with Mike Rutkauskas, a deal was struck (we had also brought in Alex Bogert and Jerry Schoenith in a joint purchase agreement) and I was 1 week from having everything picked up over in Pasco. The whole thing collapsed for reasons I will not fully disclose here. I was supposed to get the trailer and the hauler as our part of the mutually agreed upon deal for The Squire Shop project, with Jerry and Alex getting the hull and our old Thor trailer……………………….things didn’t exactly work out that way though.
In the end, I was the one left with NOTHING due to circumstances out of my control. I wanted the trailer for obvious reasons, and the truck was identical to the one The Squire Shop team used as well......same make and model. See below.
I will say that the whole experience really disgusted me and I felt a lot of resentment over the whole ordeal for weeks afterwards. I put in a lot of research and leg work to make this happen for our team, only for others to take it all away. It would be months of anger and frustration before I was ready to get back on the horse again and try to find a suitable replacement trailer instead that would work for our project. That being said, I had to move on from that experience…………..but I learned some harsh life lessons over what people are truly capable of.
My family and team gave me a ton of support to get over this and move on, but believe me.........it wasn't easy for me. My confidence and pride had been broken for a time, but my passion and determination made me stronger........I don't know how to quit.
There were other trailers out there we knew of, but I wanted one that looked as close to the original as possible. With that original trailer no longer an option, we set our sights on what other possibilities were out there. We wanted a trailer that only needed minimal work and maintenance, and quite honestly………looked amazing as well in design and overall condition. Our team deserved to have a quality trailer for The Squire Shop, so I made it my personal mission to not let them down and find one that fit the bill. It would be just as good as the original one....if not better.
After considering some of our options, none looked too promising for what we really wanted. We considered the Hopp one that came with the boat when we purchased it, the one under the former Lincoln Thrift hull currently owned by Greg O’Farrell, and one of the early 70’s Miss Madison trailers. All 3 of those particular trailers needed substantial work and upgrades……………but we wanted something pretty much ready to use right away. Besides, neither of them had “the look” we wanted and the time and investment required to “fix” them was not feasible anyway.
I also contacted Mike Jones and Dave Bartush to see if they had anything they were willing to let go, but unfortunately they did not. Mike had the 1993 Circus Circus trailer that caught our eye, and Dave had the one from the turbine Pay 'N Pak days. Both would have fit nicely, but were not for sale. See below.
After feeling like there was nothing left out there, I decided to put out a few emails and text messages to some good friends of mine in the hydroplane community to see if there were any other trailers out there available I may have missed or not known about. I got a quick response back from Lon Erickson of Hydro News about one such possibility to explore. If not for Lon, we may not have found this beauty…
This is where Ed Cooper comes in…..
Mr. Ericson got in touch with the U-3 team, and to my surprise………there was one that met our criteria. A few years ago, Ed replaced the trailer he had been using with one of the last Miss Budweiser trailers. He still had the old one, which was originally built for the 1972 Pay ‘N Pak. It was also used under the Miss Budweiser, Thousand Trails, Prodelco, Lite All Star display hull, and finally with the Cooper’s U-3’s. Ed and his father had made a ton of upgrades to the trailer over the years, and only parts of it are still recognizable from its initial design. Here is the trailer over the years as it appeared under the Miss Budweiser.
This trailer had been sitting in the U-3's shop for a few years (protected from the elements) unused and it just needed a new worthy home. Ed was willing to sell it to us, so we struck up a deal and made plans to go get it. After a few scheduling delays along the way, we set a concrete date to go get it………which was last Thursday. We hired Jerry Hopp to drive, and my close friend Craig Cozza offered his Ford F350 truck to Jerry to borrow for the trip to Indiana, and we were off!
Once Jerry hit South Dakota, disaster truck…………………Jerry came into contact with a deer! In what could have easily been much worse, Jerry came out of it unscathed……………. but the truck suffered some damage and the deer was not so lucky. Jerry could not find the front license plate after the collision, and he believes it might be lodged in the deer's (well, you get the idea). The extent of the damage to the truck is unknown at this time, and we will evaluate it further once it returns home later this week.
Jerry arrived yesterday and got the trailer all prepped and hooked up. One more stop to make, and that was to pickup a "Griffon" engine for the museum while we were there. Jerry is now on his way back to Seattle, and we can't be more excited.
So........all good things do come to those who wait I suppose. Patience is definitely a virtue I had to learn the hard way.
So this is basically how this all came together for us. But this has been about a 2 year process when you wrap all of this together in one combined time frame.
In no time at all, this will become the new Squire Shop trailer...........can't wait!
A big thank you goes out to my family for getting me through this, my crew for their support, the museum and everyone else who contributed in making this happen! Nobody can truly comprehend how much time, energy, and effort goes into pulling these types of things off sometimes. All most see is the finished product.
(left to right) Gary Laws / David Newton / Bob Steil / Edwin Glenn
I know it seems like the updates have been slower recently, but that's not because of lack of interest on my part. Although the team is making a lot of progress on the internal components, it's not stuff that is visually appealing to the masses. I did notice that my last two updates seem to have not uploaded correctly, so I will add them back in by the weekend.
Got some cool news outside of the restoration itself though, but every bit Squire Shop related of course!
#1 Did you know that "The Squire Shop" clothing stores were not limited to just Bob Steil's niche in the retail market? There were other such named stores across the country over the years, but here's one that is still in business and even uses the same name and very similar font for their business?
You can see what I mean below...
#2 Gary Laws (yours truly) and Bob Steil were interviewed a few weeks ago for the David Newton "Roostertailtalk" podcast show and the segment was just released today as a matter of fact. Bob and i talk about the teams past, as well as the current state of the restoration and how we got to where we are today. This is a two part episode, and you can find the first segment at the links below. A big shout out goes to Mr. Newton for giving us this amazing opportunity to promote the project!
https://www.facebook.com/RoostertailTalk https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/buzzsprout-223/roostertail-talk #3 About a year ago, the team came up short in it's pursuit of acquiring the original 1979 Squire Shop trailer. If you look around enough, you will see who in fact ended up with it. I'm not going to plug that organization here, but bet your ass we gave it our best shot!
That being said, we have not given up and have been working on a plan to find a worthy successor. The good news is that we have indeed purchased a trailer, but i won't let the cat out of the bag just yet until it is actually in our possession. But i wanted to share this news with you that yes, we have indeed found the trailer we will be using for the 1979 Squire Shop..............you will NOT be disappointed, trust me!
#4 And finally, I want to tell you about a special project i am working on for next years Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum's annual Gala fundraising event. It's no secret that the 1979 Squire Shop hull was in poor condition once we opened it up and started poking around. The wood was pretty much shot and unusable in the hull going forward...............but that doesn't mean is wasn't valuable in other aspects.
So we saved some of the pieces (frames, batons, etc.) and set them aside for potential uses later on. We used some and incorporated them back into the hull awhile back as special honorary tributes to past team members from Squire Shop history. But there was so much more we could do, so I had an idea...
I decided to restore the 1979 Squire Shop myself.......sort of. I am taking a bunch of these pieces and am going to make a "one of a kind" 1979 Squire Shop 1/10th scale solid wood model using the actual wood from the hull!
How cool is that!!!
I have already begun shaving the wood down to "raw" material, and cleaned off all the old oil and contaminants to make them workable again. I will post progress as i go along, but this will be amazing once it's done. You will be able to bid on it at the auction next summer, and this will be the only one ever made in this way. I'll make a separate section once I get going enough to show progress, but keep an eye out for it soon.