(November 11, 2016) The history of Thor Racing (Al Thoreson and Jerry Hopp)
The following statement was made by Jerry Hopp courtesy of a Russ McElroy's Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Facebook page concerning the racing history of the U-7 Thor Racing Team in regards to The Squire Shop restoration announcement.
"So, to set things straight...
Al Thoreson and I owned the U-7 hull, when we bought all of Bob Millers stuff in 1985/1986. The business was called Thor Racing, named after the God of Thunder. We had a terrible first year in 1986, and then we ran as the Jackpot Food Mart and other names (Miss Paddock Pools, etc.) from 1986-1989.
We put the (modern) cockpit and front wing on for the 1990 season. The Jackpot Food Mart had a primary white with yellow, orange and red trim paint scheme. We then painted the boat primarily white, red, and blue from 1990-1992.
The last race for the boat was 1992 at Hawaii as ran as the u-7 Miss Ford Island. The team and I went to Hawaii but Al didn't go. We had one motor and it lost a cylinder, so we pulled the rocker arms off and ran on 11 cylinders. We then lettered the valve covers with Experimental XV-11.
The hull never was in any flood waters. It was parked out in front of my house, two different years I think. We knew the flood waters where coming and got 90% of our equipment out of the Hanger at Harvey Field before the levy's broke. Some of the cylinder banks and cases got wet but not any real damage.
Running the Allison's in salt water was 10 times harder on them. The boat was sold to Buddy Green, then Bud sold it to Jim Dickinson, . That's whom the Laws' family picked it up from."