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Jim Deist, Lee Taylor, and Hustler


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#1 Pullman99

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 12:39

The renowned motorsport safety equipment pioneer and manufacturer Jim Deist died in 2009. At that time he was the owner of the last American craft to hold the World Water Speed Record, Lee Taylor's Westinhghouse J-46 poweredHustler. Lee Taylor had first attempted the record in 1964 and finally achieved this on 30th June 1967 at Lake Guntersville in Alabama with a speed of 285.21 mph. It was this record that was later broken (and still held) by Ken Warby with Spirit of Australia, first in 1977 and again in 1978 finally setting the current record of 317.6 mph. Lee Taylor was killed in November 1980 whilst attempting to regain the record for the United States with the rocket powered Discovery II.

At the time of his death, Jim Deist was reported as having embarked on the restoration - presumably to running order - of Hustler although this may already have been completed. Curt and Al Eirdam, of the Invader Jet Dragster team, are reported as having helped with the restoration. Hustler was exhibited (unrestored) at the 1st Annual California Boat Racers Reunion held at the NHRA Museum in Pomona in 2000.

If anyone has any information - especially the current location of Hustler - I would be most interested. None of the museum sites I have visited list it as an exhibit. Spirit of Australia is exhibited at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.

Edited by Pullman99, 23 October 2010 - 12:41.


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#2 f1steveuk

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 15:07

Hi Ian, David Tremayne (who has a long standing love affair with this boat, as you probably know from the Thrust II days), sent me some pictures a few years ago, but I have no idea how old they are, both appear to show a boat under restoration, probably after Hustler became Captain Crazy for Kitty O'Neil.

I am sure I have seen pictures since of Hustler on a display trailer, but cannot think where, but it looked recent, and back in full 1967 colours.

#3 Pullman99

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 15:31

I am sure I have seen pictures since of Hustler on a display trailer, but cannot think where, but it looked recent, and back in full 1967 colours.


Hi Steve!

Thanks for that; I'll speak with David to check if he knows the current circumstances of this important WWSR boat.

The only (post Lee Taylor) pic I could find on the web - and I'm not sure when where or why - is in the Newsletter mentioned below. It's about half-way down the page and shows Hustler (I think, as you say, in correct livery) on a trailer with a gentleman named Johnny Beaudoin. I know nothing about him but, in case I really should have, I'm mentioning it here very quietly!

I will follow up the Eirdam link too as their Invader website has some contact details. I've also posted this subject on The Bluebird Project Forum.

Land Speed Racing Newsletter 146


#4 f1steveuk

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 15:50

I think John is the man who had Hustler when DJT went to see it, and got to sit in the cockpit, he may also be the man who ran it as Captain Crazy. I know he owned it for many years, and originally couldn't be persauded to sell it, maybe he hasn't?

Did you know that "Ozjet" on BBP is Dave Warby, Ken's son?

Edited by f1steveuk, 23 October 2010 - 15:53.


#5 Pullman99

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 20:00

Did you know that "Ozjet" on BBP is Dave Warby, Ken's son?


I suspected so! He's been very helpful. Guess he could be the next WWSR holder too. We'll see how this develops.

\thsnkd for the info on Johnny Beaudoin. I know that there was an Indycar entrant by that name. Any connection / the same?




#6 bluebirdk7

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 16:44

I think John is the man who had Hustler when DJT went to see it, and got to sit in the cockpit, he may also be the man who ran it as Captain Crazy. I know he owned it for many years, and originally couldn't be persauded to sell it, maybe he hasn't?

Did you know that "Ozjet" on BBP is Dave Warby, Ken's son?



You find all sorts of people lurking on forums. :clap: Hopefully Fred will have sent you the CD containing all sorts of “Taylor “info. You did see Hustler on a trailer it was at a Boat Racers Reunion in California ( think I have the pictures – there is a pic in SRG of her in Capt. Crazy colours ) ) some years ago Jim Deist had completed the refurbishment and as far as I know the boat was ready to run demos but did not. I have been doing some research and a guy in the States has sent me a contact number for the Deist family – so if the mood takes me I can call and find out where Hustler is now – he also tells me he has some photos somewhere of Kitty O’Neil in her – we will wait and see – if I get them I will post on SRG

John Beaudoin was a friend of Taylors father and was in the tyre business – he came from Compton California - hence the sponsor on the boat Compton California Youth Centre


#7 f1steveuk

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 16:54

You find all sorts of people lurking on forums. :clap: Hopefully Fred will have sent you the CD containing all sorts of “Taylor “info. You did see Hustler on a trailer it was at a Boat Racers Reunion in California ( think I have the pictures – there is a pic in SRG of her in Capt. Crazy colours ) ) some years ago Jim Deist had completed the refurbishment and as far as I know the boat was ready to run demos but did not. I have been doing some research and a guy in the States has sent me a contact number for the Deist family – so if the mood takes me I can call and find out where Hustler is now – he also tells me he has some photos somewhere of Kitty O’Neil in her – we will wait and see – if I get them I will post on SRG

John Beaudoin was a friend of Taylors father and was in the tyre business – he came from Compton California - hence the sponsor on the boat Compton California Youth Centre


And I thought you were lurking on the motorcycle part of the forum!!!


#8 bluebirdk7

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 16:59

I think John is the man who had Hustler when DJT went to see it, and got to sit in the cockpit, he may also be the man who ran it as Captain Crazy. I know he owned it for many years, and originally couldn't be persauded to sell it, maybe he hasn't?

Did you know that "Ozjet" on BBP is Dave Warby, Ken's son?


Found the pics- they are not great but will be in new pic folder on SRG if you want to take a peek at them - the boat was all white by then again :cool:

#9 f1steveuk

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 17:37

Found the pics- they are not great but will be in new pic folder on SRG if you want to take a peek at them - the boat was all white by then again :cool:



Nicely lurked!

#10 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 19:02

Lee Taylor, like Donald Campbell seems to have been a man of extraordinary bravery having overcome (as did DC) a huge high-speed accident which left both physical and psychological effects.

The famous story is that Hustler's throttle setting was adjusted by the crew so that Taylor didn't realize he was flat out. His previous experience (baling out at well over 100mph) having left him with a seeming inability to put the pedal to the floor.

But like Campbell, despite his hard won success and having suffered so much to achieve it, he simply could not stop, with tragic results .

I wonder, Steve, if you know whether the throttle-story is actually true or apocryphal ?

#11 bluebirdk7

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 21:28

And I thought you were lurking on the motorcycle part of the forum!!!


Most of my lurking is motorcycles but Taylor and Hustler are a particular interest within my wider interest in speed. DJT sums it up far better than I could "he had burst through the envelope into oblivion that had finally snuffed out a spirit that life itself had never been able to crush"

Taylor tends to get lost between Warby and Campbell and the man was far more than that - perhaps thats what interests me - that and a superb looking boat in Hustler

Of to lurk - who knows where !!!!!

#12 Pullman99

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 05:04

Of to lurk - who knows where !!!!!


Thank you so much Brian. Really helpful information. :up: Is there any chance of you posting the Hustler pics on here, or The Bluebird Project site as well as the SRG? I have submitted applications to join SRG several times but never received a response!


#13 f1steveuk

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 13:15

Lee Taylor, like Donald Campbell seems to have been a man of extraordinary bravery having overcome (as did DC) a huge high-speed accident which left both physical and psychological effects.

The famous story is that Hustler's throttle setting was adjusted by the crew so that Taylor didn't realize he was flat out. His previous experience (baling out at well over 100mph) having left him with a seeming inability to put the pedal to the floor.

But like Campbell, despite his hard won success and having suffered so much to achieve it, he simply could not stop, with tragic results .

I wonder, Steve, if you know whether the throttle-story is actually true or apocryphal ?



Hi Simon

DJT introduced me to Russ Wicks in Indianapolis once, and I was aware of an older chap "ear wigging" what was being said. When David, Russ and Patrick Head moved off into a very in depth conversation, I felt it was time to leave, especially as if Bernie was paying me, I didn't want to get caught!! Suddenly the chap who I had been aware of appeared next to me, I can't recall the name at present, but I did note it and will check. He worked for an IRL team, and had since the seventies, "prior to that" he added "I worked with Lee taylor". Knowing of David's obsession with Hustler I tried to steer him back, but they had gone, so I listened to him while we walked toward "Bakersville" the digital broadcast village. One of the first things he said was, and I did note this word for word,


"we tricked the poor guy, took the stops out of the throttle, he had set it way down by winding up the pedal stop, so we altered the engine end. He thought he was flat on the pedal, but where he had set it, but he was getting the whole bundle. Felt bad about it 'till we saw his face as he got the speed and times!!! But I left halfway through US Discovery 1, I just didn't like it, and when I saw Discovery 2, I just knew how it would end".

I stayed in touch with him for a while, and sent his contact details to DJT, but neither David or I ever heard back after about two months.



#14 bluebirdk7

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 15:57

Thank you so much Brian. Really helpful information. :up: Is there any chance of you posting the Hustler pics on here, or The Bluebird Project site as well as the SRG? I have submitted applications to join SRG several times but never received a response!


Ian
I read the BBP site but I have a long and protracted history with Mr Smith – most of it combative. He used to describe it as jousting neither of us managed to land the killer blow and fought each other to a standstill on most occasions. Some while ago I decided I really did not wish to involve myself in K7 in relation to BBP. I am aware of the time and dedication team members put in and I genuinely applaud their dedication but do not share their goal. For those reasons and I also feel the SRG is a better forum for general speed record breaking discussions (and this one of course :D ) I would not post pictures on BBP. One of mine is on there but I did not post it.

If you wish to try and join SRG you would be most welcome as there is a great number of pictures in the archive – I do not know why you have not been successful in joining in the past as joint moderator with Andy Griffin we rarely turn anyone away – if we do we would tell them .

So pics on SRG – if you decide not to join I will post on this forum – they are not great pics but they do add to the Hustler story . DJT’s book I hope will cover it in more detail. His book Racers Apart has a great chapter on Lee Taylor – if you can find a copy it is worth it


#15 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 23:10


Thanks Steve , I'm somehow rather glad the story was true, it has a curious appeal !
Can't recall seeing anything on Discovery 1. Was 2 just a logical development of the same concept or did the two craft differ significantly?


Hi Simon

DJT introduced me to Russ Wicks in Indianapolis once, and I was aware of an older chap "ear wigging" what was being said. When David, Russ and Patrick Head moved off into a very in depth conversation, I felt it was time to leave, especially as if Bernie was paying me, I didn't want to get caught!! Suddenly the chap who I had been aware of appeared next to me, I can't recall the name at present, but I did note it and will check. He worked for an IRL team, and had since the seventies, "prior to that" he added "I worked with Lee taylor". Knowing of David's obsession with Hustler I tried to steer him back, but they had gone, so I listened to him while we walked toward "Bakersville" the digital broadcast village. One of the first things he said was, and I did note this word for word,


"we tricked the poor guy, took the stops out of the throttle, he had set it way down by winding up the pedal stop, so we altered the engine end. He thought he was flat on the pedal, but where he had set it, but he was getting the whole bundle. Felt bad about it 'till we saw his face as he got the speed and times!!! But I left halfway through US Discovery 1, I just didn't like it, and when I saw Discovery 2, I just knew how it would end".

I stayed in touch with him for a while, and sent his contact details to DJT, but neither David or I ever heard back after about two months.



#16 f1steveuk

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 14:23

Thanks Steve , I'm somehow rather glad the story was true, it has a curious appeal !
Can't recall seeing anything on Discovery 1. Was 2 just a logical development of the same concept or did the two craft differ significantly?



There are some artisits impression os USD1 about, remindsme more of Ken Warby's SOA than Hustler, but it is basically Hustler with a much much bigger engine and pair of engine intakes, and quite slab sided. I'll see if I can borrow one. 2 of course was "right out there" as the chap in America put it!

#17 bluebirdk7

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 17:32

Thanks Steve , I'm somehow rather glad the story was true, it has a curious appeal !
Can't recall seeing anything on Discovery 1. Was 2 just a logical development of the same concept or did the two craft differ significantly?


Simon

USD 1 was built to a full size mock up but failed the attract sponsers so the project failed . Pics of USD I over on SRG in new pics and taylor folder

#18 rschaffer8

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 23:06

The renowned motorsport safety equipment pioneer and manufacturer Jim Deist died in 2009. At that time he was the owner of the last American craft to hold the World Water Speed Record, Lee Taylor's Westinhghouse J-46 poweredHustler. Lee Taylor had first attempted the record in 1964 and finally achieved this on 30th June 1967 at Lake Guntersville in Alabama with a speed of 285.21 mph. It was this record that was later broken (and still held) by Ken Warby with Spirit of Australia, first in 1977 and again in 1978 finally setting the current record of 317.6 mph. Lee Taylor was killed in November 1980 whilst attempting to regain the record for the United States with the rocket powered Discovery II.

At the time of his death, Jim Deist was reported as having embarked on the restoration - presumably to running order - of Hustler although this may already have been completed. Curt and Al Eirdam, of the Invader Jet Dragster team, are reported as having helped with the restoration. Hustler was exhibited (unrestored) at the 1st Annual California Boat Racers Reunion held at the NHRA Museum in Pomona in 2000.

If anyone has any information - especially the current location of Hustler - I would be most interested. None of the museum sites I have visited list it as an exhibit. Spirit of Australia is exhibited at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.



I have a similar interest in the Hustler. Did you ever locate the boat? It should be restored and preserved in a museum.

#19 taylov

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 21:06

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#20 Pullman99

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 09:45

I have a similar interest in the Hustler. Did you ever locate the boat? It should be restored and preserved in a museum.


I haven't got the complete story yet, nor the exact location, but I will re-post when I have had a chance to speak with David Tremayne.

I do agree. It's too important a boat - especially for the United States - to remain hidden away.