Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Famous Racing Hydroplane Sunshine Baby Comes Home To St. Petersburg

 Yes, the Sunshine Baby that was originally home to St. Petersburg, Florida in the '60's and '70's has come home with the help of racer, Jim Aid who made the arrangements for its return. The plan is to do a light restoration and put it on display at various events and do a demonstration run or two at vintage boat races. 

The story about the Sunshine Baby is facinating and will be the subject of a future, detailed history. The story of the return to 'home' decades later will be documented on this blog over the winter.  Suffice it to say the 'Baby' was one of the winingest, fastest boats in the country with its Chrysler Hemi built by none other than Big Daddy Don Garlits. It holds the straight line speed record for its class at 173 MPH!

I made the trip to Lake Michigan a few miles north of Detroit in October with Jim to pick up the boat and trailer it back to St. Petersburg. We stopped along the way to visit the Don Garlits drag racing museum and even got a chance to show Don the boat still housing the Hemi he built in 1960!  Don was impressed as well as surprised by our visit.

So here are some pictures with a 'preview' showing at a Tampa Bay Cafe' Racer's lunch. Breaking news on the 'Baby' - it will be on display at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club's annual car show February 4th, 2024.

Here she is from the several shots I took while bringing her back home with Jim Aid.

                                                               The End - For Now

                            Watch for updates after the Holidays-  See you in 2024!

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