Hydroplane racing burst onto the Seattle scene in 1950, and local sports fans embraced it with a passion that is hard to imagine. Throughout the early 1950s, thousands of fans flocked to Lake Washington to watch classic races between Seattle’s Slo-mo-shun boats and a fleet of East Coast challengers. For over 40 years, hydroplane racing was synonymous with summertime in Seattle. During its golden age, when “hydro fever” was at its height, drivers like Bill Muncey, Ron Musson, and Mira Slovak were sports heroes on par with today’s Ken Griffey Jr. or Ichiro. Seattle became the “hydro” capital of the nation.
The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum in Kent, Washington, is the only national museum dedicated exclusively to unlimited hydroplane racing. David D. Williams, the museum’s director and author of Hydroplane Racing in Seattle, has been driving unlimited hydroplanes for over a dozen years and was the primary stunt driver for the movie Madison. This is his fourth book on the subject of hydroplane racing.