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Gar Wood's Miss America VIII race boat to be auctioned in Florida

Wed, 04 Jan 2012

Famed boat racer Gar Wood's two-time Harmsworth Trophy-winning race boat, Miss America VIII, will be offered at Mecum's Kissimmee Auction on Jan. 28 in Kissimmee, Fla.

Wood piloted the boat to the Harmsworth Trophy in 1929 and 1931, the latter event witnessed by more than 600,000 people gathered on the shores of the Detroit River to watch. The race was noted as the largest attended event in the world to that date.

After being separated for more than 70 years, Wood's favorite hull of the 10 Miss America racing boats and the two original Miller V16 engines are together again.

Miss America VIII is fitted with its original one-off Miller V16 1,113-cubic-inch-displacement engines, specially built for the boat by the legendary Indy car and engine builder, Harry Miller, to break the World's Speed Record. Mecum says this is the most valuable wooden boat it has offered.

Mecum's annual Kissimmee event also will offer other significant wooden boats including the first production 1955 Chris-Craft 18' Cobra; a one-of-a-kind 1936 Chris-Craft 21' Utility built specifically for Chris-Craft president Jay Smith; a 38' Reproduction Rum Runner powered by a Liberty V12 World War I airplane engine; a Canadian-built 1954 24' Greavette Streamliner with original Kermath six-cylinder, and a 1937 Ditchburn.

Discovery's Velocity network will broadcast four days of live national TV coverage during the "Mecum Auto Auctions: Muscle Cars & More" show. See more at

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