THE HISTORY OF MODEL TYPHOON 50CM
Designed by George W. Crouch, whose three-point suspension hydroplane, Cinderella revolutionized early speedboat racing, and whose ideas for a motor torpedo boat were later incorporated into H. Scott-Paine’s PT boat designs, Typhoon was built for Edsel Ford to be used for commuting between his home and the Ford plant on the Detroit River. The 40 foot runabout was constructed at the Henry B. Nevins Shipyard, City Island, New York, where Crouch, who died in 1959 was design consultant, reportedly for over $70,000. Estimates of her replacement cost today run upward of $100,000. Typhoon took her name from the original engine, a 600 hp, 12 cylinder Wright Typhoon aircraft engine, designed initially for a dirigible. This power plant was carried in a lacquered African mahogany hull which was double planked forward, single planked aft, had seven feet, eight inches of beam and was pointed at both stern and bow. She had three broad seats, two forward and one aft of the amidship engine well. Typhoon’s experience was no less troubled than the times which gave her birth. Ford, reportedly told by his doctors that the powerful boat was a threat to his health, announced the craft for sale in the September, 1934 Motor Boating. The half page ad gave the barest of specifications and the accompanying photograph showed her dead in the water, looking deceptively meek. The boat had several subsequent owners in and around Chicago, among them the racer, Joseph Van Blerck Jr., but generally spent more time out of the water than in. From time to time her power plant was changed. At one point an Allison aircraft engine with marine conversion was put in, another owner installed a V12 Hall Scott Defender which developed 650 hp at 2200 rpm and weighed an incredible 4300 pounds. In the late 1960’s, at Bryants Marina in Washington, the boat that was docked next to the Typhoon caught fire. The fire raged out of control, and soon engulfed the Typhoon . The Typhoon was a total loss.
Ref. R TYPH 50