- The model is 100% hand built by artisans from scratch using “plank on frame” construction method
- Rosewood, mahogany, teak and other exotic woods are carefully selected to build the model
- Hull handmade from wood, hollow inside
- Authentic gauges, dials and chrome steering wheel on dash
- All fittings such as windshield frame, wiper, navigation lights, mirror, and flag pole are made of stainless steel and chrome plated
- Propellers and rudders made from brass
- Hand stitched individual leather seats
- Highly polished finish with multi-layered micro-sanded varnish
- Flags and solid wood base included
Miss Bardahl U-40 1958
Reprinted from Skid Fin Magazine, 2003, Volume 1 Number 2
After Ole Bardahl dabbled in unlimited hydroplanes racing in 1957, sponsoring the U-4 built by Norm Christiansen, he was infected with the water bug. He commissioned Ted Jones to design and build his new Miss Bardahl. Legendary designer/builder Ted Jones turned the job over to his son Ron. Ron’s first unlimited was the portent of things to come. The metallic green boat, embellished with black scallops and bright yellow sides, became loved by many and feared by some as the “Green Dragon.”
The Dragon won its debut at Chelan’s Apple Cup with local hero Norm Evans driving. She couldn’t finish her next race in Coeur d’Alene, but with Mira Slovak at the wheel, the Miss Bardahl wend on to take two more firsts, two seconds and three thirds in nine races. Her consistency earned her the National High Points Championship.
Ole, now even more enthusiastic, expanded the Green Dragon’s program in 1959. He increased the boat’s power by running a Rolls-Royce Merlin. Highly regarded crew chief George McKernan joined driver Jackie Regas to form a potential juggernaut. However, after Regas was critically injured in the Diamond Cup, the rest of the 1959 season was a struggle. The Dragon was put in the boathouse for six weeks after the accident, but she re-emerged to race in the Silver Cup with young Bill Brow behind the wheel. Despite the season’s struggles, the Dragon was consistent enough to garner second place in the National High Point standings.
For the competitive fury of the Bardahl camp, 1960 also began as a dismal year with the Green Dragon taking only one-second place finish in seven races, but then Ron Musson arrived. With Musson at the helm, Miss Bardahl dashed to victory in the inaugural Seattle Seafair World Championship and finished the season with two-thirds and another victory in five races.
The original “Green Dragon” set the stage for Ron Musson and the Bardahl Team to become one of the legendary hydroplane dynasties in the ensuing years.
Miss Bardahl U-40 1962
The 1962 Miss Bardahl represented the final hull designed and built by the legendary Ted Jones. It was the pinnacle of the Jones hydro design evolution. While building on the success of the 1959 Miss Thriftway, the Bardahl featured key design changes that set the standard for years to come.
The hull was much lower in profile, with significantly less deck curvature, allowing for better cornering and less tendency to kite. Also, the sponsons were of a unique design with an inside bevel on the inside to better allow for sliding through the corners.
Many of the most successful boats in the late 1960’s were copies of the 1962 Miss Bardahl’s lines, and built by Ed Karleson. These included the 1967 Miss Bardahl and 1968 Miss Budweiser.
Following the 1965 San Diego race, the 1962 Miss Bardahl was relegated to display duty for Bardahl in the Seattle area. In 1967, the boat was sent to Boston for use by the east coast distributor. While on the east coast, the boat changed hands several times.
Miss Bardahl was part of the original Unlimited Hydroplane Museum & Hall of Fame following the cosmetic restoration. However, in the late 1980’s the museum began financially insolvent and ceased to operate. To pay off the debt, the museum sold many of the assets, including Miss Bardahl. Curt Erickson purchased the boat and stored it indoors, with the intention to eventually restore the hull to running condition.
In 2000, original crew member Dixon Smith purchased the boat from Curt, beginning the long trek towards restoration to running condition. Immediately after taking possession of the Miss Bardahl, work began on the restoration. Initially the work was deconstruction, followed by a lengthy reconstruction process, leaving approximately 25-30% of the original boat.
Today, the Green Dragon, once again, roams the waters of Lake Washington.