The Crescent Engines Story:
In 1964, I was invited to participate in the World
500cc Hydroplane Championship in Stockholm, Sweden.
I was invited by a friend to drive a Crescent
powered Hydroplane. The only stipulation being that
I had to bring my own boat and propellers. Sid-Craft
built an 11 Ft. hydroplane and shipped it to Sweden
before the May 30, 1964 race.
I arrived about a week before the race and we did
some testing on a small lake outside of Uppsala,
Sweden. After I finished testing and feeling I had
the boat going quite well, I was asked by the people
of the Crescent company to let a German driver,
Walter Vicer take a test run in the boat. He was
used to driving a lay down hydroplane instead of a
kneel down hydroplane, he was not familiar with the
handling. On the 2nd or 3rd lap around the lake, he
lost control of the boat and crashed into some large
rocks at the end of the lake. He was quite severely
injured. After looking over the damage, I felt the
boat was beyond repair.
The crescent people contacted a cabinet maker in
Stockholm, Sweden, and in record time he was able to
repair the boat and I was able to compete in the
championship race. After all the excitement, I
finished 2nd in the World 500cc Championship. During
talks before my return to the US, it was decided
that I would be the North American distributer for
Crescent Racing Engines.
The first alky
engines arrived in the fall of 1964 and by 1965 the
C-stock engines had started to arrive. The Super C-class
was formed in APBA and competition began. After about 25
of the C-stock engines had arrived, I was advised by the
factory they would no longer supply lower units or
drive-shaft housings. They were kind enough to supply me
the patterns and we started production of these items in
the US. Approximately 25 drive shaft housings were
built, 50 lower units, and we used Mercury clamp
brackets to finish things off. All told, close to 50
C-stock engines were sold before Powerhead Productions
had ceased and about 25 of the alky engines had been
delivered in the US. The factory finally decided it was
not profitable to manufacture anymore powerheads and we
discontinued selling the engine.
One mystery that should be cleared up; is that the only
difference between C-stock and C-alky engine was that
C-alky engine had higher compression and used 3 large
O’Dea built alky carburetors.
Today crescent engines have become quite collectible. A
small group of Crescent owners in Sweden, still race the
engines today with some small parts being made by
vendors in Europe.