Living Legendary Driver, Designer and Builder
Where were you when all of America celebrated its bicentennial on the 4th of July 1976? Tom D’Eath was not only celebrating the 4th of July, he was celebrating a huge milestone in what would become a long winning career in Unlimited Class Hydroplane racing. On June 27th 1976 Tom took the checkered flag as he drove the 6,000-pound, red, white and blue Miss U.S. to victory in a newly designed cab-over boat. Tom didn’t just win the Gold Cup, he won with Miss U.S. which was very special.
“I started racing outboards at the age of 14, and was an on/off driver from 1958-1991”. Tom D’Eath
Some Notable limited Class Hydroplanes Tom Raced:
Ray Gassner’s “Sunshine Baby IV” H-57 (Success in this boat opened my career to Unlimited’s)
Bill Ritner’s “Wa-wa Too” F-247
My own – Southern Style A-77
Ronnie Brown’s “Gone Heavy” F-95
Les Brown’s “Long Gone” GP-4
Don Ryan’s “Lauterbach Special” GP-200
George Simon’s “Miss US” U-2(1972-1973 conventional, 1974-1976 – Ron Jones cab-over – 1976 Gold Cup Winner)
Bob Steil’s “ Squire Shop” U-2(1982, end of 1983, 1985-1986)
RB “Bob” Taylor’s “Lite All Star” U-7 (1984)
Bernie Little’s “Miss Budweiser” U-1/U-12 (1988-1991)
Driver, Designer and Builder
Winner of three APBA Gold Cups (1976, ’89 and ’90)
Winner of Prince Edward Canadian Gold Cup titles in 1974, ’76 and ’80
Remains the only three-time winner of both
In 1988, Tom was named APBA “Outstanding Driver”
Tom was inducted into the Unlimited Hydroplane Hall of Fame in 1997, the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, and the Motor Sports Hall of Fame of America in 2000
Tom and Bob Steil’s “Squire Shop” U-2
Current Board Member and Inducted Into The Class of 2000
(Inducted with Tom were Cook Cleland – Aviation, Peter Gregg – Sports Cars, Sam Hanks – Open Wheel, Bob Hannah – Motorcycles, Ray Harroun – Historic, Danny Ongais – Drag Racing and The Wood Brothers – Stock Cars)
Miss Washington D.C.
Tom just finished restoring Miss Washington D.C. F-999, which is an all original boat. Tom raced against the Miss Washington D.C. in his early days while piloting “Southern Style” A-77. Tom now owns both these beautiful hydro’s with very rich racing history he knows very well. Tom’s latest trophy was presented to him at the 24th Amelia Island Concours for his “Miss Washington D.C.” . The inscription written in Italian on the trophy read “fastest pilot on the water” .
Miss Washington at Tom’s shop
Tom attended our 2019 Sunnyland Boat Festival with Miss Washington D.C.