Thread: Formula Marine
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:07 PM   #6
Sean
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another view of the Jr.....

The Formula Jr. was sold along with the Formula 233 in late 63/early 64. From the Miami News by Miami News Outdoors Editor Jim Hardie - When Aronow decided to sell Formula to Dick Genth of Thunderbird boats, the Jr was a big part of that deal. The sale was closed on May 5, 1964

"Don Aronow, who carved a name for himself locally in the boat-building and racing fraternity and his partner sold their interest in the Formula Boat Company yesterday.
Dick Genth of Thunderbird Boat Company made the purchase for an undisclosed amount. 'It was a substantial and satisfactory amount' Aronow said.
In an interview published last Sunday, Aronow stated his primary interest was in prototype research and development of rough water racing boats. 'Boat manufacturing in itself holds no interest for me' he said.
The move by Aronow and his partner, David Stirrat, came as a surprise because they had just announced that in its first year of operation the Formula Company operated in the black and prospects for the coming year were optimistic.
'The sale is effective immediately and Genth is looking for a larger building in which to set up manufacture of the 23 foot Formula' Aronow said. ' He purchased the rights to the name Formula, and he also has the molds and plans for the 17 footer which we were just setting up to produce'

The article goes on to talk about Don and Dave and their plans for the future - no mention of Donzi yet -

As for the difference in the 17' Jr. and 16' Donzi and who produced what when and where, it seems everyone remembers it a little different. Dick remembered it one way in an hour long conversation, others have different recollections.

One thing can be agreed upon now. - The 17' Formula Jr. was Jim and Walt's design, a variation of the original Wyn Mill and that the Donzi 16' was a direct descendant of the Wyn Mill II - a totally different design.

As stated in the Donzi brochure in 64, the Donzi 16 was "Designed by a team composed of Don Aronow, Dave Stirrat, Jim Wynne and Waltman W. Walters, internationally known marine consultants, designers, ocean racers and builders,(the same team that designed, raced and owned the Formula 233, 275 and Formula Jr.).
"The Donzi 16 has been refined, tested and proved for 3 years. Hull and strake designs have been proven in the Wyn Mill II, test model holder of 8 world marathon records."

And as powerboat writer and sometime racer Bill McKeown wrote in BoatCraft Magazine in June/July of 1965, when writing about Donzi Marine and the 16', -
" Last year Aronow sold Formula to Thunderbird Boats and called in Wynne and Walters to design a different line. During Wynne's testing of his creations, he won the world's offshore championship for 1964.
The Donzi 16 was several years in preparation however. We watched Jim Wynne and Tommy Sopwith drive early prototypes for the Six Hour Endurance Race through the steep chop of the Siene to a class win in Paris three years ago. Wynne repeated the performance two successive years at the Miami Nine Hour as well, and set a number of international records with the little 'Wyn Mill II' along the way."

Bill's article ended as follows:
" And when its rough and you still want to go, she can take it if you can. We remember the first time we saw this in action several years ago. A boisterous Bahamas day had blown up for the Around New Providence Race after a flat-sea-go from Miami to Nassau. Running easily on the rough sea in a Formula 23 with Jim Wynne driving, we watched Briggs Cunningham jump his big 38 foot twin diesel cruiser out of the water occasionally in the bumpy going. Then behind we saw a little rocket flying low over the water. Sure enough, there came the indomitable duo, Cox and Joyce, driving Wyn-Mill for all they were worth, and passing the bigger stuff struggling through the seas.
That was a prototype, but now anyone can drive the real thing in a Donzi 16, if they feel up to it."


and another addendum and alternate view....

The timeline of the Formula Jr hull is possibly a little different than some describe. The first 17 Jr's were produced in very early 1964 . These hulls were Don Aronow pure when he founded, owned and ran Formula boats. Then, he sold Formula to a rich guy named Merrick Lewis. At the time Merrick owned Thunderbird Marine. The molds to the Formula Jr went to Merrick along with the Formula company. The Jr continued to be produced as "Formula Jr by Thunderbird" though 1969. The number of Formula Jr's produced in total from early 1964 to the end of 1969 is about 150 (as reported by the company that made the interiors) but, not well documented
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