Stan Sayres

Stan Sayres
By David Greene

Stan Sayres provided the financial backing for Ted Jones to develop the design of the Slo-Mo-Shun IV. After the IV was launched, Sayres took the IV through the mile trap at 160 m.p.h. Later in the Gold Cup, designer Jones took the cockpit to win his first race. Jones was injured prior to the Harmsworth Trophy and Lou Fageol took over the driver's seat to win that prestigious event. These three accomplishments marked one of the most fantastic seasons that any Unlimited has ever enjoyed.

In 1951, Ted Jones designed a new Slo-Mo-Shun V to provide the team with a more effective competition boat, as the IV was primarily designed for straightaway runs. The V responded with another Gold Cup win with the IV serving a backup role. These roles were forcibly reversed in 1952 when the V went dead in the water and the IV came through for her second Gold Cup. Earlier that year the IV had raised her water speed record to 178 m.p.h.

1953 brought the IV her third Gold Cup triumph when the V was disabled in a trial run. Later on that year the V went east and won the President's Cup with Lou Fageol at the wheel. In 1954, Slo-Mo V provided Sayres with his final win making five consecutive Gold Cups, breaking Gar Wood's ownership record. Unfortunately the story has a tragic ending, as first the Slo-Mo V crashed in 1955 and then the Slo-Mo IV in 1956 to end this very impressive success record. Stan Sayres died shortly after the crash of the IV in September 1956.

(Reprinted from the Unlimited NewsJournal, March 1985)

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