Beautifuly restored 1930 Gar Wood 28’ Triple Cocktail Runabout built for Logan T. Wood returns to Detroit water for RM Auctions’ Motor City sale, July 26 in Plymouth, Michigan. Held during the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s weekend, the auction represents RM’s 20th anniversary sale in the Detroit area. One of only 52 examples produced and restored to the highest standards, the vessel on offer performed flawlessly on the Detroit River in a recent test. Considered one of the world’s most sought-after and luxurious classic wooden vessels, Gar Wood boats emerged from its proprietor’s passion for powerboat racing.
One of America’s first “rock-star” industrialists, Gar Wood invented and patented the hydraulic mechanism for dump trucks, which fueled Gar Wood Industries’ initial success, before turning to boat building and working in partnership with Chris Smith, of Chris-Craft boats. As Gar pursued powerboat racing fame, his younger brother, Logan T. Wood, adopted the role of president, taking on the responsibility of running and managing the daily operations of the Wood Hoist Company. Logan, a brilliant businessman, tireless administrator, and skilled negotiator, expanded the business and turned it into a major manufacturing operation, which allowed his brother to devote time to his passion for racing.
“Gar Wood was a heroic, almost legendary, personality in the history of the Motor City,” says Alain Squindo, Vice President, RM Auctions. “He was a self-made man with a wildly successful business run by his astute brother, Logan, and he had a penchant for racing, which earned him the Gold Cup, the oldest trophy in all motorsport, on numerous occasions.”
The Runabout on offer at RM’s Motor City sale, hull number 4-2048, was constructed exclusively for Logan at the company’s brand-new purpose-built manufacturing plant in Marysville, Michigan. Equipped with a powerful 200-horsepower Scripps Model 202 six-cylinder engine, it was completed and shipped to Detroit, Michigan on April 9, 1930. One of only fifty-two model 28-40 Open Runabouts produced in 1930, its price tag of $4,700 was a handsome sum to pay, even for the most well-to-do during the Depression. As the boat was earmarked for Logan, it was built with several bespoke features, including heavy bottom construction, a one-man Dietrich-style top, wind wings, a foot rest in the second cockpit, a locking engine hatch, and a gas filler cap.
Since Logan’s ownership, the boat has undergone a restoration completed to the highest standards by one of the world’s foremost vintage boat restorers. The result is an exceptional example which has been judged by authorities as authentic, matching-numbers, and show-quality throughout. This timeless beauty, equally as coveted by collectors today as it was when new, is expected to achieve between $250,000 and $300,000 when it crosses the auction podium in July.