2017 Shannons Sydney Spring Classic Auction

1942 Chris-Craft 17ft Deluxe 'Barrel Back' Wooden Runabout


Passed In


Engine In-line 6-cylinder, 230-cid
Gearbox Single forward gear
Colour Mahogany
Interior Red
Trim Leather


This lot is no longer available

Having built a series of successful racing boats in the early part of the 20th Century, Chris Smith and his brother Hank formed the Smith and Sons Boat Co. in 1922 before adopting the name Chris-Craft in 1930.  Famous for their high-end powerboats, Chris-Craft began expanding into more affordable craft in the late 1920s, establishing a modern production facility in Algonac, Michigan.  Initially built for wealthy clientele, with the likes of Henry Ford and William Randolph Hearst notable owners, Chris-Craft also brought power boating to the middle classes, particularly in the years following the Great Depression.  Built between 1939 and 1942, Chris-Craft’s iconic ‘barrel-back’ runabouts – so named as it looked like a floating barrel in the water from the rear, the transom almost a perfect semi-circle – were produced in limited numbers, with only 425 17-footer hulls made (numbers between 71529 and 71954), plus a further 433 19-footers and 57 23-footers.  Known as the Deluxe Runabout, the 17-footer was offered in three different models (42-8, 42-9 and 42-10) powered by B (60hp), K (95hp) or KB (121hp) L-head engines respectively.  Beautifully appointed, these mahogany-hulled runabouts were built to the highest standards and the graceful lines made them popular with generations of collectors and wooden boat enthusiasts.  Favoured by celebrities like Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, the Chris-Craft name is revered the world over.  

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