1942 Chris-Craft DELUXE RUNABOUT
SUBMITTED BY THE EXHIBITORS
Phillip & Sue Caldwell
Laguna Beach, California
Make: 1942 Chris-Craft
Model: Deluxe Runabout
Engine: Chris-Craft 6cyl – 120hp
Hull #: 71939
Concours Catagory: Pre-War Runabous Under 23′
This 17’ barrel back runabout (officially called a “Deluxe Runabout”) was an abbreviated run of 17’ Chris-Crafts produced from 1940 through the middle of 1942. Because of the war, Chris-Craft changed over to produce boats for the war. The torpedo stern, AKA “barrel back”, was expensive to produce, so as World War II came to an end, new styles that were less expensive to produce replaced these classics.
Sweetpea is number 410 out of 425 of these boats produced. Her hull number 71939.
We found her in Texas in 2005. The previous owners had used her as a family ski boat in Seattle, Washington and had no other history of her and they had never named her.
The photo with skis in the back are skis Phil made in Junior High school woodshop in 1953!
We named her Sweetpea because she was originally delivered in April, we purchased her in April, and all the women in our family were born in April. The flower of April is the Sweet Pea so the name just fit!
When we purchased the boat, she was powered by a K95 HP engine similar to the original, but a bit newer. We put 350 hours on the motor the first four years. Unfortunately, the engine failed while on the Sacramento Delta in 2008. It has been replaced with a 1950 KLC 120 HP engine.
When we purchased the boat it had a new bottom and a new gas tank. The only extra from the original 1942 order was a banjo steering wheel.
We re-did a lot of miscellaneous things on the boat including rewiring, re-chroming, a new dashboard, re-doing the gauges, and a little varnish here and there. With those, and a few other improvements, we won awards twice for “most improved” in the South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic shows. We finally had the boat totally restored by Robinson Restoration in Fallbrook, California.
Since Sweetpea’s final restoration we have won 1st place for Chris-Craft under 23’ in the South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic, second place twice for Chris-Craft under 23’ in the Lake Tahoe Concours d’ Elegance show in 2016 and 2017, and “Best in Show” in the Lake Arrowhead show in 2017. Also, first place for “Bay Boats” at Balboa Yacht Club opening day.