This 1969 Philbrick runabout is a one-off creation that features a 20′ hull constructed of wood, as well as the windshield, power-operated convertible top, power windows, and interior trim from a late 1950s Imperial Convertible. A 392ci Chrysler Hemi 392ci V8 sends power to a three-bladed propeller through a V-drive and forward/reverse transmission. Named C-Car, the boat was part of the Alan Furth collection until his passing in 1993.
Don Philbrick, of Philbrick Boat Works in Oakland, California, began building the vessel in 1959, only to sell it in an unfinished state in 1966. The new owner commissioned Don to finish the boat, incorporating the interior, soft top, and engine from Don’s personal Imperial Convertible. The project was completed in 1969 was was later restored by Dennis Burns in the 1990s.
Cockpit trim comes mostly from the donor Imperial, including the two bucket seats, rear bench, and side panels. The factory windscreen was widened by 3″ during the initial build, and a replacement unit was fabricated during the 1990s refurbishment. It features powered side windows. The powered soft top was modified with wider ribs to fit the boat.
Don Philbrick marinized the Chrysler 392ci Hemi V8, which produced over 300 horsepower when new. The boat is equipped with a double electrical system that includes two alternators and batteries.
-Part of the Mike Malamut personal collection
This 1941 Chris-Craft 17′ Deluxe (hull #71785) is a “Barrel Back” runabout with fewer than 120 operating hours on a mid-2000s restoration. Just 425 17′ barrel backs were produced from 1939-1942 before Chris-Craft production turned to the war effort, and they were replaced with boxier designs after war’s end.
Power is from a 1950s Chris-Craft Hercules KLC straight six which was removed, magnafluxed and overhauled in 2005. The block was bored over, porting and polishing were carried out, and the engine was balanced before reassembly and paint. Usability and performance modifications were performed and the motor is said to make roughly 130 horsepower in its current form.
A restored generator supplies a stock six-volt electrical system including new period-correct wiring, a refurbished starter and a modern battery. A muffler was added to keep engine noise reasonable, and is noted as being the only other visual change from stock in the engine compartment.
We purchased the boat to make a fine addition to go behind our 1941 Chrysler Town and Counrty Barrel back woody. We first saw the barrel back at Pebble Beach in a woody class around the year 2000. Being a woody collector, we thought it was the most beautiful woody built. The craftsmanship of the car matches the craftsmanship of the boat perfectly. The boat will eventually make its way to some of the boat shows in Lake Tahoe and Lake Arrowhead.
-On loan from The Mike Malamut personal collection