The Glorious Story of Little Red

 Bill Seebold drives the Little Red to victory in Eufaula, Alabama.
Bill Seebold drives Little Red to an APBA outboard speed record in Miami, Florida.
Happy Birthday Mercury Marine!
2014 marks Mercury Marine’s 75th anniversary.

Happy New Year! 2014 is Mercury Marine’s 75th Anniversary. The year will be filled with a variety of exciting events to celebrate our company’s rich history. Mike Butler’s restoration of “Little Red,” a historic Mercury Twistercraft tunnel race boat, is the first in a series of stories I’ll be posting throughout the year in celebration of Mercury’s rich performance heritage.

You will not find a greater authority on Mercury’s outboard racing history than Mike. In fact, Mike is a former outboard tunnel boat racer himself. It was 39 years ago when he  brought his Twister race outboard to Mercury Hi-Performance to repair damage resulting from a racing accident over the weekend. It was on this visit that Mike saw Little Red. He had asked the late Mike Goerlitz, Mercury Hi-Perf Sales Manager at the time, if he could buy it. Mr. Goerlitz turned him down. It was not for sale. Mr. Goerlitz did offer Mike a position with Hi-Perf from which he quickly accepted.

A view from Mike's hangar during the 2013 Experimental Aircraft Association Airventure event. Mike proudly displays the Little Red as it looked prior to the restoration along with Mercury's outboard speed record setting hydro.
Little Red and Mercury’s record setting outboard hydro.
From a distance the boat looked great. Once upon close inspection, Mike knew he had his work cut out for him.
Upon close inspection, Mike knew he had his work cut out for him.

Mike is also an active pilot and long-time member of the Experimental Aircraft Association. He has restored a number of historic bi-planes and his Piper Cub that he flies year round. His passion for Mercury and craftsmanship skills would meld to bring back the glory of a rare gem in the history of outboard powerboat racing. Read more

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