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GMP 1:18 2006 Top Fuel Hydro Drag Boat IHBA 2006 World Champion 'Fast' Eddie Knox Racing

Reviewed by:   Bill Bennett
     
  GMP 1:18 2006 Top Fuel Hydro Drag Boat IHBA 2006 World Champion 'Fast' Eddie Knox Racing diecast car
 
 
 

In all the world of motorsports, nothing is as exhilarating and gut-wrenchingly dangerous as drag boat racing and in this sport of speed and danger, the Top Fuel Hydro sits at the very top of the heap. In 2006 the International Hot Boat Association’s (IHBA) Top Fuel Hydro World Champion was “Problem Child”, owned by Eddie Knox and driven by Dale Ishimaru. Bad Ass Diecast out of Jacksonville, Florida has created a beautiful 1:18 scale model of this world champion boat.

Top Fuel Hydros are a cross between a boat and an airplane that, at speed, rides on a cushion of air along with the trailing edges of two sponsons supporting the front of the boat and two surface-piercing props in the rear. Because the hydro normally skims across the water rather than being immersed in it, drag is minimized and, with enough power, the only speed limitation is the hydro’s design and the driver’s ability to keep it from going airborne. Drag racing on the water has followed in the technological footsteps of land drag racing and there isn’t much difference in their powerplants. Typical TFH engines churn out 7000 horsepower on a load of pure nitromethane fuel and this power is directed into a “W-drive” that allows two counter-rotating props to be driven out the bottom of the boat. Steering is through a transom-mounted rudder. At the highest level, boats reach speeds approaching 250 mph with quarter-mile elapsed times of 4.5 - 5 seconds.

The Problem Child team is based out of California’s central valley from the town of Visalia. The owner, Eddie Knox, has been involved in racing drag boats since 1981 as a driver, crew member and race official for the National Drag Boat Association. Driver Dale Ishimaru has been driving drag hydros since 1992, moving from Blown Gas Hydro to Top Fuel Hydro in 1997. In 2006 they started the season with a Myers-hulled entry and finished the season with a sponsorship from Bad Boy Energy Drink and a new hull from Watercraft by Wolfe. In the World Finals at Firebird Lake outside of Phoenix, Arizona, they only had to qualify to get the points necessary to win the 2006 world championship. They did so with the two quickest runs of the meet at 4.77 and 4.82. This was accomplished while they were still “dialing-in” the brand new hull.

BAD’s 1:18 scale model is of the earlier Myers-hulled race boat, although the look of the two hulls is very similar. The first thing that really grabs you when you pick-up this model is its 13.5 oz. weight. The next thing is the beautiful presentation of the monstrous blown 500 cu. in. Keith Black hemi engine. They’ve done a very nice job of showing the twin MSD electronic ignitions with the dual spark plug wires running to each cylinder and all the attendant fuel lines and breather hoses. The huge 14-71 blower is wrapped in a ballistic blanket and the blower and injector hat are strapped to the block in case of a blower explosion. The injector even has workable butterflies!

When you really get curious about the boat’s construction, you’ll find that a lot of the pieces are removable to get a better look at the workings of the boat…. All held in place by tiny magnets. The fairing between the engine and the driver’s capsule is removable to show the clutch can and the shaft running to the W-drive. Forward of that the hatch on the driver’s capsule can be lifted to show details of the interior and the capsule can be removed from the hull just as it might be in case of some catastrophic emergency. The capsule has a carbon fiber outer shell with a complete tube roll cage internal structure and an oxygen bottle between the driver’s legs for prolonged times submerged. The butterfly steering wheel turns and actuates a push-pull rod running back and operating a transom-mounted external rudder. On top of the sponsons, two hatches can be removed to view the flotation foam and a battery on one side and an air cylinder on the other. An aircraft pitot tube rides on the bow in front of the driver giving the driver an indication of airspeed. To get the boat slowed-down after a high-speed run, two parachute packs are mounted in the stern and come complete with “Remove Before Flight” pendants.

I really like the work that BAD has done in putting these drag hydros together. The sport is gaining popularity now that they finally have figured-out a way to encapsulate the drivers in the faster boats. Without these driver escape capsules, it wasn’t unusual to go to the boat drags and see someone lose their life. If the sport of drag boat racing grows, so will the demand for these models. For the first edition from a new manufacturer, this boat shows all the assembly skill, detail, and beautiful paint that we have come to expect in 1:18 scale cars. I hope BAD is successful with these and getting GMP to help them with distribution seems to be a good move. These boats have a much different audience than the cars but I expect there will be a lot of crossover and it’s nice to see someone with the willingness to stick their neck out. Nice job, guys!

Note: If you are reading this as part of the 2/2/2007 edition of Mr. Magneto, you can see more of Rusty Hurley's photography of this model in the regular Car List and Review Section. Copy and paste the following link in your browser.

http://www.diecast.org/diecast98/html/asp/list_reviews/xq/ASP/id.GMP1804802/qx/reviewpix.htm

(02/03/2007)
 
 
  GMP 1:18 2006 Top Fuel Hydro Drag Boat IHBA 2006 World Champion 'Fast' Eddie Knox Racing diecast car

GMP 1:18 2006 Top Fuel Hydro Drag Boat IHBA 2006 World Champion 'Fast' Eddie Knox Racing diecast car

GMP 1:18 2006 Top Fuel Hydro Drag Boat IHBA 2006 World Champion 'Fast' Eddie Knox Racing diecast car

GMP 1:18 2006 Top Fuel Hydro Drag Boat IHBA 2006 World Champion 'Fast' Eddie Knox Racing diecast car

GMP 1:18 2006 Top Fuel Hydro Drag Boat IHBA 2006 World Champion 'Fast' Eddie Knox Racing diecast car

GMP 1:18 2006 Top Fuel Hydro Drag Boat IHBA 2006 World Champion 'Fast' Eddie Knox Racing diecast car

GMP 1:18 2006 Top Fuel Hydro Drag Boat IHBA 2006 World Champion 'Fast' Eddie Knox Racing diecast car

GMP 1:18 2006 Top Fuel Hydro Drag Boat IHBA 2006 World Champion 'Fast' Eddie Knox Racing diecast car

GMP 1:18 2006 Top Fuel Hydro Drag Boat IHBA 2006 World Champion 'Fast' Eddie Knox Racing diecast car

 
 
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GMP | 1:18
GMP 1:18 2006 Top Fuel Hydro Drag Boat IHBA 2006 World Champion 'Fast' Eddie Knox Racing

GMP 1:18 2006 Top Fuel Hydro Drag Boat IHBA 2006 World Champion 'Fast' Eddie Knox Racing

 
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