Our Northwest

Also nearly restored: Bill Muncey’s last ride

Friday, March 15, 2013by  Jon Osterberg

restoring hydroplane Blue BlasterRenowned hydroplane driver Bill Muncey’s final ride, the Atlas Van Lines “Blue Blaster,” is nearing the end of its restoration at the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum in Kent.

Museum volunteers began restoring Atlas (launched in 1977) in January 2010. Barring any snags, you can see the restored hydro run exhibitions at the July 26-28 Lamb Weston Columbia Cup and the Aug. 2-4 Albert Lee Cup at Seafair. Check out the Atlas restoration page on the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum website.

Atlas Blue Blaster hydroplane

Muncey perished aboard the Blue Blaster in October 1981 when it flipped while leading the final heat of a race in Acapulco, Mexico. Muncey had broken his prescription goggles earlier and was racing without them, speeding toward a setting sun that further hindered his ability to “read” the water. Atlas launched into a 175-mph blowover flip and landed on Muncey, killing him. Until 2011, the former Mercer Island resident had been the sport’s all-time winningest driver with 62 race victories.

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