formula jr. thunderbird need info

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by Ron F, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. Ron F
    Joined: Feb 2004
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    Location: pennsylvania

    Ron F Junior Member

    First of all I may be at the wrong site and for that matter doing this all wrong since I have never posted anything before. I have in poor condition a 1966+- formula jr. thunderbird 17' +- with a 6 cyl merc. My question I guess is it worth fixing up? I know it was a for runner of donzi and designed by jim Wynn/Walt Walters before the donzi 16 was put into production and the formula jr set aside never to make it into production as far as I can tell. Maybee I have the only one ?
     
  2. yipster
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: netherlands

    yipster designer

    With the retirement of the Boston Whaler 13, the Donzi 16 is one of the oldest fiberglass powerboat designs still in production. The very first boat to wear the Donzi name was a little 16 foot runabout called the Ski Sporter. Its design layout, was based on an earlier wooden racing boat known as the 17 foot Wyn-Mil II. The Wyn-Mill II was later developed in to a production boat all on its own called the Formula Jr. two years after the introduction of the 16. Although the Formula Jr. and the 16 are very simular in design, they do not share any dimentions and should be consided completely different boats, derived from completely different proto-types. Designed by Jim Wynne and Walt Walters, the Ski Sporter was introduced in 1964.]

    21 results on walt walters who rang a bell (a pro who recently died in freak fire accident fixing a fuel tank?)
     
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  3. Lenny
    Joined: Mar 2004
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    Location: Victoria, B.C. Canada

    Lenny Junior Member

    Ron, I too have a glass Formula Junior. They were originally available as a plywood kit boat in Popular Mechanics type books in about '64, about a year after it won the Paris Gran Prix. There is a ton of info on it available at http://www.donzi.net. I have a light blue one, no power as yet. I have spent about a week running this red one in the waters here in the last couple years. 350 MAG and Alpha GenII. They are a better handling (landing) boat than the Donzi Ski Sporter (16) but no match for the 18 (DONZI). I have all three of these boats. The Formula is a drier boat, very similar freeboard to the 16 Donzi, but tracks better and resists the urge to "stuff". I would definately fix it up and if you don't want to PLEASE let me know.

    http://www.donzi.net/photos/lgreen20.jpg

    Post some pics or email me some !!! :D ...Lenny
     
  4. Jimbo
    Joined: Apr 2004
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    Location: Greenville, SC

    Jimbo New Member

    Thunderbird Formula Jr.

    Hi guys...I also have one of these Formula Jrs. and have been looking for information on the web for months. Finally found your information today. I was beginning to think I might have the only one! I bought mine 5 years ago and have started restoration. I'm no expert at this but have had some help. I am close to starting the interior and mechanical/electrical. I've had it painted and man does it look good. Any recommendations as to what engine to put in it? other electrical parts? thanks...Jim
     
  5. Lenny
    Joined: Mar 2004
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    Location: Victoria, B.C. Canada

    Lenny Junior Member

    No question. A 350 Mag MPI/Bravo1 c/w silent choice exhaust if you need to be "quiet" sometimes. This combination will yield an honest GPS 66-ish. These boats don't need tabs to run flat and hard. They are WONDERFUL boats to run hard in a following sea and stuffing them is a bit of a task as it stays on top nicely. Think about raising the X dimension an inch or so.

    Trust me, you will LOVE the ride ! :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2004
  6. Mini Formula
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Sweden

    Mini Formula New Member

    Re Thunderbird Formula boats. I have a 1981 Formula One 17 ft made by Thunderbird corporation . Only 300 hours running. In mint condition just now powered bu mercruiser 140 hp all original. Any idea how many where build of these ?. Who designed it ? Have only seen som pictures on the net but not received any ansver.
     
  7. old school
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: TEXAS

    old school New Member

    I have a 1980 18 ft? Formula too in mint condition with a 470 mercruiser. It has been in the family since new. Can't find any info on the web. Would love to see pictures. Have never seen another one like it. Bright yellow black strip and white on top. Built way ahead of its time. Get so many compliments on it out on the lake. So I don't have any answers to your question other than there is at least an 80 model out here.
     
  8. Lenny
    Joined: Mar 2004
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    Location: Victoria, B.C. Canada

    Lenny Junior Member

    The "infamous" Formula Junior was designed in 1963-4...It won the Paris Gran Prix. These are NOT the same boats. It went into production in glass around '66. For about 3 years...
     
  9. Lenny
    Joined: Mar 2004
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    Location: Victoria, B.C. Canada

    Lenny Junior Member

    This is a direct quote from Michael Aronow about 2 months ago. Yes, his Dad, Don, was involved in this, prior to selling Thunderbird and starting DONZI,..BUT,...!!! what you are describing in 1980-ish doesn't even resemble what they are talking about...I have one of the old ones. The boats ran from about 1966-1967, a few hundred in total. Plans were in Popular Mechanics or something in this time frame for a plywood version.
     
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  10. ronf
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Location: pa

    ronf New Member

    66 glass formula jr

    starting to work on boat no pictures yet but I could really use a owners/maintenance manual. I got the picture of your boat incrediable !!! I hope to get mine like yours someday. Only thing is when I went to print it out i could only get just a little of the back to print out. any help
     
  11. Lenny
    Joined: Mar 2004
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    Location: Victoria, B.C. Canada

    Lenny Junior Member

    Good luck with it. If I can help let me know. You are dreaming if you think you are going to find an owners manual I think. :rolleyes: Take care.
     
  12. DanA

    DanA Guest

    I owned the company that made seats for these boats after Aronow sold out to T-bird. The acquisition involved only the orginal F-233 and Formula Jr. T-bird was run by Dick Genth and they also acquired Drif-r-cruz houseboats in around '69 or '70 (they raced a 40' houseboat in a Miami Nassau Power Boat Race and it almost sank from sea water entering the hull vents; the Miami Herald sports writer, Jim Martenoff was aboard and wrote about the experience). After acquiring this line, T-bird produced only around 150 jrs. and stopped the line until several years later when they reintroduced it with 3 other Formulas (18' 21' approximate).
     
  13. John Settle

    John Settle Guest

    Thunderbird Formula Jr

    Hey Guys,
    I see that I am a few months behind in some of the postings for Thunderbird Formula Jrs, but wanted to step in. I too have a 1966 Formula jr 17', and am trying to get more photos and specs before restoring it. I know the history of Donzi and the similarities with the sweet-16, but does anyone have more information on these boats?
    It seems everyone has info on the Donzis, but not us......
    Can anyone help?
    My email address is:
    jrsettle@cox.net
    Thanks,
    John
     
  14. glassman
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: Toms River, N.J.

    glassman Junior Member

    formula jr

    I to have a jr 66 looked for long time but got it .If you need info on it the rep from formula was sum what helpful ,send me sum pics of the one in the plants showroom. My jr. is on its way back to life took deck off and starting to cover hull and deck with epoxy and 6oz glass but have plans to cut the neckbreaker seat out and more,
     

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  15. Ron F
    Joined: Feb 2004
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    Location: pennsylvania

    Ron F Junior Member

    formula jr

    I finally purchased the boat and got it home. needs fiberglass repair on the underside of the bow since it has collapsed due to heavy snow one winter.It also has stress cracks on each side where the bow meets the sides. Any suggestions on wat I should try working with Fiberglass kits or epoxy resin from west system. Also It has the mercruiser straight 6 with a chevy block sn 1948514 , the outdrive says mercruiser on it c2000732 should I get a book I found "mercruiser stern drives 1964-85? :?: :?:
     
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