* 1964 water test of the NEW 38' Commander ( a chriscraftcommander.com exclusive ! )

* 1964 water test of the NEW 38' Commander ( a chriscraftcommander.com exclusive ! )

Paul
Paul

March 9th, 2007, 5:39 pm #1

As many readers of the Chris Craft Commander Forum, Inc., know, the fiberglass Chris Craft Commander line was launched at the 1964 New York Boat Show, when the very first public glimpse of the new 38' Commander was unvieled. It was designed, constructed, and shipped in secret. The unveiling of this boat sent a shock wave thorough the boating industry and the reverberations are still being felt 43 years later.

The new boat had all of the coolest styling ques of the era, partically from Detroit, partially from Chris Craft historical precedance, and it was a looker. It was also a performer too, with the top power option of the day being the 430 big block Lincolns (as tested in this report) with lots of torque and a horsepower rating of 275.

The cover photo of this great water-test article, shows a Lincoln-powered 38 Commander being driven at full speed into a cresting wave. What a PHOTO, and what fun that must have been to be on board or on the photo boat!!!

This article represents one of the first, or perhaps "the" first published impression of the new fiberglass Chris Craft muscle-cruiser that resurrected the Commander name.

Enjoy !

Paul











See next post for continuation of the article.

Regards, Paul
Last edited by FEfinaticP on May 17th, 2012, 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Paul
Paul

March 9th, 2007, 5:59 pm #2


Here we see details that we take for granted now, but when the boat was first introduced created quite a sensation. Those custom throttles, for instance, are something we all take for granted today, but back then they obviously got some attention. The tachometer housings, the fiberglass shell of the helm station, virtually all of the features of this boat







Regards, Paul
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Paul
Paul

March 9th, 2007, 6:09 pm #3





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Dave Mehl
Dave Mehl

March 9th, 2007, 11:34 pm #4

As many readers of the Chris Craft Commander Forum, Inc., know, the fiberglass Chris Craft Commander line was launched at the 1964 New York Boat Show, when the very first public glimpse of the new 38' Commander was unvieled. It was designed, constructed, and shipped in secret. The unveiling of this boat sent a shock wave thorough the boating industry and the reverberations are still being felt 43 years later.

The new boat had all of the coolest styling ques of the era, partically from Detroit, partially from Chris Craft historical precedance, and it was a looker. It was also a performer too, with the top power option of the day being the 430 big block Lincolns (as tested in this report) with lots of torque and a horsepower rating of 275.

The cover photo of this great water-test article, shows a Lincoln-powered 38 Commander being driven at full speed into a cresting wave. What a PHOTO, and what fun that must have been to be on board or on the photo boat!!!

This article represents one of the first, or perhaps "the" first published impression of the new fiberglass Chris Craft muscle-cruiser that resurrected the Commander name.

Enjoy !

Paul











See next post for continuation of the article.

Regards, Paul
Great article ! I have never seen anything in print about the 431 Lincoln power, and this is all good. That 31-mph speed they post was with Lincolns too ! HoooRayyy !

Dave
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Tom Slayton
Tom Slayton

March 10th, 2007, 12:22 pm #5

Great article BTW!

At 275-hp and a relatively low compression ratio, the Lincolns are not working all that hard. Compared to the 427 which have an additional 25-hp, the actual difference on the water isn't going to show up with much of a speed difference. Maybe a half or whole mile per hour.

How many hours on your motors, Dave. How are you running them, what kind of service have you received from them?

Tom
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Joined: January 4th, 2006, 10:39 pm

March 10th, 2007, 1:49 pm #6

As many readers of the Chris Craft Commander Forum, Inc., know, the fiberglass Chris Craft Commander line was launched at the 1964 New York Boat Show, when the very first public glimpse of the new 38' Commander was unvieled. It was designed, constructed, and shipped in secret. The unveiling of this boat sent a shock wave thorough the boating industry and the reverberations are still being felt 43 years later.

The new boat had all of the coolest styling ques of the era, partically from Detroit, partially from Chris Craft historical precedance, and it was a looker. It was also a performer too, with the top power option of the day being the 430 big block Lincolns (as tested in this report) with lots of torque and a horsepower rating of 275.

The cover photo of this great water-test article, shows a Lincoln-powered 38 Commander being driven at full speed into a cresting wave. What a PHOTO, and what fun that must have been to be on board or on the photo boat!!!

This article represents one of the first, or perhaps "the" first published impression of the new fiberglass Chris Craft muscle-cruiser that resurrected the Commander name.

Enjoy !

Paul











See next post for continuation of the article.

Regards, Paul
GREAT ARTICLE !!! I noticed the test was done on hull number 2. Wonder where that boat is today? Some of the early construction details look like they were changed, like the core material references and the polyurethane filled structural elements.

The performance numbers look good and the fuel consumption is better than I get with the 427 motors. Propellers are down one inch, RPM is the same, and the 2.5:1 gearing is the same.

If you could only buy one just like it today (for $32,000)! At that price, a 38 Commander was not an inexpensive boat. Chris Craft hit it out of the ballpark with this one!

Howard


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Roy
Roy

March 10th, 2007, 4:40 pm #7

As many readers of the Chris Craft Commander Forum, Inc., know, the fiberglass Chris Craft Commander line was launched at the 1964 New York Boat Show, when the very first public glimpse of the new 38' Commander was unvieled. It was designed, constructed, and shipped in secret. The unveiling of this boat sent a shock wave thorough the boating industry and the reverberations are still being felt 43 years later.

The new boat had all of the coolest styling ques of the era, partically from Detroit, partially from Chris Craft historical precedance, and it was a looker. It was also a performer too, with the top power option of the day being the 430 big block Lincolns (as tested in this report) with lots of torque and a horsepower rating of 275.

The cover photo of this great water-test article, shows a Lincoln-powered 38 Commander being driven at full speed into a cresting wave. What a PHOTO, and what fun that must have been to be on board or on the photo boat!!!

This article represents one of the first, or perhaps "the" first published impression of the new fiberglass Chris Craft muscle-cruiser that resurrected the Commander name.

Enjoy !

Paul











See next post for continuation of the article.

Regards, Paul
No wonder they last so long! They're loafing! 275 horsepower and 396 footpounds at 2900 rpm, those dogs are built for the haul! Ole Hank appeared to have some fun thrashing em around during the test, lol. In 1964 that was one heckvfa package.

Roy
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Marty
Marty

March 22nd, 2007, 1:37 pm #8

We had a couple of those big motors in our family, in cars. They were quiet, powerful, and never caused us any concern. Mash the gas one time wrong, and Dad sold the car. I was about to enter my solo driving career at the time, and he thought I needed something that had less power, and took up a little smaller footprint on the road. In any case, every time I hear of one of these motors, in boats or cars, I get a warm feeling in my heart.

Marty
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James Brunette
James Brunette

April 28th, 2007, 11:31 am #9

As many readers of the Chris Craft Commander Forum, Inc., know, the fiberglass Chris Craft Commander line was launched at the 1964 New York Boat Show, when the very first public glimpse of the new 38' Commander was unvieled. It was designed, constructed, and shipped in secret. The unveiling of this boat sent a shock wave thorough the boating industry and the reverberations are still being felt 43 years later.

The new boat had all of the coolest styling ques of the era, partically from Detroit, partially from Chris Craft historical precedance, and it was a looker. It was also a performer too, with the top power option of the day being the 430 big block Lincolns (as tested in this report) with lots of torque and a horsepower rating of 275.

The cover photo of this great water-test article, shows a Lincoln-powered 38 Commander being driven at full speed into a cresting wave. What a PHOTO, and what fun that must have been to be on board or on the photo boat!!!

This article represents one of the first, or perhaps "the" first published impression of the new fiberglass Chris Craft muscle-cruiser that resurrected the Commander name.

Enjoy !

Paul











See next post for continuation of the article.

Regards, Paul
This article is a marine history lesson in how to do it right. I can sort of sense how excited people were back when this boat first hit the marketplace, by the way that article is writen and the great deference given to the big Chris.

James
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Joined: December 21st, 2006, 1:10 am

April 29th, 2007, 12:45 am #10

Thank you so much for publishing this article..it has special significance for me, as Don Schwarm, the official photographer for Chris Craft, was my uncle.

Don's photo boat, which he kept behind his house near Sunrise Blvd, was a bare hull commander, maybe a 31', with 427's or 430's and a photo tower. Ugly but fast! He said there wasn't anything out there he couldn't run with. I never got to ride on it, but as a teenager living neat Daytona, I sure knew what big V-8's were, and remember it tied to his dock.

Don came from a boating family. His father, Charles Schwarm, raced hydroplanes on the Ohio River, and his brother, Bob Schwarm, who still lives in Ft. Lauderdale, has owned Chris Crafts, taught boating courses, and is still active with the power squadron. When not taking photos for Chris Craft, Don was a partner in Sante, Schwarm, and Sheldon, commercial photographers in Ft. Lauderdale.

Again, thanks.

Bill Frondorf
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