Jim Thompson

Inducted 2005

Jim Thompson, a graduate Naval Officer of Royal Roads who studied engineering at U of T and business at Western, had an avid interest in unlimited hydroplane racing. As co-founder and president of the Supertest Petroleum Co., he combined the two and established probably the most dynamic marketing and promotional program of the late Fifties and early Sixties: Miss Supertest. When fellow CMHF inductee Harold Wilson retired, Thompson bought Wilson’s Miss Canada IV and renamed her Miss Supertest I. Thus began the journey that would ultimately establish a world’s speed record and capture the Harmsworth Trophy – emblematic of world supremacy in powerboat racing – three years in succession. Initially, in the Supertest program, all the development driving and testing was done by Mr. Thompson. The result was Miss Supertest II, a Rolls Royce Griffon powered hydroplane and holder of the Canadian and British Empire speed record for propeller-driven craft. Driven by Art Asbury, Miss Supertest II shattered the existing world record with a speed of 184.54 in 1957. Supertest III soon followed and, driven by Bob Hayward, won the Harmsworth in 1959, ’60 and ’61. Miss Supertest III was never beaten in a race. She was retired following a tragic accident later in 1961 that took the life of Hayward, the driver who thought of her as human.

Photo by Bruce Urquhart via Woodstock Sentinal Review

Comments

  1. John Chapin says:

    I believe that Miss Supertest II was powered by a RR Merlin engine.

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