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