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You mean JP's? It's hanging on his wall. joe is really friendly these days go see him he'll tell you all about it...lol. I think there is a thread or two that has info on it.
 

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Gambler

You mean JP's? It's hanging on his wall. joe is really friendly these days go see him he'll tell you all about it...lol. I think there is a thread or two that has info on it.
Jeff Bennett and myself built the Gambler for John Spyskma before JP owned it. John has passed away but I know his grandson has all kinds of pictures of it . I will try to get ahold of him and see if he can post some.There were I beleive 3 drivers Tony DeNunzio,Myself, and Joe Podwadski. After John bought Showtime USA BGH we ran both together traveling
to a number of race's together. Eventually Joe purchased the Gambler from John and went his own way. Truely one of the best jet boats of all it's time. The Gambler got's it's name ,because John would not fly so he always drove and would always route his trips thru Las Vegas, he loved to gamble. So one trip thru Vegas he hit the big one and scored 50,000.00$ came home and said we are building a new boat and thus the Gambler was born.
 

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Keep going Greg, you know the rest of the history and I know Joe won't chime in. I wish he would, you guys have a lot of history between your ears. I heard a little story the other day from a bird about why all Joe's river boats were yellow.
 

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I'll have to go by an talk to Jp . An thanks for the info on the gambler that helped out a lot I could not find anything on the boat hope to see some pics
 

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Yellow river boats?

I own one of the primarily yellow CP's that JP was involved with his son in law since 2007, but never heard about the yellow boat story. As I remember he also at the time had a solid yellow CP for sale as well. I too have one or two old pics of Joe racing @ Parker late 70's or early 80's. I need help posting and scanning them, see if I can get it done. PS that boats for sale if interested.
 

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Here are some pics that Johns Grandson had posted over on RDs Place

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Here are some pics that Johns Grandson had posted over on RDs Place

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The first picture is me at Firebird when we put Mo Chruchman BAJ engine in the Gambler and ran BFJ. We won the event and ran in the high 30's. The next 2 photo's were of Tony De Nunzio. The last picture I think was for a TV show called Amerian Speed and Beauty starring Elke Sommer who was a pretty hot chick back in those days!
 

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The first picture is me at Firebird when we put Mo Chruchman BAJ engine in the Gambler and ran BFJ. We won the event and ran in the high 30's. The next 2 photo's were of Tony De Nunzio. The last picture I think was for a TV show called Amerian Speed and Beauty starring Elke Sommer who was a pretty hot chick back in those days!
question for you. assuming you were around eliminator when the gambler hull was laid up (or somewhere nearby). that was a great hull.
question is; what are the differences in layup between then and now? not specifically, but are materials the same? slight difference? big differences? also, assuming the mold is slightly different than it was. no difference, or substantially different? evolved over time, or just recently when they were sold/purchased?
 

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Lay ups

question for you. assuming you were around eliminator when the gambler hull was laid up (or somewhere nearby). that was a great hull.
question is; what are the differences in layup between then and now? not specifically, but are materials the same? slight difference? big differences? also, assuming the mold is slightly different than it was. no difference, or substantially different? evolved over time, or just recently when they were sold/purchased?
The boats we layup today verse's back then todays can be built at the same weight but are substancially stronger. Resin's are better, in the glass dept. we have more options available to us. We can just build a better part. The mold Eliminator has is the second mold that has a small radius in the center keel. The mold Mike and I have is the original but has been modified so that it will accept bigger power more easily. The Gambler came out of the mold weighing rite around 340 lbs before doing the bottom and final flow coat so I would guesstamate around 360 lbs ready to start rigging. That boat was just one of those boats that just keep giving.Very easy to hardware and was very readable. We ran a number of engine combinatios in the Gambler and the boat just never did anything stupid.
 

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Good stuff.

Greg, thanks for sharing. I love hearing about the good ol-days. Wish i could have been there.
 

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Gambler

What year was the Gambler laid up? Hard to tell in the pics, and not that it matters, but the gel looks similar to the gel on my 89 21' Daytona and almost identical to a 19' I saw in Broken bow last summer.

Gambler was built in the early 80's and I started driving hydro's in the mid 80's
 

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Driving

Greg do you feel you are a better driver than blue balls Declark?
I think the best way to go with this is that you can usually pick out a good driver by how many final rounds and trophies you go home with. When De Clark started it was just raw talent and I had to spend alot of time teaching the finer points of driving keeping in mind I had to take the Red Bulls away on Sunday if not he was a total disaster. In the short time he has been driving he has won more than his share of race's but looking at the trophy count he has a long way to GO!
 

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The Daytona named Gambler

The Gambler discussed here is actually Gambler 3. The first one was a Liberty tunnel; the second was a Daytona with experimental sponsons and the third was also a Daytona that was patterned after Norm Grimes Pro Gas Jet.

Greg Shoemaker rigged the boat which weighed 370 lb. bare based on my notes. Jack McClure built the motor and prepared the jet drive. The intake was an MPD custom based on the Bay jet race intake. I did the keel work, set the hardware and was the crew chief. The owner John Spyskma need a driver and I needed a place to work on keels to pay my way through San Diego State where I was earning my degree in Aerospace Engineering. I made a deal with Joe Podwoski that I would work on his boats for free if he let me work on customers boats at his shop in Lakeside. I also threw in that I could get him a ride in the Gambler. The deal worked for both of us and he turned out to be a great driver. Greg Shoemaker drove the Gambler only occasionally because he was busy driving Norm's BGJ Dash For Cash boat, but Joe was the primary driver.

One of the most memorable races for me was our first visit to Firebird raceway where the newly formed IHBA was holding what I think was the first race their under their banner. We tested on the far side of the track Friday and the boat was awesome. I called Shoemaker and told him that this was the best PGJ I had ever seen. Later when checking the hardware, I realized that the keel had delaminated in a very forward portion. Beismeyer Boats was kind enough to let us work on the boat at their shop in Phoenix. We pulled the motor, flipped the boat and I repaired the keel that night. Early Saturday we finished reinstalling the motor and headed to Firebird for the first round of qualifying. I was sure we would set a record, but the water conditions were mirror smooth unlike Friday and the boat went out 200 ft. and blew the tail so badly that Joe nearly got thrown out. After getting chewed out by the crew who believed that I screwed up the keel when I repaired it (I didn’t by the way), I shallowed the shoe and the Gambler did set the first of many records that day. We ended up winning that race and went on to set several records, win many races and several championships over the next couple of years.

Gambler 3 was one of the best boats I ever worked on. It was easy to tune and very consistent and predictable. It was a model for future successful boats that are usually great because each department (motor, rigging, hull, jet drive and keel) had great people doing their best work.

Joe later purchased the Gambler and raced it successfully for many years and set records in the mid 7’s in Unblown Fuel Jet.

Those days were some of my fondest jet boat racing memories and was a wonderful era in Jet Boat racing.

I will look for photos of the team and the Gambler.

Jeff Bennett
 

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Gambler

The Gambler discussed here is actually Gambler 3. The first one was a Liberty tunnel; the second was a Daytona with experimental sponsons and the third was also a Daytona that was patterned after Norm Grimes Pro Gas Jet.

Greg Shoemaker rigged the boat which weighed 370 lb. bare based on my notes. Jack McClure built the motor and prepared the jet drive. The intake was an MPD custom based on the Bay jet race intake. I did the keel work, set the hardware and was the crew chief. The owner John Spyskma need a driver and I needed a place to work on keels to pay my way through San Diego State where I was earning my degree in Aerospace Engineering. I made a deal with Joe Podwoski that I would work on his boats for free if he let me work on customers boats at his shop in Lakeside. I also threw in that I could get him a ride in the Gambler. The deal worked for both of us and he turned out to be a great driver. Greg Shoemaker drove the Gambler only occasionally because he was busy driving Norm's BGJ Dash For Cash boat, but Joe was the primary driver.

One of the most memorable races for me was our first visit to Firebird raceway where the newly formed IHBA was holding what I think was the first race their under their banner. We tested on the far side of the track Friday and the boat was awesome. I called Shoemaker and told him that this was the best PGJ I had ever seen. Later when checking the hardware, I realized that the keel had delaminated in a very forward portion. Beismeyer Boats was kind enough to let us work on the boat at their shop in Phoenix. We pulled the motor, flipped the boat and I repaired the keel that night. Early Saturday we finished reinstalling the motor and headed to Firebird for the first round of qualifying. I was sure we would set a record, but the water conditions were mirror smooth unlike Friday and the boat went out 200 ft. and blew the tail so badly that Joe nearly got thrown out. After getting chewed out by the crew who believed that I screwed up the keel when I repaired it (I didn’t by the way), I shallowed the shoe and the Gambler did set the first of many records that day. We ended up winning that race and went on to set several records, win many races and several championships over the next couple of years.

Gambler 3 was one of the best boats I ever worked on. It was easy to tune and very consistent and predictable. It was a model for future successful boats that are usually great because each department (motor, rigging, hull, jet drive and keel) had great people doing their best work.

Joe later purchased the Gambler and raced it successfully for many years and set records in the mid 7’s in Unblown Fuel Jet.

Those days were some of my fondest jet boat racing memories and was a wonderful era in Jet Boat racing.

I will look for photos of the team and the Gambler.

Jeff Bennett
Wasn't the Liberty v bottom the first Gambler that Jonh drove in Parker at Blue Water?
 

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The Daytona named Gambler

Greg,
John did drive a Libery Vee bottom first, but the gambler series started with the tunnels.
Jeff
 
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