29 April 2000
This Lot has no reserve
Two owners from new
1963 CHRIS-CRAFT CARAVELLE 20ft. SPEEDBOAT
By 1963 Chris-Craft Industries was the world's largest boat builder with a vast catalog that included 21 models in the Chris-Craft division alone. Chris-Craft's various operations used virtually every known type of marine construction from the traditional mahogany hulls built in the firm's home in Algonac, Michigan through lapstrake, molded plywood, fiberglass and aluminum to steel cruisers. Chris-Craft offered everything, from 16' runabouts to its flagships, the 65' motor yachts, including both power and sail. Its manufacturing facilities totaled nearly 2 million square feet. The company, founded by Christopher Columbus Smith, that had started by building hand-whittled decoys, had indeed come quite a long way. However, in 1972, construction of wooden Chris-Crafts was halted as Chris-Craft and the pleasure boat industry as a whole shifted to fiberglass construction. The sleek mahogany speedsters that recalled the glorious exploits of Baby Reliance and the Miss Detroits were no longer economical for Chris-Craft to continue to build.
Not only is the 1963 Caravelle offered here an example of the last mahogany Chris-Crafts, we understand that it is remarkably well preserved in its originality and has less than 200 marine hours on its original 283ci. Chris-Craft Chevrolet built V8 engine. Purchased from its original owner in 1969 by the present owner, we are told that it has been used exclusively on fresh water lakes. It is equipped with a 4-way remote control searchlight, air horns and equipment required by current Coast Guard rules for inland lakes. It also has a water skiing set-up with four sets of skis, a sled and removable side ladder. The vendor reports that the lot includes a custom fitted heavy canvas cover and a new $3,000 boat trailer. This classic wooden Chris-Craft, with its limited ownership and well-maintained, limited-use history, is an ideal candidate for consideration for those collectors fond of original examples in usable condition.
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This lot has no reserve.
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