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  1. #1
    Petty Officer 1st Class jusfloatin's Avatar
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    Default 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    I have come across one of the neatest looking boats with it's factory trailer (Tear drop wheel fenders looks like someone stole they of an old Cord ).
    It's a 1957 Thunderhawk by Larson, it is a little rough but complete except for it's motor. It has wings on the back and what looks more like signal lights on the bow than nav lights.
    My question is that there are cracks in the floor that goes toward the lenght of the boat. They laid the stringers flat instead of up and down which is why there are cracks.
    To repair this type would it be the same princesible as the up and down type stringers or is there more to the flooring than I can see.
    Any idea of what size of motor was on this as there is no placard as to HP size or weigh limit.

  2. #2
    Petty Officer 1st Class stevewolverton's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    Quote Originally Posted by jusfloatin View Post
    Any idea of what size of motor was on this as there is no placard as to HP size or weigh limit.
    WANT! WANT! WANT! I want that boat!

    Try fiberglassics.com for the boat info. I'm guessing a 40 was probably the max for it.

  3. #3
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus tashasdaddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    i think in '57 the 30 or 35 were the powerhouses of the day. should probably hold a 2 cylinder 50 very nicely. it would not have placard or HIN. they were not required until 1972. where are the pictures??
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  4. #4
    Admiral CATransplant's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    A late 50's 35hp Big Twin would be a perfect match for that boat. It's what the boat was designed for. There are tons of them around, and for really reasonable prices. Parts are available, and they're dead easy to work on.

    Just avoid any with electric shift.

    My choice would be a 1957 Javelin. Great looks. Second choice would be a 1958 RDS-20 Super Seahorse. Also great looks.

    Sure...go ahead and laugh at my old aluminum boat. It's paid for!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    CAT is right, a late 50's 35hp Big Twin or early 60's 40 hp twin would be just the ticket. The only difference between E-rude and Johnson motors in the 50's is the cowls and paint colors. Both are easy to work on and maintain, but the Johson's get my vote (a slim preference) cause the cowls are easier to open...they open up, front or rear. E-rudes of that era are hinged across the top, like a clamshell...no prob on land but kind of a pain on the water. The larger, one-piece cowls on later models are easy to pull when you have to.

  6. #6
    Petty Officer 1st Class jusfloatin's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    I was hoping for those answers on hp as I was given a white 1963 Westbend twin cly. 35hp with electric start a while back.
    I will be starting a new thread in the next couple of days as soon as I can get all the pictures put together.

  7. #7

    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    Hi jusfloatin' I also have a '57 thunderhawk. It's the jr model, 14 1/2 ft with a johnson super seahorse 35hp motor. It's definately a project and I'll be start the sanding on it today. I too love the fins, gives it much charactor. If anyone has any info about this boat, please contact me. I'm looking to do a complete restore and I hardly know where to begin. The fiberglass is in pretty good shape, nothing major but it looks real ugly right now. I'm attaching some pics. I know the black is not original.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    Petty Officer 1st Class jusfloatin's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    Well some new news, as I was digging out the junk and debrie I found the placard as it turns out it is a 1959 not a 57.
    It is rated for a max 60hp with a capacity of 1525lbs.
    It also has 2 plates on the transom where the motor clamps tighten onto. They are spead out as if it was intended to run twin motors.
    Could this be?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    Could be. Looks like you need to look for a pair of 33's or 2 Big Twins. The 56 model and earlier Big Twins were either 25 or 30 hp, went to 35hp in 57.

  10. #10
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus tashasdaddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    remember seeing one years ago the lights of the fins, were used as trailer lights.
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  11. #11
    Petty Officer 2nd Class fishie's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    pics?! Thats gonna be a quick lil boat!

    14' MirroCraft Resto
    1983 35HP Evinrude
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  12. #12
    Chief Petty Officer 57whitehouse's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    Quote Originally Posted by lundungurl View Post
    Hi jusfloatin' I also have a '57 thunderhawk. It's the jr model, 14 1/2 ft with a johnson super seahorse 35hp motor. It's definately a project and I'll be start the sanding on it today. I too love the fins, gives it much charactor. If anyone has any info about this boat, please contact me. I'm looking to do a complete restore and I hardly know where to begin. The fiberglass is in pretty good shape, nothing major but it looks real ugly right now. I'm attaching some pics. I know the black is not original.
    What's the progress on this boat? I would love to see new pics.
    A Conservative from Liberal (Kansas)

  13. #13

    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    Hi,

    I am new to this forum and actually new to all forums. I have a Larson Thunderhawk Jr. with a 70 hp. Keikhaufer Mercury engine. Been in my family for 30 years. Always stored inside and in pretty good overall condition. Does anyone know where can I get an idea what the boat and moter is worth? The boat is a blast to drive. I just don't have the time or skill to fix the dock dings in the fiberglass. It has been taking up space in my garage for the past four years.

    Gene Thestoragelift@aol.com

  14. #14
    Petty Officer 1st Class jusfloatin's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder hawk View Post
    Hi,

    I am new to this forum and actually new to all forums. I have a Larson Thunderhawk Jr. with a 70 hp. Keikhaufer Mercury engine. Been in my family for 30 years. Always stored inside and in pretty good overall condition. Does anyone know where can I get an idea what the boat and moter is worth? The boat is a blast to drive. I just don't have the time or skill to fix the dock dings in the fiberglass. It has been taking up space in my garage for the past four years.

    Gene Thestoragelift@aol.com
    Welcome and how about some pictures?

    As for what they are worth realy depends on so many factors with the first question is how long are you prepaired to wait for a collector/fancier to come along.

    They are uniqe with some great lines.


    For those woundering about my project:
    it has been started and I am at the point of splitting the top half off.
    I have been able to pick up 2 complete 57 electric start Big twins
    Here is a picture of one of those.

    I will post some pictures in the next couple of days.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    That looks like a Wilcox Crittenden steering wheel in the last pic. Is there any
    info out there on those. I have searched in vain. I have one on the '57 vintage
    plywood runabout I'm restoring.
    GH

  16. #16
    Petty Officer 1st Class jusfloatin's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    Here's a couple of the boat prior to the tear down.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17

    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    Hey all,

    I've got a '58 Thunderhawk, Jr. I hope to start restoring soon. This thread and Lundungurls thread have been very helpful.

    Attached are some pics of my boat. The exterior is in pretty good shape except for the discoloration on the hull below the water line. The interior is a mess and I've verified the wood filler where the sections mate is rotten and in need of replacement. The transom probably needs a rebuild as well.

    I got a quote from a local guy to replace the transom, wood and new floor with new gelcoat for $3000.00. Does this sound reasonable? I'm considering having the body work done so I can focus on the mechanical systems.

    About the HP size question... I found documentation on line that the '58 Junior was rated for max. 45HP. Here's a link http://www.theclassicboathouse.com/larsonspecs1.html and this is a nice site for Larson FiberGlas Boats history http://www.theclassicboathouse.com/larsonstory.html

    Advice and thoughts are welcome.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
    Cadet jepstr67's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    In our area in MN, I see restored Jr's with 75hp motors quite often. The Sr. should easily be able to handle 75 or even 100. Remember, the ratings on these boats are historical. The V4 was a new concept in the late 50's sporting 50, 75 and later 1n the 1960's 100HP. Why would you rate a boat for a HP that didn't exist? Paul Larson designed the boats to match available power which is probably why the Thunderhawk Sr. with the wide, 2 engine, transom came into being. It sure doesn't do anything for the visual lines of the boat.

    I have one each of the Thunderhawks. My Sr. is cracked bow to stern right down the center of the bottom and it sinks rather quickly. I've been in a 17 year long debate as to how to fix it. My Jr. I picked up a couple years back and I fear the transom is a hollow rotted wood core. I'm (will be) running 1959 Evinrude 35 HP Larks. 2 on the Sr. and one on the Jr. I might try a 75 on the Jr. after I know the transom is sound. I am determined to get the Jr. in the lake yet this year. I'll have to make a sign....."This is not the world's crappiest boat. This is the world's most neglected restoration project". LOL!

    If you need parts or want to know history call John Monahan.
    http://www.thejohnmonahancollection.com/
    He grew up in Little Falls MN, his dad owned Larson Motor Service, and his information is the real scoop. He restores vintage motors and Larson boats. If he understands you are serious about your love of Larson boats you might even get a deal. If you are interested in the one and only Thunderhawk inboard, it is for sale at his place in Little Falls. (if you have plenty of money)
    Larson Lapline the Million bubble ride.

  19. #19
    Cadet jepstr67's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    Quote Originally Posted by jusfloatin View Post
    Here's a couple of the boat prior to the tear down.
    I see you have a "traditional" stern light.

    The T-hawks had clear lexan rods with a brushed plexi top that glowed atop both fins. A fellow named Lee Wangstad was making reproductions several years back.
    Larson Lapline the Million bubble ride.

  20. #20
    Petty Officer 1st Class jusfloatin's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    Quote Originally Posted by jepstr67 View Post
    I see you have a "traditional" stern light.

    The T-hawks had clear lexan rods with a brushed plexi top that glowed atop both fins. A fellow named Lee Wangstad was making reproductions several years back.
    Thanks for the link to John I will be getting in touch with him shortly and would it be possible to get a email address for Lee.

    Those light rods are the only pieces I need for this resto.

    I got a couple of these for my power.
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  21. #21
    Cadet jepstr67's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    He is the editor of the antique and classic boat magazine here in Minnesota. That is the only e-mail I can find for him. They also had his phone number.
    Lee is probably the foremost authority on Thunderhawks anywhere, perhaps even more so than Monahan.

    editor@acbs-bslol.com


    H: 218-963-7782

    I have a junker 57 Evinrude Lark if you need some parts.

    J67
    Larson Lapline the Million bubble ride.

  22. #22
    Petty Officer 1st Class jusfloatin's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    Quote Originally Posted by jepstr67 View Post
    He is the editor of the antique and classic boat magazine here in Minnesota. That is the only e-mail I can find for him. They also had his phone number.
    Lee is probably the foremost authority on Thunderhawks anywhere, perhaps even more so than Monahan.

    editor@acbs-bslol.com


    H: 218-963-7782

    I have a junker 57 Evinrude Lark if you need some parts.

    J67
    Jepster67
    I emailed Lee with a couple of questions and also sent him a couple pictures of the boat.
    I was happy to get an email from him the next day asking me for a shipping address and that was all the email said.

    Today a shipping truck shows up at the door with a round tube address to me.

    Lee shipped 2 Lucite flag poles for my boat with a short letter saying
    "I had these kicking around - you can have them"

    He even paid the shipping.

    Look I don't want anyone to email this man with hopes of something for nothing but I could not let a gesture like that go and not say something about this gentleman.
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  23. #23
    Cadet jepstr67's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    How's the restoration going?
    Larson Lapline the Million bubble ride.

  24. #24
    Lieutenant Commander greenbush future's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    I am powering an older Lone Star glass boat with a pair of 57 Johnson 35"s, the boat did come with twins, just not this set. I will be anxious to see how fast this set up be?

    The lines on your boat really are nice, take pictures and share as you go.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: 1957 Larson Thunderhawk

    Quote Originally Posted by jusfloatin View Post
    Well some new news, as I was digging out the junk and debrie I found the placard as it turns out it is a 1959 not a 57.
    It is rated for a max 60hp with a capacity of 1525lbs.
    It also has 2 plates on the transom where the motor clamps tighten onto. They are spead out as if it was intended to run twin motors.
    Could this be?
    Surfing the net and cane across this pic of a 59' Thunderawk with twins:

    Ben
    Attachment 108585

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