Vintage V-12 racing boat is nearly 100-years-old and still runs like new

The boat in the video below is still running the original V-12 engine, which is in immaculate condition.

The boat is called Miss Detroit III. While the boat is a replica of the original, the engine, which is a Curtis-Smith 400HP V12, is the real deal.

The Engine Curtis-Smith is a 400HP V12 that was built all the way back in 1918. It was based on a prototype from Curtis Aeroplane and Motor Company V-4 airplane engine that was designed in 1916.

The 1918 Curtis-Smith Miss Detroit III
Pictured: The 1918 Miss Detroit III with the original engine.

The Curtis-Smith engine sat for nearly 100 years, from 1919 until 2013 when it was used in a boat race. Ken Muscatel and Ike Kielgass, re-launched “Miss Detroit III” with her remarkable Curtiss Model V-4 V-12 race engine, for a water test on Lake Tapps, WA. Legendary boat racer Gar Wood won the 1918 Gold Cup race with “Miss Detroit III” powered by a rare 1916 Curtiss V-12 aircraft engine. Although the original Christopher Columbus Smith / Gar Wood designed race boat is long gone, Ken Muscatel was able to purchase the beautifully built “Miss America III Replica” race boat at the Warner-Mecum Auction back in 2010. Over 20 years ago, Ken Muscatel (assisted by historian Craig Magnusson from Seattle) purchased one of the two remaining 1916 Curtiss Model V-4 engines known to exist from an antique car museum. The only other example known to exist is on display at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC.