Atlas Blue is Back
There’s no replacing the legendary Bill Muncey and the famed “Blue Blaster” Atlas Van Lines Unlimited Hydroplane. They became the winningest Unlimited Hydroplane and race driver combination in history. However, Evergreen Moving Systems, an Atlas Van Lines agent in Washington State, is returning the iconic paint scheme as a tribute to Atlas Van Lines, back into hydroplane racing, with, appropriately, Bill’s son Wil Muncey behind the wheel.
The UL-00 Evergreen Moving Systems will ironically be numbered the same as the original U-00 some three plus decades ago. Representing Evergreen Moving Systems and secondary sponsors in the 2011 season, Muncey Racing will participate at Seattle’s Seafair Regatta and other select races around the Pacific Northwest. This campaign could also include other locations across North America.
One of the hulls of the two boat Muncey Racing team has been known for years as “The Little Boat that Could”. With Wil Muncey behind the wheel in 2010, the tandem bested bigger and more powerful hulls, taking second place at Phoenix, and Tri Cities, before concluding the season fourth in national standings. In 2011 the “Big-00” will share the racing responsibilities with a 509 cu. in., 900 hp engine. At nearly 26 feet in length, this hull is built for the big, rugged courses such as Seattle’s Lake Washington.
The Evergreen Moving Systems UL-00 will debut on Thursday, April 21st at Stan Sayers Pits on Lake Washington at the annual ” Spring Training ” test session. The event will be co-hosted by the Hydroplane & Race Boat Museum and supported by Seafair Inc.
Wil Muncey commented that while Muncey Racing remains committed to automotive powered hydroplane racing and have even been developing a supercharged program over the last two years, they are also investigating the possibilities of re-entering Unlimited racing with turbine power at Seafair in Seattle and elsewhere. The boat will be a regional tribute to a great driver and a Van Lines company that supported him during the “Golden Years” of piston driven boats and the Van Lines industry.
“ Marine motorsports have been an integral part of the heritage of the Pacific Northwest for well over half a century. “ said Muncey, “ The Brown family has been in the Van Line business for three generations and avid boat racing fans the whole time. Through their company, Evergreen Moving Systems they are contributing to a sport that they feel very strongly about and Muncey Racing feels privileged to be a part of that.”
Bill Brown, President of Evergreen Moving Systems, Inc. went on to say, ” My brother Steve and I are very excited to be involved in such a high profile sport. This is our NASCAR here in the Northwest. Not only does it make business sense, but demonstrates our commitment to the Pacific Northwest community. We are honored to be a part of the APBA, and by the support of the Muncey Family who has contributed so much to this great sport. This tribute is not only for our parent Van Line, but the Muncey family as well.
Steve Brown, Vice President, commented, ” We understand that this is a huge commitment in this economy. We feel, though, that this is the right time, with the right team. We do appreciate corporates positive remarks which has made this tribute all the more important.”
The last time that an ATLAS VAN LINES hydroplane started in a heat of competition was at Clear Lake in Houston, Texas, in 1984 with Chip Hanauer driving. The boat DNF in Heat 1-B and then withdrew from the race. The first time that an ATLAS VAN LINES-sponsored hydroplane entered competition was at Tampa, Florida, in 1967 with Bob Schroeder driving.