Outboard Motor History on Display

One of the great aspects of the Ford 65th Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show is that folks can see the latest, most innovative and up-to-date gear for outdoor lovers. Our Show is again proud to add a special educational element to the event. Jay Walls and Rick Eichrodt will display their Antique Outboard Motors and Boats, a treat for anyone wishing to see how far the outboard motor industry has come.

For Jay Walls, a native of Brownsburg, Indiana, collecting antique outboard motors started more than 50 years ago in 1966 when he was just five years old. Jay’s father owned a local lawn mower shop and bought a Jon boat – looking for a motor to power it. Someone brought two old motors into the shop which his dad ended up buying. His father gave him a scrub brush and a pan, and instructed him to clean the parts – starting what is now three generations of antique outboard motor enthusiasts. Jay’s son has taken up the hobby too!

As a lifelong outdoor and water sports enthusiast, Indianapolis native Rick Eichrodt spent his years growing up on the northern lakes in Indiana. He went into the marine business in the 1970’s. For him, growing up around water and boating naturally led to an interest in the history of antique outboard motors. “It is fascinating to discover how many actual outboard manufacturing companies have come and gone since Cameron Waterman introduced the first gas powered outboard in 1906,” said Rick.  Like Jay, Rick’s father started him working on motors, and Rick introduced his son to the hobby also.

Jay and Rick’s display has more than 70 motors – several over 100 years old, and a few factory racing models from the great HP race in the 1930’s. They are both local members of the Antique Outboard Motor Club. It is an International organization providing a means of communication for those interested in research and an exchange of knowledge about the history and preservation of antique outboard boat motors. During show hours, knowledgeable club members who can answer questions about motors or the hobby will staff the antique outboard display booth. Come see this blast from the past at the Ford 65th Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show.