The Story of Ben Kramer's Apache 47

Véhicule Magazine talked to powerboat legend and race car driver Lorne L. about his Apache 47 – built and pre-owned by Ben Kramer – that is being restored into its original form in Miami right now.

"I saw the boat completed near the end of 1986 at Fort Apache. It was a monster – 3 engines dwarfed the 47. Ben went to one race in 1987, got busted. I thought it was at the Jockey Club in Miami.

Word got out that boat and rig were abandoned on the highway en route to the shop. I went on a mission to find that boat. No internet, everything was word-of-mouth – all fabricated stories of sightings from New Orleans East to Florida. All BS from it being in secure storage to left out behind a building full of water. All I knew was the feds had it. I never gave up on trying to locate it.

Out of nowhere I get three phone calls days apart in the spring of 1995 telling me the boat is going to auction with other boats and cars in a month at the Cape Kennedy facilities as shown in the monthly Boat Trader publication for Florida. I get a copy and its part of a double page spread. The pictures look pretty good and it's complete with the trailer, the spare engine and spare drive. So it appears it's been unmolested. I later find out the reason it took so long to go to auction was that seized assets cannot be disposed of until all appeals are exhausted for the convict.

I register and attend the auction. The boat looks great, everything looks great, surprisingly. In the office they have a video of the engines being fired up at a dock. I'm excited – most of the brokers that were in attendance knew I was serious about the boat and were already congratulating me before the auction started. The boat was obsolete as a race boat by now…

I hate writing letters, call me when convenient. You can record the answers to all your remaining questions."

 

Read more about Ben Kramer in Véhicule 2020.

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