Pictures alone do not do justice to Ron's importance in the history and development of HydroStream, so first a little background.  Ron worked for HydroStream for about a decade starting in the mid 1970's.  He was paid to test HydroStream boats and therefore was intimately involved with the new models, experimental hulls, and racing team.  Ron was an integral part of the design and development of the classic Viper II, Vector II, Viking, Vulture, Vandal, and others.  He set numerous racing records and, following his tenure with HydroStream, went on to do marine developmental work with other companies as well as founding Baker Marine Support which was - and is today - a boat dealer, rigger, and engine builder.  Ron currently works and lives in Florida, and still owns and runs a HydroStream V-King.

 

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Evinrude Poster.

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News Clipping...6/21/79

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Newspaper Clipping

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Havasu News Clipping

 
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Ron Baker and Chris Bush (STV) wait for driver's meeting and listen to one of the experts - in Oklahoma City (apx. 1983).

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Ron experiences a very rough ride at Havasu - a two day event (3 hrs each day) in late November, 1978. Al Stoker won the V-Production division with a Witchcraft using an Evinrude 235.

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Havasu Award.

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Ron in the experimental Venom.

 
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Joy Gohr in her Little Hustler Stream "Gory".

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Joy Gohr leads the Mini Grand Prix race at Clinton, Iowa in 1986.

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Doing battle.

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A Hustler takes off for victory lap. A moment later he blew it over backwards going into the wind.

 
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Ted Bravo's HST with mods to foredeck at St. Louis. Jimmy D is driving. The last of the lightweight HST's built, and one of the fastest.

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Jimmy spun out in turn 3. When he hit the gas and planed off, his spotter didn't warn him of the STV just ahead.

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Dave Ratcliffe's HST at Lake Havasu City, 1986.

Wood Vixen at Kankakee, Illinois.

 
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Sam Baker (Ron Jr.) in a wood Hauptner (made into the Vixen). FE class.

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1st place in VP - 1983. Ron and son Jeff were drivers at Lake Havasu, AZ Nov. 25 & 26 - 2 hours each day. 80 boats in 3 classes, 10 in VP. Did not have to run against Mod-VP tunnels.

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The 1st place Vegas V.

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It's Pipkorn in a Hustler by HydroStream.

 
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Two Mini Grand Prix Hustlers by HydroStream. Pipkorn drove #17. This class was popular around 1985; the engines on the boats here are '85 Evinrude 25's. The Lil' Hustler pretty much died out in the mid '70's, but the Mini Grand Prix class influenced Pipkorn to try to revitalize them.

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Pipkorn chases a Baja - a familiar position for the Hustler running behind the formidable Baja Scat Cats.

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Paramedic Rescue Retriever. Puma (SJ - Mod U) bottom. Built by Ron in 1976 - 77.

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The HydroStream rescue boat built from the Puma tunnel. Front section in front of console and between sponsons (tunnel deck was lowered to pick up injured drivers). 1978.

 
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The first XT. Ron races it in St. Louis in 1985. It never ran good enough to win.

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VP record holder production V-King. 79.284 MPH. All stock, no nosecone, side steer.

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SV - record Vector II, 1980. Stock Vector hull with Strangler - set kilo record with stock bottom - not even sandpaper taken to running area.

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Loose!

 
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Ron's 16' Del Craft.

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On record pace at St. Mary's, Ohio, 1972. 65HP Evinrude. Comp Viper 15' Stream.

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Viper that sank in the Ohio River at Evansville, Indiana in 1975. Used as a JP boat. Got loose and did a wing-over. Landed right side up but hard on right wing and sank. Found the boat one week later.

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Viper wreck.

 
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Viper wreck underneath.

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Viper wreck inside.

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20' Vulture stern drive project at Chrysler. 83 MPH.

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Viper 2 hour record.

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Viper straightaway record.

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Vector II straightaway record.

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Ron during the Kilo record run. Because no power trim was allowed, Ron had to shift his body weight accordingly as in this picture where he is headed into the wind and has pulled himself up tight against the steering wheel. Going with the wind he would stretch himself as far back as possible. He blew this boat over in a very violent accident at the race right after this kilo run; ruptured his spleen and got banged up pretty bad. The engine hit him and he actually broke the cowling into three pieces!

 
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Ron driving one of the first Valeros at the Parker 7 hour enduro. He and son Jeff Baker co-drove this boat to win the V-Production class at the Lake Havasu Classic (the last year they had V-Production as Mod VP was becoming the big class). The deck on this boat weighed only 65 pounds!

 


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