NMMA Hall of Fame Award

The National Marine Manufacturers Association Hall of Fame was established in 1988 to recognize and honor individuals who have made or continue to make substantial contributions toward the advancement of the marine industry.  It is NMMA’s most prestigious recognition.
 
HALL OF FAME NOMINATION CRITERIA
To be eligible for
 an NMMA Hall of Fame Award nomination one must be:
-       Made a substantial and lasting impact on the industry or their particular segment
-       Known in the industry and is beyond personal or professional reproach
-       Was or continues to be a member and supporter of NMMA
-       Actively involved in the marine industry for a minimum of ten years
 
NOMINATION PROCESS
To be eligible to nominate an individual, one must be an active member in good standing with the NMMA. To submit a candidate, complete the formal Hall of Fame nomination form and send to Rachel Harmon at rharmon@nmma.org. Once received, the nominator will be provided a Dropbox folder where he/she will be able to supply supporting material (photos, articles, letter of recommendation) to enhance the nomination.
Nominations are currently closed for the 2017 program.
 
 
For questions on the Hall of Fame Award process, please contact:
Rachel Harmon
National Marine Manufacturers Association
Hall of Fame Award Nomination
231 South LaSalle Street, Suite 2050
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: 312.946.6247
 
Below you can learn about all Hall of Fame Award recipients.
View past recipients of this prestigious award.

1989: Alan J. Freedman, George M. Good, James R. Wynne, Ralph S. Evinrude and William Edward Muncey

William Edward Muncey, 1928–1981

Baseball has Babe Ruth, hockey Gordy Howe, and football Knute Rockne.

Unlimited hydroplane racing also has its own “ultimate” hero—Bill Muncey. With sixty-two modern day career victories, Bill’s record still remains unsurpassed in unlimited competition history.

The charismatic champion began his illustrious career in 1949 by sinking in front of a hometown crowd on the Detroit River. As the story goes, Bill’s first attempt to drive in an A.P.B.A. Gold Cup event began by blowing up an engine. Undaunted, he marched over to Gar Wood’s riverfront mansion. When Wood, the legendary racer asked for assistance. After installing the engine he secured from Mr. Wood, the bottom of the boat fell out during the next race. Even though his first effort was disastrous, it led to a position behind the wheel of MISS THRIFTWAY, and his first Gold Cup win which occurred in 1956.

A little known fact about Bill was his passion for music. As a child, he received instruction in the classics. While in the army, he even led a jazz band. Growing up during the big band era his heroes consisted of artists such as Less Brown, Stan Kenton, The Four Freshman and George Shering. In fact, Bill was once quoted as saying, “It’s nice to win (boat) races, but all I want to do is play lead alto in Guy Lombardo’s Band!”

Bill's career, like many other boat racers, encompassed just about every form of competition. He started with outboards, moved into limited inboards, and then up to the unlimited class. Soon, the press would refer to Bill as a really “hot chauffeur”. And “hot” he was! During Bill’s career he set several world speed records, won eight Gold Cups, and was driver of the year seven times. When asked how he won so much, he replied, “A lot of people have excuses for losing, I don’t have any.”

Although Bill was the oldest driver on the circuit at the time of his death in 1981, he always maintained enthusiasm for the sport. Each time he won a race, it was as if the triumph was his first. And that is why all who knew Bill miss his competitive spirit.