Class of 1947


Bill Muncey

Champion Hydroplane Driver

Member of Motorsports Hall of Fame

Inducted into Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame in 1996.

William Edward Muncey graduated from Royal Oak High School in 1947. He was known as "Bill" while in school and throughout his career. As a hydroplane driver he was known as "Mr. Unlimited" or the "Hot Chauffeur".

Bill Muncey began a career in hydroplane racing by sinking his boat in the Detroit River in 1949. His first attempt to drive in a Gold Cup race resulted in blown engine on one run and a boat that had its bottom fall out on another run.

He drove Miss Thriftway to his first Gold Cup victory in 1956. He continued to rack up victories throughout the 1960's and 1970's. Many of those victories were in boats sponsored by Atlas Van Lines.

Mr. Muncey became an American hydroplane racing legend and is regarded as the greatest hydroplane racer in history. He won 62 races, the most in the history of the sport. The victories include eight Gold Cups beginning in 1956; seven U. S. National Championships beginning in 1960 and four World Championships.

In 1981, while leading the field in the final heat of the World Championship at Acapulco, Bill Muncey died in a blowover crash while traveling at 175 miles per hour.

William E. Muncey was awarded the National Marine Manufactures Association Hall of Fame Award in 1988. He was inducted into the of Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1989, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame in 1996.