Garfield Arthur (Gar) Wood
Held water speed record multiple times
Won 5 straight Gold Cup races between 1917 - 1921
At one time held more active patents than any other American
Garfield Arthur “Gar” Wood
Professional Boat Racer
Gar Wood was born in Mapleton, Iowa and was interested in boats from a very young age. Wood was a very astute businessman and had a good aptitude for inventing products. He started his own business in Detroit to manufacture truck, bus and coach bodies naming it Garwood industries. In 1916, Wood purchased a motorboat for racing and set a new water speed record of 74 miles per hour. Over the next dozen years, he broke the world record five more times upping the record to 120 mph. Wood won five straight powerboat Gold Cup races between 1917 and 1921 as well as the prestigious Harmsworth Trophy nine times between 1920 and 1933. He was also known as an inventor who at one point held more U.S. patents than any other living American. Gar Wood was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1971 and was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1956. He passed away on June 19, 1971 at 90 years of age.