This is the first of the scans from the Rob DaPron collection. Thanks to Rob for sharing this info with the forum !
A chriscraftcommmander.com EXCLUSIVE !
You're not going to read this anywhere else, becuase it's not on the net anywhere else !
This is an important part of Chris Craft Commander family tree, and an equally important part of Chris Craft fiberglass history. This is an important saga in the Corsair role in developing the Commander 19' SS or XK-19, or the 23' Commander, at the Cortland, New York (Thompson) Plant. There are several smaller (outboard and i/o) models that were built during this time frame, but for now we're concentrating on the larger boats that were in the Chris Craft Commander immediate family tree.
In 1962 CC acquired the Thompson Boat Co. of New York and they immediately started construction on a factory on the adjoining lot, with intentions of getting into the fiberglass sport boat business. Two years after the aquisition, as we know, the 1964 fiberglass 38 Chris Craft Commander Express was first introduced. Prior to this, however, CC was busy at work on smaller boats (too), and this series of scans shows the boats that came out of the Thompson/Chris Craft/Corsair division at Cortland.
The boats eventually evolved into the Lancer line, which is a direct and immediate relative of the 19' Commander SS (which used a cut down Lancer hull) and the 23' Commander (which used the 23' Lancer hull).
Chris Craft not only got a complete division they could dedicate to fiberglass boats, they also got all of Thompson's extensive knowledge of the inboard/outboard business which they marketed under the name of "Transdrive".