We extend to you a cordial "WELCOME ABOARD !" Come on in, make yourself at home, we are a friendly group of enthusiasts, and we also appreciate the classic Chris Craft Roamer, Corsair, and Lancer boats too , as they are all on the same family tree and share much in common !
Looking further into this story, I find the following info pulled off the net.
Seems like the story about Henry Ford may well be a true one after all?
Ha, how much fun is that, letting the president think he had the faster boat, ha ha.
Above is from LBJ Library archive April 13, 1968
The Secret Service had a fleet of Donzi Sweet 16s to try to keep up with LBJ. While they were great boats, they just couldn't quite keep up with the V-204 if LBJ decided to pull away at full power. Above is a good shot showing one of the Secret Service Donzis with radio gear and certainly some weaponry within easy grasp. Here is Jerry's recollection of "LBJ's Navy" as he called it:
Jerry asked me: "You know about LBJ's navy, don't you?" I said no. "Oh yes, Johnson had Glastrons before becoming president, but once in office we fixed him up a nice 204 (1965 Gulfstream V-204). It had the big 409 in it. I did all the work on it. They wanted me to do all of it, so I did. Whenever he went out, here went all these Secret Service guys trying to keep up with him. And he liked to get away from them! The Secret Service guys kept asking me to slow the boat down, but the president wanted me to keep it fast. Shoot, I did what the president said. Yeah, that was LBJ's navy." Watch this 2 minute video of LBJ and these Donzis trying and failing to keep up with him. Note the camera man had nothing to film but the other Donzis once LBJ was a spot in the distance.
In the LBJ library film from this same date, LBJ was putting the hammer down as seen in the still picture shot from the same Donzi
LBJ Ranch, Spring 1965
Above: President Lyndon Johnson entertaining guests in in his new 1965 V-204 Gulfstream. This custom built Glastron had several special features. It also had the Mercruiser 310 horsepower with the rare 409 motor.
Details are still being worked out on what happened after LBJ's early '60s boats were lost in the flood, but it can be seen in films from the LBJ library that Lyndon was later driving a 1964 Glastron V-194. I have taken statements from a longtime Glastron Production manager, Jerry Wilhoit, regarding the 1964 Glastron as well as the 1965 V-204 Gulfstream. Jerry states that he clearly remembers a lot about these two boats, mostly because Secret Service agents were always involved. Mr. Wilhoit recounts that the 1964 boat had the Mercruiser II 225 horsepower inboard/outboard and that he was assigned to do the tune ups on it at a shop where he also worked as a mechanic. What was incredible was that when LBJs people brought the boat in there were 2 secret service agents assigned to sit in the boat the entire time it was being worked on and Jerry was the only one allowed to work on it.
In just a year a new and exciting motor option was being offered by Mercruiser, the 310 horsepower Mercruiser II 310 with the legendary 409 Chevrolet big block motor. LBJ loved outrunning the smaller Secret Service boats trying to keep up with him, so he just had to have a Glastron with one of these new powerful motors and it was available in the 1965 Glastron V-204 Gulfstream. Glastron founders Bob Hammond and Bill Gaston were contacted and, as before, a purchase was arranged through Earl Deathe Jr., who managed many of LBJs legal affairs and purchases. Registrations on many of LBJs cars and boats were put in Mr. Deathes name for obvious security precautions. Bob, Bill and Jerry were also excited about the new high powered motor option from Mercruiser and LBJs V-204 would be the first in line to receive it. Bob Hammond, recounts that a V-204 was pulled off the line and special modifications were begun on it, including a special hull bottom and floor with extra layers of fiberglass. Bob states that the interior of the boat was not standard either. Different side panels were installed and a fixed 5 foot removable lounge is also with the boat. Bob delivered the boat to LBJ around June 13, 1965 complete with a commemorative plaque by the stern throttle that reads: Custom Built for President Lyndon Johnson by Glastron Boat Company.
A great time was had by all at the recent 50th anniversary Glastron Dealers Convention. Above, Glastron founder Bob Hammond stands beside president LBJ's 1965 V-204 Gulfstream. Bob delivered the boat to LBJ in the summer of 1965 and spent the day on the boat with LBJ, Chief Supreme Court justice William O. Douglas, Supreme Court justice Abe Fortas, presidential advisor and 35+ year president of the Motion Picture Association of America Jack Valenti, Secretary of the Interior Stuart Udall, 2 Secret Service agents and others. A blowup poster of LBJ in his boat is displayed at the rear of the boat.