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Start of John's Career


John Stevens accomplished feats in his outboard career before the age of 21 that many did not accomplish in a lifetime of boat racing. John's father, J. Allyn Stevens, taught his son to sail boats at a very young age in their hometown of Orlando, FL. John's grandfather, Ray Stevens, founded the Orlando Yacht Club in the 1930's. John began his outboard racing career at the age of 12, with his father acting as pit crew. The photo is of John in 1979 with his first Quincy Z 125 cc engine with non sliding pipe (water injection) and Pugh Hull boat. John claimed it was the fastest outfit around at the time.

1980 or 1981 - Lacrosse, WI


John racing at Lacrosse, Wisconsin, in 1980 or 1981 with his Quincy Z 125cc engine on a Yale boat. Left to right are Joe Gerrick, who also successfully raced Quincy engines, his son Joe Jr and John Stevens.

1981 - O. F. Christner


O. F. Christner working on John Steven's 125cc Quincy Z engine, which would go on to set a kilo world record in 1982 that would not be broken for 24.5 years.

1982 - 125cc Kilo Record with Quincy Z Engine


At the age of 17, on April 4, 1982, at Moorehave, FL, John Stevens set a world kilo record in 125cc Hydro with a Quincy Z engine at 76.184 mph. That record held for 24.5 years, as it was not broken until October 14, 2006. The photo was taken at Moorehaven. According to John, the boat was a Bunky Hull and he was running a Miner propeller on his Quincy Z engine.

1983 - APBA Hall of Champions Inductee


In 1983 at 18, Stevens was the youngest hydroplane racing driver to be inducted into the APBA Hall of Champions, the highest accolade a driver can earn in powerboat racing. At 19, he duplicated the feat, chalking up more national and world championships along the way and establishing world records in the process. At 20, he was on the same course. He established another world record and was also leading in high points in two different racing classes. All he had left to accomplish to be inducted once again into the Hall of Champions was to win a race at the 1985 Nationals. In this photo from 1983 are, left to right, John sitting in the boat, Joe Gerrick Jr and John's father, J. Allyn Stevens.

Later Quincy Z 125cc Engine


Stevens traveled to Depue,IL, in September of 1985 to compete for another title and possible induction into the Hall of Champions but it was not to be. He received a telephone call that his grandfather, Ray Stevens, had died. Without hesitation, Stevens packed his bags and returned to Orlando without finishing the races. In 1985, Stevens set another new world record (his 3rd) by averaging 98.7 miles per hour in two one-kilometer runs. He also set three national records in two 5-mile races and one 3-mile race. Although he was not inducted into the APBA Hall of Champions for a 3rd consecutive year in 1985, Stevens did retain his world championship and high points trophies. He went on to win many more races and set more records in his outboard racing career.