9/15/06 Rick Sandstrom, Chairman, APBA Honor Squadron Committee --
Reference: Floyd Hopkins nomination for induction into the APBA Honor Squadron.
It is an honor to place the name of Floyd Hopkins of Covington, Louisiana, into nomination for the APBA Honor Squadron.
Floyd’s skill and art and craftsmanship have been identified with top APBA boat racing accomplishments for nearly 50 years. Over the decades, Floyd Hopkins created propellers that won literally hundreds of championships and set hundreds of speed records in the Stock, Modified, PRO, OPC, Drag, and Inboard Categories.
Floyd Hopkins built his last propeller on December 14, 2004. The next day he was hospitalized and never returned to his shop. Floyd passed away on March 1, 2005. He was a Marine Corp veteran who served in the Pacific as a tank commander during World War II. He was serving on Iwo Jima when the stars and stripes were raised in the famous photo.
Floyd Hopkins served as APBA Region Chairman of Region 9 for many years during the 1960’s. During his time as Region 9 Chairman, Region 9 would typically host over 40 APBA races a year. Floyd also served as Commodore of the Pelican Boat Racing Club, the local APBA outboard race-conducting club for several years. His wife of 59 years, Sue (also deceased), served for years as an APBA Chief Scorer at local APBA races.
The list of drivers who have relied on propellers created by Floyd Hopkins goes on and on. Dan Kirts, Jack Campbell, Ed Thirlby, Pete Nydahl, Steve Greaves, Billy Mays, Don Nichols, Bruce Nicholson, Art and Gary Pugh, Sam Haraway, Jim Ransen, Roy Wilson, Freddie Hebert, Mack Adams, Larry Connors and Kevin McAfee are just a few of the drivers who owe their success on the course to the propeller artistry of Floyd Hopkins.
And the success of Floyd Hopkins’ propellers is not just across the USA in APBA, but in other sanctioning bodies and around the world too. Floyd’s propellers have won championships in NOA and AOF as well as in numerous other countries across the European continent, Australia, and South Africa.
In addition to winning races, championships, and setting records, Floyd Hopkins’ propellers have been responsible for many drivers winning prestigious APBA awards and inductions. These awards include the APBA Hall of Champions, the Colonel Green Round Hill Trophy, the George Townsend medal, and many more regional, divisional, and national awards.
While the bread and butter of Hopkins Propeller Service is pleasure and bass boat propellers, Floyd’s heart was always closely tied to racing propellers. Floyd raced for 19 years in the “A” and “B” PRO classes during the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. If a racing propeller needed a quick repair, Floyd was renowned for getting the propeller repaired and back to the racer before the next race.
In addition, Floyd made racing propellers a family affair. Floyd’s wife Sue did the paperwork and the shipping and even poured wax props as part of the casting process. And Floyd’s son Glen has built upon his father’s skills in the art of creating racing propellers.
The Hopkins-family propeller business was completely wiped out by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In the months since Katrina, Floyd’s son Glen has taken on the enormous task of rebuilding the Hopkins Propeller Service facility and rebuilding the business.
There’s really no way to completely quantify the contributions of Floyd Hopkins to the world of APBA racing. But rarely has any single person had such an enormous impact for so many drivers, across such a wide spectrum of APBA racing classes and categories, as Floyd Hopkins.
We urge the committee to consider the major significant contributions to APBA racing, as a driver, as a club commodore, as a Region Chairman and as an innovative propeller designer, made by Floyd Hopkins.
We urge the committee to induct Floyd Hopkins into the APBA Honor Squadron. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Steve Greaves and Glen Hopkins