Classic Boat Find: 1958 Lone Star Meteor

No, it’s not a car, but it sure has some car features, doesn’t it? This seriously cool looking 1958 Lone Star Meteor speedboat is being auctioned here on eBay is already up above $15,000, but based on the rarity and style might just be worth it!

Lone Star Boats was founded in 1945 by a pair of brothers. The company went through several ownership variations before branching out into fiberglass boats in 1952. Bob Hammond, the founder of Glastron, was hired to run the fiberglass boat division. In 1956, the division brought out this very unusual boat that has a lot of car in it’s styling.

This is an ad for the Meteor dating from 1957, but it doesn’t look like Lone Star changed much in a year. As a side note, original list price for the 15′ boat in 1957 was $1,295. These folks look pretty happy–maybe you would be too!

While I like the period trailer, I’d rather it be color-coordinated with the boat, like this example is. By the way, the seller tells us that the brackets for the windshield were misplaced when the boat was painted, so you’ll get the windshield but will have to fabricate (or source) new brackets to hold it in place.

The interior looks a lot like a period automotive interior as well, although I really don’t think the modern steering wheel fits with the rest of the boat styling. Here’s a picture of a two-tone yellow Meteor that has what I think is the original steering wheel. As a side note, the automotive them continued throughout the life of Lone Star Boats as they were purchased by Chrysler in 1965 to be one of the components of Chrysler Marine.

One really, really cool thing about this boat is that it appears to still have the original engine. Just look at the styling of this outboard! We’re told by the seller that the engine has been completely rebuilt and runs fine, and still wears its original paint (although it’s cracked in places). I’d love to tow this with, say a two-tone red and white 1958 Corvette? What tow vehicle would you use if you had this great boat?

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Comments

  1. austin acree

    Would get it if I had the money for it ;/

  2. Howard A Member

    Proof positive, Scotty’s wackiness has rubbed off on Jamie ( although, I kind of figured that would happen :) This is, without question, the coolest boat I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot. My parents had a lake cottage my whole life, and as a kid, boating was HUGE. On any given weekend in the 60’s, it was actually dangerous to go out on the lake, it was so busy. And all had boats like this, although, I don’t ever recall seeing one quite like this. 50’s car styling bled over into many boats, there were a ton of mfr’s. We had a conventional looking 14ft Silverline, with a motor very similar to this. This may or may not be the original motor, as the in line 4 cylinder Mark 58 ( the “mark” was not the hp, this had 40 hp) came out in 1959. Ours was the “58A” ( oh boy) with 45 hp. also came out in ’59.( originally, the boat came with a Mark 75 ( 60 hp) in line 6 ( with no neutral) That was a beast. I remember, it had a voracious appetite for gas. ( not unusual to go through 2 tanks, or 10 gallons, pulling a skier in an afternoon) Parents are gone, but we still have the cottage, and now, on any given weekend,,,,silence. Maybe a pontoon boat goes by, or a PWC, but rarely any boats like this. As I travel past the many lakes in the midwest, I can’t help but think, how many of these are still in those dilapidated boathouses. Certainly, not like this. Great find, but the price, wow!

    • Brad

      Time to branch out to the sister site? “Boat Finds!!”

      “As I travel past the many lakes in the midwest, I can’t help but think, how many of these are still in those dilapidated boathouses.”

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Thank you for the compliment, Howard! I will find you that TR6 yet… :-)

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Hi Howard. Like so many other things, the old image is certainly changing. I remember a resort in the Flathead valley just east of Kalispell, MT, called Lake Blaine. During the summer it was lousy with boats and skiers. You learned to be a trick skier just to negotiate the waves made by the other boats. It was a fun resort until a developer went in about 30 years ago and literally bought the place out from underneath everyone else. Now it’s one huge private lake with a selected few who were lucky enough to have the cash to buy a lot to put up a ‘modest’ cottage of 6K+ square feet.

    • Woodie Man

      That right hand steering wheel would take some getting used to.Driving on the right side of waterway on the wrong side of the boat. Very confusing.

      • SSPBill

        I know the answer to this one. Right, or starboard, gives you better visibility in right-of-way situations. Any boat to your right has the right-of-way. On small boats the prop torque is counteracted by weight to starboard assuming the Captain can’t find a fishing buddy. Doesn’t make it less confusing but answers the question. Oddly enough many European builders are starting to put helms on the left. Go figure.

  3. hans grafftenberg

    I own a dozen Mercury Mark motors from the 50’s. With minimum maintenance they last forever and run great. In my opinion it is the only motor that looks appropriate on an antique boat.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi hans, I agree, Kiekhaefer had the nicest styling for the 60’s, but I believe, OMC was the king of outboards in the 50’s. Kind of looks like a “Johhny” in the ad.

      • RH FACTOR

        Those straight six Merc outboards of the early sixties had a unique and terrific sound!!!!! I believe you had to start the two stroke engine backwards to achieve reverse. But, OH the sound!!!

      • Howard A Member

        Hi RH, I never knew the engine ran backwards in reverse. There was no neutral, and you’d kill the motor, put it in reverse, and restart the motor. Hopefully. They weren’t called “dock busters” for nothing. Like I say, it was a beast, had 3 carbs ( that always leaked fuel) and took 3 stout men to lift it. It was actually too big for the 14 ft Silverline runabout. Here’s a great article about them. https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/hmn/2006/11/The-Other-Mercury/1369589.html

      • SSPBill

        100% agree on the sound of the old Merc tower of power. I briefly had a non-running 1500 XS (6 carb model). It came off a boat I bought and unfortunately was lost in a fire where I stored it. I had planned to rebuild and sell. Wish I followed through. I’m sure I would have kept it.

    • dean H

      I also own about 20 of the old Mercs,use to race ’em in my youth. The Mark 58 a hard motor to find ,kick that little Meteor’s ass!! I now run a ’56 Lyman 13′ with a ’54 mark 50. It’s fun. Love the combo,paint the trailer.

  4. Craig

    The steering head may have been upgraded to a modern system. Lots of boats of this vintage used a cable and pulley system that was prone to failure, which isn’t fun when it happens at speed out in the lake.

  5. Jay E.

    Mercury styling looked great even through the 70’s with the black inline 4 100Hp with chrome trim. I guess it depends where you live, the lakes where we are are so crowded they need to have limits on how many boats can be put into the water now. You can show up and be turned away at the ramp. I cant imagine this boat will take much rough water when the wind comes up.

  6. Steven Tamer

    Awesome boat,I’ve passed on one at 1500.00 but it was a basket case..Parts would be hard to find…

  7. Texas Tea

    I think it would look okay behind my 1960 Impala. At least the colors would match up, but it would be a couple years older than the Chevy.

    These missing windshield mounting brackets could probably be duplicated from some old rocker arms with a little grinding and chrome plating.

    • JW454

      TT,

      Good looking Impala… 1960, one of my favorites.

    • 68 custom

      beautiful Impala +1 what under the hood?

    • Woodie Man

      Your Impala is STUNNING!

      • Texas Tea

        Thanks for the comments guys! It was built in the Van Nuys California plant and spent most of it’s life in California. It’s a numbers matching 283 c.i., with a power guide transmisson. Factory power steering and brakes, with a factory 355 posi rear end. The down side is, it’s a two BBL factory carb with little horsepower. I don’t have the heart to change it up. Been there and done that back in the day, and I will leave this one alone as is. This one is to original to change up. I’ve owned it for eight years and bought it from an older gentleman (deceased) that had it for many years.

  8. fcs

    Trailer hitch on a classic corvette? Where did I leave the tar and feathers?

    The only thing to tow this is a nice ’50s pickup. Any make or model.

  9. dirtyharry

    I agree. The vintage vette works.

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Great photo dirtyharry! What a sweet looking boat! I love the look of the cleats on the bow/fender. Surprised not to find any towards the stern. Maybe tie off to the motor? Great Friday find!

  10. OA5599

    Great looking boat.

  11. Howard A Member

    And while we’re at it, the trailer appears to be a late 50’s “Tee-Nee” Trailer, made in Youngstown, Ohio. Apparently, it was “the first choice of famous boating enthusiasts”. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_G50NIxnjRO8/SoQKu8fsuuI/AAAAAAAAEOM/P8IAkBA_-oE/s400/Tee+Nee1.jpg

    • John B

      You’re right about that trailer. The Tee-Nee is still the most popular of the vintage units. Imagine people being passionate about the mundane chore of towing a boat! I am. One transverse spring usually, but I believe others had a coil spring on each side…the softest riding trailer ever which can be quite important with a 150+ pound outboard clamped to the transom. AOMCI.org

  12. AMCSTEVE

    Nice schiff. Almost a flat bottom boat that’s great for shallow water.

  13. Joe Haska

    Coolest boat ever! I want it!

  14. Van

    I love this boat but, on Lake Lanier a boat this small would nose dive into a bigger boats wake. It does look fantastic.

    • Jeffro

      Van, you’re a Georgia boy?

      • Van

        Yeah. I’ve been hear so long my great great grand pappy was in the Georgia militia 1864. Luckily we lost that one.

  15. JeffG

    Awesome boat! I’d tow it with the batmobile.

  16. Jeffro

    I see Lone Star, but all I can think about is the movie “Spaceballs”.

  17. Bill Hartley

    The windshield brackets will probably cost the buyer as much as the boat!

    • John B

      As a restorer said so many years ago…if you can’t find a part, make it.

  18. Rustytech Member

    That is one cool boat. I like the older boats from the 50’s and 60’s better than any of the new ones, they had style. I’ve restored several old boats over the years, some even had Finns like this one, but I’ve never seen anything like this. I wonder if they were trying to simulate a sea monster when they designed that nose, ( love those eyebrows ). Looks great with the vintage vette too.

  19. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Have had a few Lone Stars – y’all know I’m from Texas donchano…..new of the plastic cabbies but not this one….currently have a fin LS in aluminum (and have had other fin boats in plastic)….with matching LS tagged trailer….man this sweet !

  20. tbenvie

    Can any old boat experts tell me what boat used a Rambler dashboard from early 60s or before? thanks

  21. John H

    What a beauty! A finned Lonestar (or any finned runabout) is on my bucket list. I wouldn’t mind finding a Lonestar Caribbean.

  22. Rolf Poncho 455

    Now that’s a car looking boat!! Nice I must say will love to have one

  23. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Auction ended, item is no longer available. Starting bid $16,000. 0 bids.

  24. Jack

    I’m trying to reach the seller of the boat. Any help would be appreciated. My cell 603-801- 7 6 ten

  25. Swami

    The best way to tow this would be behind a ’58 Chevy Cameo. WoW!

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