HTS resurrected after three decades as museum exhibit

The winner of the 1972 London to Monte Carlo powerboat race, HTS, has been purchased by classic offshore enthusiast Nick Wilkinson from her last racing owner, David Hagen.

This veteran was among the first offshore racing boats designed by Don Shead after his success with the 1968 Cowes-Torquay-Cowes winner, Telstar.

She was built by Souter in Cowes for the late Ralph Hilton as his entry in the 1969 Daily Telegraph & BP Round-Britain Race.

Named after his transport compnay, Hilton Transport Services, and powered by a pair of Leyland diesels, HTS won the 178-mile Inverness to Dundee leg of the race in dense fog.

HTS was later driven into the limelight by a pair of Ford Sabres and won the 1972 London to Monte Carlo race three years after her launch.

By the late 1970s HTS was owned by David Hagen who, in the boat’s tenth year, won the 1979 world Class II title in Venice before he presented her to the Motor Boat Museum in Basildon.

HTS spent almost 30 years on show but with the museum closure was returned to Hagen a year ago where her new owner, Wilkinson, found her safety stored in a barn on David’s farm.

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