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CHRIS CRAFT 25' EXPRESS CRUISER

Model Years 1940-42 & 1946-1948

         

In 1939 Chris-Craft unveiled one of their most important hull designs; a design by A. W. Mackerer that would influence boat design for years to come.  This design featured a streamlined hull finished in a red and white color scheme with a raised foredeck and a convex drop sheer line; this design is officially known as the 25' Express Cruiser and commonly referred to as the Red and White Express.  Chris-Craft literature referred to this convex drop sheer line as a sharp downward twist to the deck camber. 

There is speculation that the prototype Red and White Express was built for display at the 1939 World's Fair, which carried the theme "The World of Tomorrow."  What is certain is that Chris-Craft advertised the 25' Express as " The Boat of Tomorrow" and shipped the first Red and White Express, hull no. 51100, a single engine model to a dealer in Chicago in November 1939.  That same month, the Red and White Express was featured on the Design Boards of Motor Boating Magazine under the headline, "A Striking New Chris-Craft."

"Hold everything!  Stop and stare!  Here's the boat you've always wanted ... a new 25-ft. Chris-Craft Express Cruiser, heavily built - sturdily constructed, with a rakish, super-streamlined hull, finished in bright, modern colors.  It has a compact cabin forward (with 2 berths and toilet), shatterproof windshield, modernistic marine controls, streamlined jackstaff and stern pole, and all that's new ... different ... exciting, Graceful as a gull ... fast as a flash (speeds to 39 m.p.h.)"

- The Red and White Express as described in a 1940 Advertisement

The Red and White Express, offered in single and twin engine configuration has an overall length of 25' with an 8'-1" beam.  The Expresses were constructed of batten seamed mahogany pre-war, port orford cedar post-war, with oak stem keel and chine.  All of the hulls were finished with painted white topsides, transom, canvas covered foredeck and cabin interior, while the canvas covered aft decks, linoleum cockpit ceilings and floor were finished in bright red.  The upholstery was finished in red leather.

The Express featured many unique pieces of hardware and design elements not seen prior to 1939.  Some of those elements include the largest cutwater that Chris-Craft ever produced, a massive v-shape raked windshield with elliptical sides and smooth linoleum inner cockpit ceilings.  The Trylon building and sphere, the World's Fair trademark are reflected in the bow light/burgee flagstaff and horn cover. 

There were a total of 372 hulls built; 70 pre-war from late 1939 to 1942 and 302 post.  The majority of the hulls completed in 1942 were stored by Chris-Craft and delivered to customers in 1946.