A pionner brand
Buehler Turbocraft is synonymous with ground-breaking innovation, design elegance and quality. It has an outstanding history and pedigree.Launched at the end of the fifties the brand was the first ever to successfully introduce the unique characteristics of the water jet propulsion system. To prove its unequalled performance and safety, nine boats were sent to run against the powerful rapids of the Colorado River in August 1960, an extraordinary expedition recounted in length in the 1962 National Geographic article “Nine against the River”. The expedition was organized by the president of Buehler Corporation and G. Hamilton who was the designer of the jet propulsion system. A 90-minute video of the expedition was filmed. 60 years later, the movie was dug out by a Turbocraft fan and share with our team.
During the sixties, the brand quickly rose in popularity and became rapidly synonymous with elegance and innovation. Turbocraft became the choice of the rich and famous. The instant acceleration, the astounding manoeuvrability and clean lines of designers such as Virgil Exner (the famous Chrysler Automotive designer) instantly caught the imagination of the public. Its exclusive clientele included Jackie Kennedy who owned one for water-skiing. Video clips from the Kennedy Administration show John John Kennedy sitting on the lap of President Kennedy behind the wheel of a Jet 35. US Secret service also used Turbocraft boats for its unrivalled performances and ease of use. In 1962 Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the USSR, ordered one exemplar to be shipped to him but it was called back mid-flight due to the sudden outburst of the Cuban Missile crisis in October 1962.
Even M. Bond himself
Technological innovation and style is a cocktail that even M. James Bond himself could not resist to taste. In the 1965 movie “Thunderball” directed by Terence Young and starring Sean Connery, a 19-feet Turbocraft is used for a cameo role of taking Commander Bond back to shore with the beautiful James Bond girl “Domino” Derval played by the beautiful french actress Claudine Auger. The boat is shows in many scenes throughout the movie. During one famous scene Bond and Domino briefly discuss at the transom of the Turbocraft boat after Bond had rescued Domino while she was scubadiving in the waters of the Bahamas and had her ankle blocked in an underwater rock. After the success of the movie the brand aptly renamed this model "Thunderball" as a tribute to the movie and became a commercial success in the sixties.