Champion Outboard Motors

Production History

   Most Outboard Motors have a long history of transition. Champion Outboard was no exception. We have assembled from many sources, the history of Champion's production. We feel this information is accurate, but we are wide open to corrections.

   It seems the Champion Outboard name has been around from 1927 through 1957. The story starts in 1927 with three gentlemen from St. Paul, Minnesota. Mr.Henry Dolan, Sig Conrad and Dutch Witch. They produce approximately 30 small 1.5 HP outboards weighing 30 pounds each. They named the little fellow "Champion".

   In 1927 or 1928 they sold the "Champion" name to Flour City Ornamental Iron Co. and they produced the motor in Minneapolis, Minnesota for many years. Champion Outboard Motor was really founded in 1935. Original founders were Stanley Grey and Earl DuMonte. Mr. DuMonte contracted with a small tool and punch press operation to manufacture their outboard. And, guess who the owners of this tool and press company were? C.E Scott and H.B.Atwater, later to become the founders of the "Scott Atwater" outboard motor, but that's another story.

   The Champion outboard was manufactured by this tool and punch press company for a period of 8 years, 1935 through 1942. These motors are considered to be the first generation of the Champion Outboard. Chief engineer for this first generation was Ralph Herrington. In 1939 Mr.DuMonte negotiated an agreement to sell his outboards through the Firestone Tire Company. This helped push Champion to the second largest outboard manufacturer in the U.S., next to Evinrude.

   There was no production during World War II from 1943 through 1945. After the war, Mr. DuMonte decided to manufacture his own outboard. He purchased his own manufacturing facilities and started production in 1946. (As a side note, Firestone stayed with the newly formed "Scott Atwater" company). These second generation "Champion" outboards were designed by Ralph Herrington and Dale Kloss.

   This second generation Champion was in production from 1946 through 1957. Peek year was 1947 with approximately 140,000 units manufactured. During this period "Champion" was sold under private brands through many Hardware Chain stores and Department stores.

   By the mid-fifties, sales had been on the decline. The consumer was looking for more power and performance. Champion needed a third generation design, but with poor sales, the financial resources were not there. Champion closed it's doors in 1957.

   In 1958 Western Tool and Stamping of Des Moines, Iowa, part of AMF Industries Inc. purchased the Champion name and patents. The remaining tooling, jigs, fixtures and spare parts were retained as part of the Airmotive Machining and Engineering Corporation, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

   With Dale Kloss as chief engineer, in 1959 Western Tool and Stamping developed the third generation of outboards. These new motors were 12, 25, 50 and 75 HP. The prototypes were built and running, but the management declined to proceed with tooling investment.

   In 1961 Lyle Swanson obtained all remaining parts, tools, jigs and old prints from Airmotive Machining and Engineering. He formed the "Champion Outboard Motor Parts Factory", doing business as Swanson's Outboard Motor Service.

   In 1962 Dale Kloss (chief engineer, third generation Champion's) and friends purchased the prototypes, prints, patents and the Champion name from Western Tool. They formed K & K Manufacturing.

   The trail has grown cold. I am still researching K & K Manufacturing, as to what happen to K & K, prototypes and the "Champion" name.

   Hard core parts for these outboards are getting more difficult to find as time goes on. Many older outboards used common Ignition and Carburetor venders for that period. Discount Marine Parts has Ignition and Carburetor repair kits for most all of these older outboards. If we don't have what your looking for, we have many sources to locate your part. Obviously some parts are just not available. We can sometimes find it used and often we have the part made if there is enough demand. Discount Marine Parts has a large inventory of parts for most brands of American made Outboards, Inboards and Sterndrives. We also have most parts and service manuals available.

             Thank you for stopping by and please come back!

Sold Under The Following Private Brands

  Brand Name     Years Sold            Sales Outlet         
Majestic 1950 - 1957 Hardware Chain Stores
Monarch 1927 - 1935 Sold by Champion as economy Priced Outboard
Sea Flyer 1953 - 1954 B.F. Goodrich Tire Stores
Voyager 1949 - 1957 Hardware Chain Stores

Champion   Model Year Guide

1927 - 1949       1950 - 1957

Discount Marine Parts
Phone       4524 D Road  •  PO Box 98       Fax
906-466-2180       Bark River, MI 49807       906-466-0217

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Last Modified: 3/30/04