If you wanted serious power in the classic-boat era, you almost certainly turned to an aircraft engine from Scripps, Curtiss, Rolls-Royce, Wright or Lycoming. In the inter-war period, aircraft development advanced at a torrid pace, and the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Co. Inc. of Buffalo, New York, set the pace for power for a number of years. This fabulous Curtiss D-12 engine stopped me in my tracks when I spotted it at the 42nd Antique and Classic Boat Society meeting and show in Racine, Wisconsin, nestled in the bilge of the equally fabulous Garfield, a 1932 Gar Wood Baby Gar 33 runabout. The boat is owned by Bill Parfet of Kalamazoo, Mich., and is one of 65 examples of the Baby Gar 33 built by Gar Wood, of which only six are presently accounted for and four are seaworthy. A period advertisement offers the 33 for $11,300 for the highest horsepower models. That’s about $205,000 in 2017 dollars. The Baby Gar 33 was a gentleman’s speed boat and most were originally powered by a war-surplus, 1650 cubic-inch, 837-pound Liberty engine making about 400 hp. Some examples were later re-fitted with the Curtiss D-12.