The historic last Elco 57

Mr. Charles Toledo has written to CAMM:

“I am the current custodian (i.e. owner footing all the bills) of the very last Elco 57 ever built (Hull #41.57.04; Doc #240807) and the last Elco luxury yacht built before WW II – the company then went into full production building PT boats for the Navy.

According to documents the Navy sent me, the original owner presumably gifted this boat to the Navy after the Pearl Harbor attack, and she ended up serving during WW II (1942-1944) as YP 359 at the Navy Base in Key West, Florida (I’d be glad to show records to this effect).

Another curious fact about the Elco 57 model – they only built 9 of them between 1939 and 1941; only 4 survive today (mine included). The first of the Elco 57’s was bought by Howard Johnson (the famous hotelier). A couple of years later, while serving as Governor of the Bahamas, the Duke of Windsor (former King Edward the VIII) bought an Elco 57 and used to cruise around the Bahamas along with Howard Johnson in their twin yachts.

I’ve had her for 7 years now, trying to keep her afloat and clean, while wrangling resources to do a proper restoration. Unfortunately,as in many of these cases, my family and personal situation has changed and I need to pass on the project to someone willing to care for her the way she deserves.

This boat deserves to be saved, given the few of the type remaining and her service to the country.

I am willing to gift the vessel to any reputable entity that could be interested and in a position to take on this project.”

For obvious reasons, CAMM will not publish Mr. Toledo’s contact information here. Any institutions wishing to follow up on this offer should contact the CAMM Administrator.

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