‘Prohibition’ comes to Lake Orion
By Jim Newell
Prohibition has come to Lake Orion.
No, not the Elliot Ness “Untouchables” stopping bootleggers variety, but a vintage 1929 Chris-Craft speed boat that hearkens back to the “olden days” and reminds people of something out of a Hollywood movie.
Residents may have seen the classic wood boat cruising around Lake Orion last year, and the owner of that vintage Chris-Craft speed boat is getting set to enjoy another Lake Orion summer.
Media mogul Kevin Adell owns the 24-foot triple cockpit watercraft. The vessel — named “Prohibition” — has a 358cc Mercury motor and seats nine passengers. It’s valued at about $129,000, or whatever price a collector is willing to pony up for the pleasure of driving it.
Adell purchased the boat over three years ago from another collector in Algonac. The classic Chris-Craft is fitted with Model T horns, a 1910 steering wheel and “old-time police sirens.”
The boat reaches 75 mph, which Adell said you do not really expect when driving a boat that old.
Adell also is a car collector and said the vintage boat appealed to him as someone who appreciates vintage and antique motor vehicles.
“It’s collectible. It’s something unique. You don’t see a boat like this on the lake every day,” he said. “It’s magnificent. It’s a beautiful boat.”
Adell lives in West Bloomfield and has a 310-acre horse ranch in Metamora. He said that on the drive up to Metamora he stops in Lake Orion to enjoy a little rest, relaxation – and speed – on Lake Orion.
“It was my first time by Lake Orion. It’s a great lake, a beautiful lake,” he said. Adell docks his boat at the Orion Marine when he’s in town.
“People always comment on the boat. It’s very unique and people love seeing it. I’ve gotten a lot of good comments on it,” he said.
Chris-Craft Boats, formerly Chris Smith and Sons Boat Co., is a manufacturer of boats. It was sold in 1960 to NAFI which would take the Chris-Craft name. The Detroit area company became well known for their sleek racing boats in the 1910s and 1920s. Chris-Craft sold high end powerboats to wealthy patrons such as Henry Ford and William Randolph Hearst.
In the late 1920s, Chris-Craft extended its market into the middle class when it became one of the first mass producers of civilian pleasure boats. The company began assembly line production at their Algonac plant.
The Word Network, also known as The Word, is an American television network, and religious broadcasting network and is the largest African-American religious network in the world.
It was founded in February 2000 by the late Franklin Z. Adell. The station is currently run and operated by Kevin Adell.
Adell Broadcasting Company houses 3 media properties, 910am Superstation, WADL TV-38 serving the Detroit television market and The Word Network.