Powerboat driver, official, historian
A lifelong champion of the sport in every aspect, George “Buddy” Byers, Jr. dominated the seven-liter class and later served as one of powerboating’s top administrators. He is also co-founder and chairman of the APBA Historical Society. Piloting boats named Chrysler Queen or Miss DeSoto, he was APBA National High Point Champion in 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1962. Byers set the seven-liter class world record several times, including 168.2 mph in 1958 in the Chrysler Queen. In 1963, he began a three-year run in the Unlimited Class driving Miss Madison. He finished second in the National High Point Championship in 1964 and third in ‘65, including winning that year’s Dixie Cup at Guntersville, AL. He was injured at the 1966 Orange Bowl Regatta. After retiring from driving, Byers served as Unlimited Commissioner from 1970 through 1980, and in the late ‘70s, co-founded the APBA Historical Society with 1989 inductee Bill Muncey. Byers returned triumphantly to the 1997 Gold Cup in Detroit, driving the restored Chrysler Queen on a demonstration run.