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1954-1964 Evinrude Johnson 5.5 HP - History

1957 Johnson Seahorse Ad.
1957 Johnson Seahorse Ad.

 

History:

"Sweetest-running Johnsons ever!"

The Johnson Seahorse 5.5 and 7.5 HP outboards were marketed as true fishing boat motors.  They sold these motors by the dozens to fishing lodges, camps, and resorts in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Canada where Ralph Evinrude and other OMC employees liked to spend time.  These motors were built to be rugged, dependable, quiet, and smooth running.  With a remote gas tank that would hold enough fuel to allow trolling for pike, lake trout, or walleye all day long.  It had a gear selector that shifted smoothly between forward, neutral and reverse.  This motor was definitely a hit amongst the serious fishing crowd.  People would head north for a fantastic fishing trip at one of the many lodges where they could rent a cabin and a boat for a week or two and fish, fish, fish.  Chances are your rental boat would have one of these Johnson Seahorse motors that would do its job and get you around the lakes without any problems.  In Wisconsin, it was in the local culture that pretty much everyone had a summer cottage somewhere on a lake.  Having a 14 or 16-foot aluminum "V" hull fishing boat with a Johnson Seahorse motor was quite common.  In the 50's and 60's Jonnson/Evinrude or OMC was by far the market leader in outboard boat motors with Mercury being a distant second.  OMC was growing like crazy and demand for their motors was exploding.  Johnson Seahorse was a name that everyone knew, trusted, and wanted.  Boat shows were springing up all over the midwest and around the country.  OMC would be at every one of these shows as a major sponsor marketing Johnson motors in one area and Evinrude in the next.  OMC had some really great advertising people who developed ads that ran in Popular Mechanics, Field & Stream, and other outdoor publications, particularly in the winter months so you would be primed and ready for the fishing season to begin in the spring.  Besides being the ideal fishing motor, these Johnson motors were beautiful as you can see in the ads.  The motors used by the fishing lodges were usually green, but the motors sold to individuals had some of the prettiest colors and paint jobs have ever seen on an outboard motor.  This may be because OMC was nearing their 50th anniversary.

 

1957 Johnson Seahrose Ad
1957 Johnson Seahorse Ad

 

1957 Johnson Seahorse Ad
1957 Johnson Seahorse Ad

 

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