O. K. HUNSAKER

O. K. Hunsaker was the third owner of Pirate, purchasing her in 1928 from Hollywood attorney Roger Marchetti. The son of A. O. and Alvaretta Hunsaker of Beverly Hills, his family had lived in Kansas City, Mo. before moving to Los Angeles in 1911. His father was an investment banker with offices in Hollywood. In addition to O. K., there was also a daughter, vampish socialite and thespian, Miss Woodie-Lou Hunsaker.

O. K. grew up with money and invested variously including backing some Hollywood productions. He is reported to have produced the first all-negro movie in 1917 and cooperated on at least one project with Eric von Stroheim. His primary business was The Hunsaker Finance Co., Inc.; head offices on S. Figueroa. With five offices around Los Angeles, the company advertised The “O. K. System” of Auto Finance and did a high-volume business.

In 1929, Hunsaker founded the Aircraft Finance Corporation of America with his father and aviation pioneer Allan Loughead. The company, with an initial projected capitalization of thirty million dollars, specialized in aircraft production and sales nation-wide.

A jolly and outgoing person, Hunsaker was conspicuous in pre-depression Los Angeles getting around town in his sporty Hupmobile Century Six convertible coupe. When Marchetti put Pirate on the market in late ’28, Matt Walsh persuaded O. K. to acquire the racer, and the two of them put together a uniquely aggressive campaign. Although he mostly left the R-boat operations to Walsh, Hunsaker found opportunities on the trip to Larchmont in 1929 to promote the image of West Coast yachting, pursue capital for the new corporation and perform some duties in his position as Vice-Commodore of the now defunct Yachtsman’s Association of America.

Upon returning from Larchmont, the boat was put up for sale. Yacht sales were slow during the depression and in 1930, Pirate emerged for yet another season of racing, this time sporting a black mainsail, green jib, and black spinnaker. The mainsail featured white insignia and numbers and, in the middle, a large cartoon pirate brandishing a cutlass. Arthur Stewart of Los Angeles purchased the R-boat in 1932.

O. K. Hunsaker actively promoted boating generally, and outboard motorboat racing in particular. As Commodore of the So. California Outboard Racing Association, He worked to expand the racing schedule to include A.P.B.A. events at Lk. Merritt, Lk. Elsinore and the Salton Sea. His boats proved very competitive and raced with consistent success winning, among other prizes, the George Marsh Trophy on the Detroit River in 1928. These boats, driven by Johnny Graham and Floyd Pierce (Miss Elsinore) held several world records in the C and D classes in the late twenties. Beyond this, the Commodore sponsored regattas, donated trophies and helped others to get started in racing. He also served terms as Commodore of the Yacht Club of Santa Monica and Vice-Commodore of the National Outboard Assoc.

O. K. Hunsaker rarely used his first name “Ogden” unless to avoid the public eye. For a short while, he was married to Roxana Gloria Brown Spreckels whose San Francisco family also actively promoted outboard racing. The couple was married in January of 1939 and the press widely reported it when they filed for divorce in December. Hunsaker died in Los Angeles in 1949.