Gale Products, Inc., was a subsidiary of OMC which made Johnson and
Evinrude outboards. Prior to WWII, Gale, manufactured
refrigerators and room air conditioning units. These products
were never a real success. Johnson and Evinrude outboards,
however, were coming into their own. So after the war OMC
decided to add to what they did best - more brands of outboards and
drop the ref/ac mfg. They manufactured outboard motors for
outside companies including Wards, Spiegel, Gamble and
Goodyear. Then, they added their own economy line under the
Gale products was so successful that in 1948 they sold over 100,000
outboard motors, more than all other manufacturers including
Mercury, Johnson and Evinrude!
Later, in the 1960s, OMC dropped all Gale built outboard models
feeling that the Johnson & Evinrude brands would pick up the
loss. Of course, it never happened that way as the Gale built
models primarily served a different market and OMC suffered
financially for that decision.
The Gale and Buccaneer real
outboard motors were OMC's economy line of engines. OMC's premium engines
were Evinrude and Johnson. Since most kids were looking to buy the more
common Evinrude, Johnson and Mercury toy motors the Gale and Buccaneer motors
did not sell as well. That means that they are very rare today, with the
exception of the 1957. The rarest of all the motors is the 1960 Gale
Sovereign 60 HP. In fact, it's the rarest and most sought after toy
outboard motor commanding thousands of dollars.
A special thank you for the above information to Marco, who
joined Gale in 1951 and spent the next 31 years with OMC. He
was the marketing head of the Gale Division all thru most of the
1950s and 1960s.
Click on an image to enlarge.
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