Boating
In the 1950s, Michigan, with its many lakes and rivers, was a major center for recreational boating. In 1959 Michigan residents owned over 436,000 powerboats, second in the nation only to New York State. Throughout most of the 1960s the number of registered boats in Michigan would rank either first or second in the nation. With so many boats in the water, Leonard saw a market for marine products. In 1958 the company introduced a fuel specially designed for outboard motors. In 1961 it added a fuel, named “Power-Mix,” for two-cycle engines. Looking for a way to market its products, Leonard became a major sponsor of the Greater Michigan Boat Show, which it eventually took over as a wholly owned subsidiary. The first show was organized in the Detroit area in 1957. Leonard became a show sponsor in 1958. The show was extraordinarily successful. By 1959 the Greater Michigan boat show was the third largest in the nation. In 1961 over 100,000 people paid one dollar each to enter the show and manufacturer sales representatives on the floor ruefully complained that parking problems had kept many others potential customers from getting in the doors.

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