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In the summer of 1951 after working only two weeks for the Mercury Kiekhaefer Corporation, Charlie Strang disclosed his sterndrive idea to Carl Kiekhaefer. Strang was passionate about the idea, but Carl wan't the least bit interested. He not only was not interested, but went on to call Strang, nuts and call the idea ridiculous. Eventually, Kiekhaefer came around to the idea.

The MerCruiser I and the MerCruiser II were introduced to handle 225 HP and even 310 HP engines. By late 1961, Mercury had captured the bulk of the market by offering two models and a wide range of engines. Mercury began to receive orders from nearly every boat builder in the country.