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Racing boat that roughed up Beatles is restored

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Fifty years ago this week four boys from Britain took a boat ride in Miami. They had appeared on television the night before, a program called The Ed Sullivan Show, and they wanted to cut loose. So they hopped into the prototype of a new offshore race boat named The Cigarette. The boat's builder, a man whose company would later become synonymous with go-fast boats, fired up the 435-horsepower engine, and hit the throttle.

"I don't think the Beatles knew what they were in for," said Tampa's Bob DiNesco, who now owns the refurbished 233 Formula along with his brother and father. "John, Paul and George got a little seasick. But Ringo, he had the time of his life." The "Fab Four" made their second appearance on the popular variety show on Feb. 16, 1964. The next morning, the Beatles met Don Aronow to check out his 23-foot speedboat that he had named after a legendary style of smuggling craft. "Formula was his first race boat," said DiNesco, 57. "He went on to be associated with so many other famous boats: Magnum, Donzi and, of course, Cigarette." The Cigarette Racing Team brand, popularized by the 1980s television series Miami Vice, eventually became associated with all performance boats, regardless of the manufacturer.

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Source: Tampa Bay Times

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