National Powerboat Association Website




1974 Cigarette Race Boat - Hull #6

Hull and deck with a clear Florida Title.  All original hardware, fuel fills, deck rail, rub rail and cleats.  Six original fuel tanks, 2 under deck forward, 4 saddle tanks in engine room.

Original triple axle trailer with a clear Florida Title.  Original windshield.  Race hatches.  Two SSM Speedmaster # 3 racing sterndrives, rebuilt by Mel Riggs. Full inner and outer transom plates.

Two Mercury Racing 496 cu in Engines with Electronic Fuel Injection with Stacks.  Original Kiekhaefer dual ram trim tabs with actuators.  New Awlgrip paint in cans that was color matched to original colors under stern-drives for all three colors.  The boat was owned for a number of years by a man in California.  He had the boat painted black and installed engines that had a Shelby style fuel injection system.   email Billy



First raced with the name SPIRIT by Hal Sahlman. 

Then the boat was sold to Rocky Aoki, who raced it as BENIHANA.

Condition of boat now:

As stated above, the boat was kept for number of years in the California owner's airplane hanger.

Recently the boat was gone through for soundness by Bobby Saccenti of Apache fame and the following recommendations were made:

1.) Replace the wood in the transom to allow the new owner greater choice on type of repower and drive units.

2.) Replace the cockpit floor. When the extra 2 fuel tanks were taken out from this location, because there were no more 500 plus mile races held.

3.) In the era this boat raced, a large hole was cut in the bulkhead between the cockpit and the engines to allow entry if needed by mechanic. For safety reasons close the hole up.

4.) The boat had the sides sanded down and a fresh coat of primer was applied. Bottom and deck and hatches are still painted black as shown in pictures.



When HORBA acquired the boat it was without engines and drives.


HORBA has the complete photo library of Ron Thibedeau. This library covers the races this boat was in, as both SPIRIT and BENIHANA. 

HORBA has the actual photos of the purchase of the boat from Hal Sahlman by Rocky Aoki. We have original films of the boat in actual races.

HORBA has the original painting that was done by George Bartell (Famous for his Cobra and Carroll Shelby art) for the book SEARACE.

HORBA has the original BENIHANA flag and many race patches along with jackets, belt buckles and buttons that have the BENIHANA logo.







The National Powerboat Association is dedicated to the advancement of powerboating in America
through event promotions and productions and as a purveyor of powerboats, powerboat equipment, videos, and sportswear. 
Conceived in 1976 with various regional events and upgraded in 1982 to national events,
the N.P.B.A.'s boating experience assures premium shows and quality products.

Email Billy Frenz  or Call (203)532-1312

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