Tag Archives: One

Speed Kills

And so do cigarettes.

This is the Cigarette One 515, an unfeasibly enormous AMG-powered speedboat built by the Cigarette boat company, whose story is rather fantastic. Or rather, the story of their designer is…

Donald Aronow was born in Brooklyn to a Russian-Jewish immigrant family in 1927. After working overseas during the Second World War, Aronow returned to the U.S and started a construction firm during the boom of the 1950s. A few years later, aged just 32, Aronow was a millionaire, and moved to Miami where he began racing boats for fun.

Over the next decade, and after winning two Powerboat World Championships, racing boats had become a business, with Aronow selling his race-winning Cigarette powerboat designs to the super-rich, politicians, and crime bosses alike. We suspect some were all three.

The speed of Aronow’s boats meant they became a popular choice for Miami’s cocaine smugglers, and the U.S Customs Service who aimed to catch them (via a deal brokered by Vice President George H.W Bush, who was a Cigarette customer himself).

This choice of customer eventually became Aronow’s undoing, and he was shot dead in 1987 by fellow-boat racer turned racing-company owner Ben Kramer and an accomplice, after a business deal turned sour. That Kramer was already a drug smuggler himself (despite winning the American Offshore Powerboat Championship only the year before) perhaps should’ve been a red flag.

The Cigarette Company continued after Aronow’s murder however, and this awesome looking Lego recreation of the One 515 shows their boats are as mad today as ever. It comes from previous bloggee Drop Shop, who has packed it with details and brilliant building techniques to accurately capture the insanity of the real thing, and there’s lots more of the build to see at Drop Shop’s ‘Sinister Cigarette’ album on Flickr.

Finally, if you think all of the above would make for an amazing movie, you’re right. Unfortunately we got a terrible one. Still, you can check out the ‘Speed Kills’ trailer here, as the post’s title hinges on it!