During our visit to Northern California’s sensational Silicone Valley Drag Boat event, we ran across some of our oldest friends in some of the most obscure places. John Morgan, a good friend of the PBN founding team for over 30 years was at the event with what most would have considered a show piece. But it was much more than just that.
The boat, named “Man of War,” is a 1985 Cole TR that has previously ran 138MPH with an elapsed time of 8.05 with its big 526 Blown BB racing engine built by Don Zemina of Motor Machine Super Shops out of Carmichael, Ca. Morgan points out a great deal of the success of the boat came from support of Northern California’s performance parts giants CP Performance and Tognotti’s Autoworld. Congrats to John, his brother, and Dad acting as the crew for the event as well as laying down some great runs and raising the bar continually.
Another star of the California Silicone Valley drag boat event was Jeff Gladiieux of Pacifica California, running his blown and injected Hondo runner bottom. While Gladieux’s performances of the day were blistering fast, the professionalism and composure of his crew was a step above all others. From the show up to the show down the boat was fast, but when it was sitting still is when you could see just what a jewel this Hondo was.
There are more than just a few perks of being friends with the owner of the industry’s top CNC machining firm and in the case of Jeff Gladieux’s Hondo, not a piece of metal or aluminum went untouched. Jeff’s accomplice in the production and development of the hardware on this boat is none other than the infamous Vince of famed RPM Machine in Burlingame, CA with great help from Joe Shelfo of precision Craft Marine.
Their facility has more state of the art machining centers than anyone on the West Coast and Vince can build anything. The PBN Cigarette Top Gun is evidence to that fact.
In an effort to lighten and streamline the Hondo, nearly every piece was one-off fabricated and made the fit and finish of the boat as close to perfection as we will ever get. As the blown 572 BBC rumbled in the pits during preparation we recognized the support team of Mike Luebben to tuning legend Jim Pisciotta. The PBN crew was hoping to see some settled scores but it will just have to watch a race another day.