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Smarty's Father

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Old 07-04-2008, 09:04 AM
  #61
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Stephen, I was hoping to check in today and read that your dad was still fighting the good fight. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Your dad sounds like a wonderful man and you have great memories of him. I lost my dad two days after Christmas, very unexpectedly. He was a talker too, perhaps they will have some conversations upstairs. Godspeed to your dad, you and your family are in my prayers.
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Old 07-04-2008, 09:09 AM
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OSO Friends,

First, thank you all for the support, me and my entire family recognize and appreciate the support, it does mean a world to us. Firsts class people, all of you!

I wrote those experiences about my father because his first love after my mother and his children, was offshore boats, and I am just so proud that I had a father like him. I will share two more experiences with you then I am cold-turkey from OSO for a while, probably in a lurking mode as my father would have been, if he were still here with us.

Two of the more memorable experiences he had, was going to Cigarette in 1972, or 1973 - I was just a kid. The family drove down to Miami from New Jersey to pick-up my father's new 20' Cigarette, it was the first 20-footer Don Aronow had ever made. Don treated him like royalty which was great and which I never forgot. It was great for me as a child (seven or eight years old), because we always got Powerboat Magazine, and here was the guy and boats I kept seeing in the magazine, I was awestruck. Mr. Aronow let me sit at his desk,and he made me feel at home, though my mother was probably mortified by my behavior, LOL. He gave me shirts, stickers, license plate brackets, every nick-nack-non-sense kind of thing that a seven or eight year old would love and cherish forever. After we left the office, we then toured the plant before he took us for a ride in a new 28' Cigarette he had sitting there. When we were out in the 28' hot-rod we got in a race with another boat and won (I think Byng Goode was driving, not sure). It was something I will never forget, nor did my father.

The other story was when he bought a brand new 24' Pantera, it was 1978 or 1979. He paid for it at the dealer up here in New Jersey; that dealer sold Pantera and Carrera boats then. The boat had not yet been built, my father ordered the boat. He and two friends scheduled a flight to Florida to pick up the boat because Pepe Nunez (owner of Pantera) said it would ready when they get there; when he got there the boat was not even close to being ready, the bottom was still in the mold. My father and his two friends were planning on driving the boat back to New Jersey by water, through the Intra Coastal Waterway (ICW). So, they waited while the boat was assembled and at least he got to see the build process, and which made him feel good about the purchase he just made. Now if you ever met my father he did not like anything built half-ass. Pepe must have had his A game going-on because my father liked Pepe Nunez, and my father always said Pantera builds a good boat.

Well, the boat got built. They filled the tank up with gas (the first of many fill-ups for this trip), and off my father and his friends went on their journey from Miami to New Jersey in his brand new boat, with zero hours of run time and zero hours of test time. Mechanically everything worked great, but because of the late start (waiting a few days), waiting for the boat to be completed (I am not sure how many days he lost because the boat wasn't built on time) me and my Mother had to drive to the lower Chesapeake to pick-up him and the boat up since a storm was coming up the coast.

This was the last boat he owned that my mother rode in and enjoyed boating in, here's why. It had a new MerCruiser 330hp/TRS package and was a low 60 mph boat, and the boat had the Vee windshield which was a taller-effective windshield since it was a Special Edition version model. He did not race much (mother never enjoyed racing other boats, but tolerated racing other boats for my father's sake and for my sake) with that engine package because the boat was a slug. Once the warranty was done, out came the 454/330 in went a LS-6 (454 cu.in. BBC) that made the boat come alive, so did his spirit when it came to looking for races, LOL.

I never met another hot-rodder who has had a similar experience like the Pantera story, driving the new boat home from the factory on the day of completion, but maybe this will inspire another performance boater to give it a try. I will surely miss my father. Thanks to all for your thoughts and prayers,

The Jones Family

Last edited by Smarty; 07-04-2008 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:58 AM
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Smarty,
Very sorry to read about your Dad! May he rest in peace.
You can not imagine how many times I have told the story about your Dad going "home" by water! The best part is that most of the people I have told the story to, think that I am exagerating.

I remember going for a sea trial w/ your Dad in the bay, I had not known of his plan, I was ready to put the boat back on the trailer, and he said "No need to" I am going home by water!
Can you imagine the surprise that I got? I said to myself,
Boy this guy is nuts!!! Just a short time previously, I had set a new record from Miami to New York in a 24' Pantera, I said to myself, It would be something if he breaks my record.

Best regards,
pp.
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Old 07-07-2008, 10:16 AM
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I am so sorry, Cancer has affected too many peoples lives
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Old 07-07-2008, 12:36 PM
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Mr. Nunez (Pepe),

Thank you so much for the post, it brings back good memories which are very helpful during this time. I think it is great that you and your son are keeping the Pantera boat company alive and strong to this day. It is a testament on how well you build boats.

My father really liked you and your family. And, when it comes to building a boat he thought the world of you. The 24' Special Edition version that you built, it was a beautiful boat. We all loved that boat, especially my mother. Not only did it look good, it was functional and fast (once the 450hp/500hp BBC was installed by my father).

You did not sell your boat to a "nut-job," but if I were you I would have thought the same thing, LOL. Maybe someday one of your northeast customers will take delivery of their new Pantera by water, and drive it home to New Jersey from the factory. If not, you will always have the memory of the customer who did, Alan Jones. Thank you for building a boat that helped create such a great boating experience for the entire Jones family, and the memories that we can cherish because of that boat.

Thanks again,

Stephen
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Old 07-07-2008, 01:30 PM
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Smarty,
Thank you for your words, very kind from you!
I wish I had found out about your Dad, I could have given him a call, BUT....
Thanks again and if there is something I could do, I am a call away.
Regards,
pp.
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Old 07-07-2008, 04:25 PM
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Stephen, I am so sorry for your loss.
Your dad sounds like a great guy, and someone who showed his son how its supposed to be done!
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:38 PM
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Sorry for your loss Smarty. I never met your dad (or you) but my father and I do some work in the plant your father used to work at in Pennsville. I talk boats with some of the mechanics there and your father's name comes up from time to time. I will be sure to pass on the sad news to the guys in the shop...I know they will miss him. If you need a extra wrench on the Phantom just let me know.

Last edited by jdub; 07-07-2008 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:02 AM
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Sorry to hear of your loss.
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:10 AM
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Sorry for your loss.
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