For the past 22 years, anyone who purchased a V-bottom sportboat or high-performance center console from Cigarette Racing Team got to know Bud Lorow at some point during the build process. Though he always shunned the spotlight, Lorow, the Opa-Locka, Fla., company’s vice-president of production, was involved in every build. In more than a few ways he came to be known as Cigarette’s point-man, whether that meant hand-holding clients through the process, overcoming a production challenge or simply running a new model for a photo.
From driving boats for running photography to helping clients through the order process, Bud Lorow was Cigarette’s Renaissance man. Photos courtesy/copyright Cigarette Racing Team.
A true, soft-spoken gentleman, Lorow is retiring from Cigarette. An intimate celebration is planned for this evening.
“Looking back, I really believe Bud Lorow is as important to the history of Cigarette Racing Team as (company founder) Don Aronow was,” said Skip Braver, the company’s owner and chief executive officer. “He’s actually part of the brand. It would be impossible to tell the story of the Cigarette brand without him.
Lorow’s history with Cigarette pre-dates his full-time employment with the company, which he began in 1999 as the company’s customer service manager. As a teenager in Miami, he worked on Cigarette raceboats, all while developing his skills as a mechanic and rigger, in the early 1980s. Eventually, he became a ride-long mechanic in the offshore racing world and became an engine builder for the once-vaunted Hawk Power outfit. By the late 1980s, if a Cigarette was equipped with Hawk Power engines, Lorow handled the sea trial.
When Cigarette’s Skip Braver needed an ace driver to pilot a Cigarette-AMG creation for testing and photography, Bud Lorow always got the nod.
In the decades that followed in his full-time Cigarette career, Lorow had a hand in almost every project, from the introduction of the company’s twin-step V-bottoms to its helping develop its center console line—all the way to the 59 Tirranna.
“There is not a Cigarette produced today that doesn’t have piece of Bud’s expertise and technical prowess in it,” said Braver. “He’s a true encyclopedia of boating knowledge and a skilled researcher with the ability to skip from discipline to discipline, and then tie them all together into truly remarkable products. The entire crew at Cigarette Racing Team wishes Bud a well-deserved retirement. He’ll be missed, but we love our time together with him.”
Braver paused for a moment.
“He’s is a great friend,” he said. “I’m going to miss working with him every day.”