It’s hard not to root for the big, bad Black Thunder V-bottom each year at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri. The owner of the boat—Minnesota’s Dennis Parvey—is easily one of the nicest, smartest, most humble human beings you could ever meet. He also has one of the craziest need-for-speed desires that only and he and his son, Jason, have been able to satisfy as they’ve rocketed along the event’s one-mile and now, as of two years ago, three-quarter-mile courses for the past two decades.
Minnesota’s Dennis Parvey is just starting the tuning process for the new turbocharged engines in his 43-foot Black Thunder. All photos courtesy Jason Parvey
So when Jason, the 32-year-old son of the 67-year-old engineer turned dentist, told me that he and his Shootout Hall Of Fame father were working hard on a turbocharged repower of their 43-foot V-bottom in hopes of making it to the 31st annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, I have to admit I was excited about the possibility.
At the same time, I was a kind of surprised since the Parveys appeared to be content, even talking retirement, after laying claim to the fastest V-bottom in event history in 2016—the last year of the one-mile course—with a 165-mph top speed, and then proceeding to record top speeds of 161 mph in 2017 and 153 mph last year on the three-quarter-mile course.
Stupid me shouldn’t have been surprised as the Parveys’ aforementioned need for speed, along with the desire to continually improve technologically and efficiently, is pretty much undeniable. As the younger Parvey explained the project, the motivation behind it seemed to make complete sense.