c1971 Donzi 'Sweet 16' Fibreglass Speed Boat on single axle trailer
Real estate magnate and playboy Don Aronow relocated to Miami, Florida at the age of 34 and started Formula Marine in late 1962, combining his passion for racing power boats with a thriving business. After selling Formula to the Alliance Machine Corp. of Dayton, Ohio, Aronow formed a new company named Donzi Marine in 1964 with naval engineer Jim Wynne and his partner Walt Walters, who together came up with one of the most instantly recognisable designs ever made, the Sweet 16. Setting new standards for design, performance and good looks, the iconic 16 became known as the 'Jaguar of Sports boats', receiving rave reviews. Donzi speedboats became famous the world over, with retired President Lyndon Johnson owning several 16s and even the Israeli military put them to good use during the Six-Day War of 1967. In the late 1960s the moulds for the Donzi 16 and 19 were brought to Australia and made by a company called Admiral Marine and later C O Jensen took over, building the boats under the name Donzcraft. Although founder Don Aronow sold Donzi in 1965, he continued to lead a larger than life existence, becoming a friend of future President George Bush and successfully competing in offshore races under the Cigarette Racing Team banner before being gunned down at the end of Thunderboat Row in Miami on February 3, 1987. The Donzi 16 continued in production for decades after its birth and is now celebrated as a true classic, renowned for its timeless styling and stunning performance.