Thunderbolt Design

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Thunderbolt built by Ian, Roger and Murray, New Zealand

February 1, 2019 - Back in 1966/67 Roger, Murray and I decided to build one of your boats "Thunderbolt". Back then, for us in New Zealand, it wasn't easy to send money off shore to order things, not like today with the internet, bank cards etc where the worlds shop window is at your finger tips. Anyway we followed the process and were so excited when Thunderbolt's plans arrived. Then it all started - we told dad he had to leave his car out of the garage as that was going to be the building site for her so away we went. V8 engines weren't easy to come by back then as most of the cars sold in New Zealand were from the UK (4 and 6 cylinder engines) so the hunt was on for a suitable engine. We ended up with a Plymouth V8 around 300 CI that had come out of a midget racing car. Also, the likes of Vee drives etc weren't available here either so I made one using a couple of power take off gears out of a truck gear box. It wined a little but the roar of the V8 soon drowned that out. We used Epiglass brand glues, paint etc in her construction and the representative of the company liked what we had done so we were invited to enter Thunderbolt into the Auckland Boat Show in 1967.

Thunderbolt by Nathan Reed Australia

November, 2015 - The frames have been re- spaced so the boat is 10% longer. the stem was also extended overall length now 18'9

Thunderbolt by Darrell Jones, Lewiston, Idaho

September 2013 I built your Thunderbolt (seems like ages ago), used it for 20 years then sold it because we couldn\'t handle the heat any more (“Age,” Ha Ha). I\'m 78 now. We didn\'t have internet or a computer back then and didn\'t know I could send pictures. I\'m hoping that you will enjoy the pictures as I had a great experience building it. I think I sent you a picture of the finished boat when I finished it, and I remember you making the comment on the metal flake paint. I was going through albums the other day and saw some of the pictures during construction. I scanned them and numbered them the best I could remember. It would really make my day if they could be posted on your customer Photo site. Any way about the Boat… She was powered with a 327 Cu in. Chevy, I would guess about 325 HP. I used your V-Drive Forward Neutral and reverse with a 10% overdrive gear ratio, 12X15 three blade prop. Speed was about 60+ MPH at about 5200 RPM. The boat worked really well for skiing; just touch the foot peddle and it was on top of the water! Most of our skiers liked me to run about 2500 RPM. Again, thank you so much for the great boat and your help along the way.

Thunderbolt (restored) by Randy Milligan, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

July 2013 I\'ve spent the last eight years restoring my father\'s Glen-L Thunderbolt. As a member of the Trent Severn and Toronto antique boat clubs and the APBA, I have dad\'s Thunderbolt and my uncle\'s 280 hydro in the Gravenhurst boat show and the Racing boat show in Valleyfield, Quebec. Thank you for the great opportunity to finish Ramblin\' Rose! P.S. We have a website showing the photos of my dad\'s original build of the Thunderbolt and photos of it being used and raced currently at

Thunderbolt by Gary Ross & His Dad, Albuquerque, New Mexico

March 2013 The Glen-L Thunderbolt that Dad and I built back in 1967-68. This is an early picture when it was carburated. We later put fuel injection on the engine, which was 427 cubic inch Chevy. The boat was clocked at 92mph in the quarter mile at 7250 rpm with a 19% overdrive and two-bladed Stellings stainless steel racing propeller. We sure had a lot of fun with it. Lots of great memories!

Thunderbolt by Greg Roy, Aukland, New Zealand

May 14, 2008 Last year me and a mate bought a second hand Thunderbolt off Trademe. We did a lot of work on her last winter and had a great summer skiing behind her at the lake. It bought back memories of when I was an apprentice (a few years ago now) and the boss had a Thunderbolt which I fitted a 283 smallblock into for him (seems I have had a connection with Glen-L from way back). There can’t be that many Glen-L boats in New Zealand but we have 4 in our family – not bad I reckon. (See photos of our Tiny Titan and Squirt, too, on other Customer Photos pages)

Thunderbolt by Mark Darby, British Columbia, Canada

Update May 2008 Just an update on the performance of my restoration. The chine that I have added appears to be working well. The boat gets out of the water a lot quicker and when I slow down it stays on plane longer. Cornering in the boat is also a lot better. I have had the boat up to 48.9 MPH at about 4200 RPM so I am quite happy with the performance. November 2004


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