Inducted February 12, 1987
Bakersfield-born Orlando Torigiani becomes the third boat-racing champion to be honored by indication into the Bob Elias Hall of Fame, following John Kovacevich and Manuel Carnakis. Torigiani, who was a long-time farmer in Buttonwillow, got the "bug" for hydroplane racing after watching Kovacevich compete at Long Beach in 1938. He bought an old Class A hydroplane racing after watching Kovacevich compete at Long Beach in 1938. He bought an old Class hydroplane and started fooling around with it on Buena Vista Lake, but wasn't until 10 years later that he launched a heavy-duty racing schedule. During a seven-year stretch, his boat, the "Cotton Kid," became well-known in acing circles as it collected dozens of state, regional, Pacific Coast, national and world titles, and set world speed records for the class. In addition to piloting the boat, Torigiani often served as his own mechanic.