It’s not often we feature anything without wheels on PH, so anything we do has to be really special. Fortunately, Ferruccio Lamborghini’s Riva Aquarama speedboat is just that. And then some.
The boat is in the news as it has been fully restored over three years to as-new condition following decades hidden away. Its original owner died in 1993, but Dutch Riva collector Sandro Zani tracked the boat down and made it his responsibility to bring it back to its former glory.
Ferruccio Lamborghini commissioned the boat in 1968, and was built under the tutelage of Carlos Riva in just three months. Being essentially a Lamborghini boat, it is appropriately and wonderfully overengined. Power comes from a pair of 4.0-litre V12s, similar to those found in the 350GT.
The original engines had to be replaced with a pair of V12s. However, to ensure the most authentic reproduction possible, the resto team were given access to the original engine in the Ferruccio Lamborghini museum. Furthermore Riva’s powertrain boss from the 1960s, Lino Morosini, was on hand with some additional info to ensure the engine spec was as accurate as possible.
The late Bob Wallace was also involved in engine calibration during the project. The bore and stroke are increased over the roadgoing spec for better low-end torque, with the peak now delivered at 1,500rpm. But they still make 350hp each, they still rev to 5,000rpm and there are still 12 Weber carburettors. Lovely.
Top speed is a claimed 48 knots, which blows the 40 knots of a twin-V8 Riva out of the water (we had to have a pun somewhere).
Elsewhere, the restoration has been befittingly thorough. Following a repair, the wooden hull was treated to ‘no fewer than 25 coatings’ (we’d assume of lacquer), the leather reupholstered and every piece of switchgear repaired.
It isn't clear what will happen to the Lamborghini-Riva speedboat now. It is described as a 'collector's item for true connoisseurs', which could imply it will be sold. You'll be the talk of the marina...