Almost half a century ago or 45 years to be precise, Ferruccio Lamborghini, the founder of the Italian sports car manufacturer, commissioned a sports boat to luxury boat manufacturer Riva.
Built in three months, the Riva Aquarama Lamborghini was no ordinary boat; it was powered by two Lamborghini V12 engines each developing 350 hp. The Italian industrialist owned the boat until his death in 1993, with no one knowing what happened to it ever since.
That is, until a Dutch collector tracked it down and had it fully restored to its original condition by Riva World, a company specializing in the restoration of Riva boats. Work on the project began in 2010, and now the boat has been brought back to its original condition.
The boat’s wooden hull was repaired and sanded, with no fewer than 25 coatings being applied. The wooden interior was repaired as well and the seats were reupholstered in the famous Riva design. On top of that, all buttons and switches were disassembled, repaired and reinstalled. But the most important and difficult part of the restoration regarded the engines.
The boat originally had two Lamborghini V12 engines from the brand’s first production model, the 350 GT. “One of the two original engines from the Riva can still be seen in the Ferruccio Lamborghini Museum in Italy, but unfortunately wasn’t available for sale for this project,” said Sandro Zani, Riva World owner.
The company found two identical V12 engines and converted them for boat use. Interestingly, one of the engines rotates to the left and the other to the right, to increase torque at low speeds. The two 4.0-liter V12 units each develop 350hp and are equipped with six twin Weber carburetors. They have a rev range between 700 and 5,000 rpm, with much of the torque being available from around 1,500 rpm.
The Riva Aquarama Lamborghini has a top speed of around 48 knots (89 km/h), compared to 40 knots (74 km/h) for regular Aquaramas fitted with twin V8 units as standard.
By Dan Mihalascu