Lamborghini Powered Riva Aquarama

Well after reading the heading it’s obvious this boat is going to suck…OR IS IT THE BEST RIVA ON THE PLANET? It might well be!

The Lamborghini dictum quite clearly states that more is more. Which is why, 45 years ago, company owner Ferruccio Lamborghini commissioned a company called Riva to build him an Aquarama sports boat with two 350GT V12 engines. And after 20 years off the water it’s just been restored to its former glory!

Dutch powerhouse Riva-World, spent three years reworking the 700hp pleasure craft based on drawings and photographs borrowed from the Ferruccio Lamborghini Museum, Italy.

Seeing as the boat was last seen afloat 20 years ago in 1993, it required rather a lot of tinkering. The wooden hull was repaired, sanded and then coated 25 times in special protective veneers. Then the seats were reupholstered, and all of the switchgear was pulled and repaired before reinstallation.

But there remained a small problem. Well, two. Namely the pair of 4-litre 350GT V12s that were fitted originally. Riva-World only knew the whereabouts of one – it was displayed in the Ferruccio Lamborghini Museum, but wasn’t for sale. After sourcing a new pair, the Museum let Riva-World take it apart so it could recreate the components that converted it into a proper marine engine.

The company also tracked down Lino Morosini and Bob “Jota” Wallace. The former was head of Riva’s engine division when the Aquarama Lambo was designed, and the latter was Lamborghini’s test driver and developer. Wallace, who passed away earlier this year, told Riva World that one of the 350-horsepower engines was designed to rotate to the left, and the other right, giving it more low-down torque and a top end of 48 knots (55.2mph).

After restoration, its maiden voyage was at Lake Iseo, Italy, undertaken under the scrutiny of Riva’s founder. The very man that, back in 1968, received the commission from Ferruccio to build the Aquarama in just three months. You can watch the film here. Story originally via BBC.

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Why wouldn’t Carlo Riva have his thumbs up?


James is the Founder and Editor of The Versatile Gent.

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