Ferruccio's Lambo V12-powered Riva is afloat again at last

| 7 Oct 2013

Ferruccio Lamborghini's personal Riva Aquarama – powered by a pair of Lamborghini V12 engines from the 350GT – has been restored to its former glory after years of being tucked away in the corner of a boatyard, presumed lost.

It was thought to be the fastest Riva in the world when it was built some 45 years ago and was only rediscovered when its owner passed away in 1993.

It was then tracked down by a Dutch expert who sparked a three year restoration at Riva World including 25 layers of varnish and consultations with the recently departed Bob Wallace (see obituary here) on how to adapt the engines for marine use.

The result from the seven litres of longitudinally mounted Lambo power fed by 12 Webers is an impressive 48 knots.

After test runs in the Netherlands, the restored Riva was transported to Italy, where it ran on Lago d’Iseo, watched by Carlo Riva who built the Aquarama for Ferruccio Lamborghini over just three months in 1968.

Riva World owner Sandro Zani said: “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.  That is why we bought two other V12 engines, one of which in the US, and converted them so they would be fully suitable for use in a boat. 

"Thanks to the Ferruccio Lamborghini Museum, we were allowed to disassemble and recreate various original parts of the original engine in the museum. In addition, Lino Morosini, who 45 years ago was head of the Riva engine division and one of the fathers of the Aquarama Lamborghini, provided us with additional information with which we were able to adapt the twin V12 powerhouses, water-cooled via specially designed closed circuit, so they were completely in line with the original specimens.”

More pictures.