JAVIER TORRES / © RACERZ
From 1962 to 1996, Italian yacht builder Riva carved out a legend in the nautical world. The motorboat builder Carlo Riva designed the Aquarama, a luxury wooden runabout that became over the decades in one of the most famous boats. In addition, Riva was involved in the first-ever yacht builder and car company collaboration, alongside Lamborghini.
In 1968, Ferruccio Lamborghini wanted one of Carlo’s Aquaramas, but he wanted it with his own engines. The desire ended in one of the most famous motorboats Riva has ever built – and the rarest, fastest and most exceptional Aquarama of them all: the Aquarama Lamborghini.
At the time, the standard Aquarama was powered by two V8 Riva-Crusader engines, but Ferruccio wanted his owns engines, the same engines that powered his first sportscar, the Lamborghini 350 GT. He took a pair of 350 bhp 4.0 V12 Lamborghini engines from the Lamborghini 350 GT and adapted them. This made it not only the fastest Aquarama ever built, but an Aquarama with the heart of a Lamborghini and a top speed of 55 mph.
Disappeared and finally restored
Ferruccio and his family enjoyed the boat for over 20 years. After Ferruccio died in 1993, the location of this unique Riva Aquarama remained unclear for some years, until a Dutch Riva enthusiast decided to track her down. With the help of a Riva restoration specialist, he found her sitting ignominiously in a corner of an Italian boatyard, hidden under a tarpaulin.
That was 2010. He acquired the boat, and set about having her restored to her former glory. To make sure that all the elements were correct, Sandro Zani, the owner of Dutch Riva, made frequent trips to Italy to check on details. This was especially important because new engines were needed to complete the restoration.
After restoration, the Aquarama was taken to Italy and put through its paces under the eye of its creator, Carlo Riva on Lago d’Iseo, where it was built.