A Dutch restoration specialist has completed a three-year project to resurrect a Riva Aquarama speedboat once owned by Ferruccio Lamborghini, founder of the eponymous Italian carmaker. Fittingly, the boat is equipped with a pair of Lamborghini V-12 engines.
Ferruccio Lamborghini commissioned the custom boat in 1968, but after he passed away in 1993, the boat was essentially lost. Riva Aquarama enthusiasts managed to locate the boat, which was hidden under a tarpaulin in the back corner of a nondescript boatyard, and then embarked on the three-year project to restore it to period appearance.
The renovation entailed repairing many sections of the wooden hull, and applying 25 coatings to help protect it from the seawater. The seats, metal controls, upholstery, and interior wood were all painstakingly repaired, too.
Restoring the boat's powertrain proved more difficult, but the restorers were able to enlist the help of Italian LinoMorosini, who worked in Riva's engineering department 45 years ago. Ferruccio Lamborghini request the boat be equipped with a pair of 4.0-liter V-12 engines from a Lamborghini 350GT, and so two new examples were procured for the restoration project. After various modifications so the engines would work at sea rather than on land, each produces 450 hp and gives the boat a top speed of 48 knots (55 mph), up from the 40-knot top speed of standard Riva Aquarama boats with a V-8 engine.
The boat was tested in the Netherlands last year before being transported to Italy, where it was driven under the supervision of Carlos Riva, the company founder who helped push the Ferruccio Lamborghini commission through production in just three months. A video about the boat's history is available on Riva Aquarama's website.