RIVA AND LAMBORGHINI, A DREAM REBORN
It took all the passion of the Dutch specialist Riva World and its proprietor Sandro Zani as well as the patient dedication of various experts to relaunch the fastest model ever built in Riva’s history: the unique Riva Aquarama Lamborghini.
Built by the Riva shipyards in Sarnico from 1962 to 1996 in a limited series of 789 exemplars, the Riva Aquarama is considered a myth of Italian shipbuilding. It was certainly no accident that the acute and trained eye of Ferruccio Lamborghini was attracted to this rare jewel of the sea in 1968 to the point where he not only bought one, but also negotiated with Carlo Riva, the founder of the brand, to install two V12 engines in the place of the standard V8s. The founder of the celebrated car manufacturers in Sant’agata Bolognese, true protagonist of its birth and the initial phases of its extraordinary history, Ferruccio Lamborghini was a strong and successful man with clear ideas, and had no fear of plunging into the unknown: as, for example, taking the same engines mounted on the 350 GT, the first model produced by Lamborghini in the 1950s, and experimenting with them on the open sea.
Acceleration and peak performance worthy of the story of both Riva and the brand of the Bull.
In three months, a unique exemplar with exceptional characteristics saw the light, uniting the high quality of the materials and construction of the Riva’s hull with the 700-horsepower provided by the two Lamborghini engines, and producing a dream for all yachting aficionados.
This exclusive exemplar of the Aquarama, bearing the production number “278,” was delivered to Ferruccio Lamborghini in the spring of 1968 and inscribed in the naval register of Venice. Ferruccio’s passions were thus not limited to luxury cars but also included a legendary speedboat whose traces were lost after the death of its owner in 1993. The fastest Aquarama in the world, with a top speed of 48 knots instead of the 40 knots of the series models, had in fact remained abandoned for years in storage far from its memorable feats on the sea. This state continued until a Dutch collector tracked it down, bought it and restored it to its original condition after three years of patient work by Riva World, in which the wooden boat was repaired, sanded, polished and then treated with at least 25 coats of paint, with its particular chromatic details restored and its interiors brought back to life with new upholstery and finishings created in faithful reproduction of the famous Riva design.
The greatest difficulty was met in restoring the original V12 Lamborghini engines, and this operation succeeded only with the help of Lamborghini, which possesses a V12 4.0 from the 350 GT in its “seaworthy” version exhibited in the museum in Sant’agata Bolognese that allowed for the reconstruction of the characteristics and modifications carried out by Ferruccio Lamborghini on the boat engines. Lino Morosini, the manager of Riva’s engine department for 45 years and the “father” of the Aquarama Lamborghini, also furnished a precious contribution in adapting the V12 engines with a cooling system using water in a specially designed closed-circuit system.
The Riva Aquarama boasts a unique harmony of elegance, luxury and design that naturally caught the trained eye of Ferruccio Lamborghini in the 1960s.