Classic Lamborghini powered boat restored
With twin 4.0-litre V12 Lamborghini engines, each putting out 257 kilowatts (350bhp) and taken from the original 350 GT, the Riva Aquarama Lamborghini has been fully restored to its original condition.
Built 45 years ago for and commissioned by Ferruccio Lamborghini, founder of the Italian sports car brand that bears his name, the fastest Aquarama in the world is once again ready to cleave the waters.
For years this unique runabout was hidden away in the corner of a boatyard, hidden from the world under old tarpaulins and dust sheets.
Enthusiasts had been aware of its existence but no one appeared to know where the legendary sports boat was, after its owner died in 1993.
Then, a Dutch Riva collector tracked it down and had it restored to original condition by Riva World, which specialises in the restoration of Riva boats.
Now, three years later, the Aquarama Lamborghini is back to life in all its splendour.
Sandro Zani, owner of Riva World, regularly travelled to Italy over those three years, even visiting the Ferruccio Lamborghini Museum, in order to document and verify all the details of the original, before beginning the restoration.
The Aquarama was worked on from top to bottom. The wooden hull was repaired, sanded and no fewer than 25 coats of marine paint and varnish were applied. The wooden interior was repaired and the seats were reupholstered in the famous Riva design; all buttons and switches were disassembled, repaired and reinstalled; and every chrome part now shines again like new.
Along the way, Ferruccio Lamborghini's Riva received a new heart - a pair of V12 engines from the very first Lamborghini ever created, The 350GT, which conspired in the late 60s to make the boat the fastest Aquarama in the world.
"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," explains Sandro Zani.
"...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."
Another valuable source was Lamborghini's former legendary test driver and developer, New Zealander Bob Wallace, who died last month.
He provided input for getting the two Lamborghini engines ready for maritime use.
- © Fairfax NZ News