Mr. Lamborghini’s custom twin-V12 powerboat is back on the water

After nearly twenty years spent rotting in a boatyard, the one-off speedboat commissioned by Lamborghini founder Ferruccio Lamborghini has been restored to glory. And a piece of automotive and marine heritage is back on the water with V12s roaring.

That’s right: V12s. Plural.

Apparently Lamborghini was as mad at the get-go as it is now right. When Mr. Lamborghini himself commissioned his Aquarama from the Italian firm Riva in 1968, he ordered the installation of two Lamborghini 4.0-liter V12s under the wooden bodywork, each pushing out 350 of the best sounding horsepower the high seas ever heard.

At 700 hp, the Lamborghini-powered craft was good for 48 knots (55 mph), which was fully eight knots faster than the standard boat upon which the custom ship was based.

Unfortunately when Ferrucio Lamborghini died in 1993, the boat was forgotten and left to the ruins of time and weather.

Good fortune arrived in the form of a Riva runabouts collector. He purchased the ailing craft and turned it over to the Dutch restorer Riva-World.

Three years later, the boat is back in fine form. The restoration took a long time, partially because of the bad condition of the wood and partially because of the difficulty of finding the correct engines.  

One of the original engines was still around in the Ferruccio Lamborghini museum. But as Sandro Zani, the owner of Riva-World, explained the other engine: “unfortunately wasn’t available for sale for this project. That is why we bought the two other V12 engines, one of which in the U.S., and converted them so they would be fully suitable for use in a boat.”

This conversion included setting the two engines up to run in opposite directions so that the boat would not be flung in circles by torque. Other aspects of the engine restoration and conversion were done with the help of Lino Morosini, a Riva engineer, and former Lamborghini test driver Bob Wallace.

As the photos show, the work has clearly been worth it. The finished product is not only gorgeous but a wonderful reminder of the history behind one of the world’s most exciting automakers. Along with the record-braking sale of a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, we can see that this captivating and thrilling time in motoring history is still with us. 


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