Nautical legend, icon of Italian design and maximum expression of intuition, genius and elegance in the Dolce Vita style, Riva Aquarama Lamborghini - a unique model commissioned in 1967 by Ferruccio Lamborghini to engineer Carlo Riva - has always represented a myth of the common imagination.
Celebrating the fastest Aquarama in the world could only be Bellini Nautica, historic shipyard of Clusane , on the shores of Lake Iseo, specialized in restoration - and in the care, literally - of Riva boats and vintage motorboats, of which it boasts a precious collection, as well as in the sale of new and used yachts.
The history of the Riva Aquarama Lamborghini
In 1967 Ferruccio Lamborghini, founder of the car company of the same name, asked the engineer Carlo Riva to customize the Aquarama that he would have bought by replacing the engines original with two 350 HP Lamborghini V12s. Thus was born a boat that has become a legend, whose history began on Lake Iseo, passed through the Netherlands to return, in its last stop, to the same territory on the shores of the lake, among the historic boats - kept and cared for as works of art - of the collection Riva by Bellini Nautica.
Aquarama: the Rolls-Royce of the sea
In production from 1962 to 1996 , the Aquarama was - and is - the most famous of Carlo Riva's creations, the one that even non-nautical experts come to mind when the word "Riva" is pronounced. , on which countless personalities of the international jet set, known as “the Rolls-Royce of the sea” have been photographed. His name is inspired by the cinerama, a shooting and projection system on a curved screen, whose shape is taken from the windshield.
The fastest Aquarama ever built
The production of hull number 278, what will later be commonly known as Riva Aquarama Lamborghini, began in May 1968. For three months the workers of the Riva shipyard worked to be able to put the boat in the water by August. The choice to replace the standard V8 engines with two of those supplied to the Lamborghini 350 GT made it the fastest Aquarama ever built, capable of reaching 48 knots instead of the 40 of the production model.
For twenty years the motorboat remained owned by Ferruccio Lamborghini , until, in July 1988 , the sold it to his friend Angelo Merli, who decided to replace Lamborghini engines with standard ones to lower maintenance costs, transferring the special engines to the Lamborghini museum. When Merli died in 1993, his heirs did not show the same interest in the Riva model and, for a certain period, nothing was heard of again. It remained under the canopy of a construction site until it was found in 2010 by a passionate collector, who bought it and had it transferred to the Netherlands, finding it inside the boat the original sales invoice signed by Ferruccio Lamborghini.
The owner decided to completely restore the boat and bring it back to the shape of its conception, including the reinstallation of the two Lamborghini engines. The originals that Lamborghini had asked to install were still in the museum, but not for sale. Those who took care of the restoration bought two more V12 engines and converted them so that they were perfectly marinized like the originals themselves, thanks to the collaboration of the museum, which made it possible to photograph, measure and duplicate some parts of the engines installed in the 1960s, of Lino Morosini, head of the Riva engine division at the time, and former Lamborghini test driver and developer, Bob Wallace.
The Lamborghini Aquarama can be visited at Bellini Nautica
After the restoration was completed, the Lamborghini Aquarama was tested by Carlo Riva on Lake Iseo . The Lamborghini Aquarama is now as much a part of Riva's history as that of the car manufacturer and is exhibited on special occasions or events. It is currently owned by an Italian shipowner and can be visited in the Riva Collection of Bellini Nautica in Clusane, near Iseo.