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Lamborghini's Riva Aquarama Speedboat Powered by Dual V12s

Two 350hp 4.0L V12 engines incorporated in Ferruccio's restored watercraft

Toni Avery
Oct 10, 2013

    Lamborghini Riva Aquarama Details:
  • Ferruccio Lamborghini's Riva Aquarama receives three-year restoration
  • All the wood, interior and even minor details were restored to its original beauty
  • Two Lamborghini V12 engines used in the 350 GT were fitted
  • Capable of reaching 55mph (48 knots), compared to most other twin V8 Aquaramas that achieve 46mph (40 knots)

Lamborghini Riva Aquarama video

Lamborghini has been known to create wild vehicles on land but what about the water? Although brand enthusiasts alike where aware of Ferruccio Lamborghini's Riva Aquarama speedboat, no one knew where it resided after the passing of its owner in 1993. It was finally found and restored by a Dutch River collector who had it brought back to its original condition by Riva World, world-renowned specialists in the restoration of Riva boats.

Riva_Aquarama_Lamborghini_3.JPG Photo 2/11   |   Riva Aquarama Lamborghini 3

Work like this does not happen overnight, rather it took about three years, with frequent trips to and from Italy for the owner of the Dutch Riva company (Sandro Zani) researching details on the boat. This included trips to the Ferruccio Lamborghini Museum to see the original Riva in order to conduct a thorough and accurate restoration.

During the three-year restoration, the wooden hull was repaired, sanded and no less than 25 coatings were applied. The interior was completely redone with the seats reupholstered in the Riva design, buttons and switches were brought back to life along with the chrome parts.

But best of all, the engine was also replaced with two 350hp 4.0L Lamborghini V12 engines from the automakers first car ever made: 350 GT. This new engine makes this the fastest Aquarama in the world with a total of 700hp.

Lamborghini_350_GT_V12_engines_2.JPG Photo 3/11   |   Lamborghini 350 GT V12 Engines 2

"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. "That is why we bought two other V12 engines, one of which in the US, and converted them so they would be fully suitable for use in a boat. Thanks to the Ferruccio Lamborghini Museum, we were allowed to disassemble and re-create various original parts of the original engine in the museum. In addition, 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."

Riva_Aquarama_Lamborghini_1.JPG Photo 4/11   |   Riva Aquarama Lamborghini 1

Another helpful source in the restoration was the former test driver and developer, Bob Wallace, who recently passed away. He was able to provide input for how the engines were to be installed so that they could work together. One of the engines was to rotate right and the other left, increasing the torque in the low range. The engines also feature twelve Weber carburetors in total with the rev range between 700 and 5,000rpm. Together, these engines allow the Aquarama to achieve a top speed of 55mph (48 knots), compared to most other Aquarama's with twin V8 engines only able to achieve a top speed of 46mph (40 knots).

Even if you don't care much for boats, you can at least appreciate the work and craftsmanship that went into the restoration of the Aquarama. Rebuilding a piece of history, even if it takes place on water, is something worth noting. Especially when its history resides with the famous raging bull automaker.

Riva_Aquarama_Lamborghini_4.JPG Photo 11/11   |   Riva Aquarama Lamborghini 4
By Toni Avery
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