Lamborghini Riva Aquarama Back from the Dead with Twin V-12s
When most people think about the name, “Lamborghini,” they think about the awesomely fast cars that can oftentimes make Porsche owners want to weep.
In this case, however, the Lamborghini in question is the one that stemmed from Ferruccio Lamborghini’s original idea to turn the Lamborghini name into a luxury boat – and he did just that when he released the Riva Aquarama more than 47 years ago.
Offered to the world as the Lamborghini Riva Aquarama, the boat is now a collector’s item, despite the fact that it was found in a boat yard under a tarp having not seen the sun for decades.
What was it that made this boat so special then, and what keeps it a collector’s item now?
The fact that the Riva Aquarama contained not just one engine, but two engines – Lamborghini V12 engines, both of which were the exact V12 engines that original Lamborghini 350 GTV used – meant that the Riva Aquarama would be a boat to remember, even if no one really did until now.
The original Riva Aquarama engines were the same engines that the Lamborghini 350 GTV featured at the 1963 Turin Auto Show. These same engines were the ones that put Porche on notice, and surprised sport car fans worldwide. Fortunately, for collectors worldwide, Dutche –owned Riva World, was able to find the Riva Aquarama in 2010 in a corner of the lot. Unfortunately, however, finding an engine for the boat that could be restored was not an easy task, and it wasn’t fully possible using the engines that came with the found Riva Aquarama.
Only 120 of the 350 GTs were made, so to keep the restoration as true to original as possible, restorers were able to purchase two of those 120 Lamborghini car engines, dismantle them and recreate the boat engine from them using the museum’s engine as a blueprint.
Reupholstered seats, gleaming chrome, and an original but refurbished dashboard were among some of the restorations made to the Riva Aquarama.
According to the report, “Three years, hundreds of hours, thousands of sandings and repairs, and 25 layers of clear-coat,” in addition to an engine tuning from Bob Wallace is what it took overall to get the Lamborghini Riva Aquarama back in the water in full working condition. Bob Wallace used to be the go to test driver for Lamborghini, so it was only right that to keep the restoration true to original they should ask Wallace to go for a ride in the Riva Aquarama – and he was finally able to right before he passed away earlier this year.
Lamborghini fans have the Lamborghini museum, Riva World, Bob Wallace, and of course Lamborghini himself to thank for bringing this legendary boat back from the dead.
You can see a video of the Riva Aquarama in action here during Wallace’s ride in it.