This spring, auction house RM Auctions will offer a unique Ferrari famous for
its speed on the water. The boat is expected to fetch between $1.3 million and
$1.9 million when it crosses the block during RM's Monaco sale on May 11 and 12.
Fans of hydroplane racing are likely to recognize the 1953 Arno XI, a racing
boat powered by a Ferrari 12-cylinder engine that was built to set a speed
record. Between 1952 and 1953, a wealthy boat-racing privateer named Achille
Castoldi along with racers Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi convinced Enzo
Ferrari to lend his knowledge and technical expertise to develop a machine that
could compete against the Guidotti family and their Maserati-powered boats. The
result is the phenomenal 600+ horsepower Ferrari 375 twin-supercharged G.P. 52/1
On the 15th of October, 1953 on Lake Iseo, the Arno XI successfully established the world
speed record of 150.2 mph (241.708 km/h); a record that, in its class, has yet
to be defeated.
When Castoldi finished racing Arno XI he sold it to a rich engineer and fellow racer Nando dell'Orto, who continued to race the Arno XI successfully for another 10
years. RM said the current owner bought the boat more than 20 years ago and
restored it to show condition. The boat has also been used a number of times
since its restoration.
RM said the Arno XI comes with "an extensive history file" that includes period
photos and notes hand-written by famous Ferrari engineer Gioacchino Colombo
during tests on Lake Iseo and bench testing at Ferrari's Maranello factory.
Featuring a 600+ horsepower Ferrari engine, the 1953 Arno XI hydroplane is capable of speeds over 150 mph (244 km/h).