Arno XI Hydroplane with Ferrari Engine Heading to RM Auctions in Monaco

As these incredible pictures below show, Ferrari is not just a talented car manufacturer. This impressive Ferrari Hydroplane set an unrivalled world record in 1953 and is now set to fetch around $1.5 million at RM Auctions’ Monaco Sale. Developed in 1952 by wealthy Italian industrialist Achille Castoldi and Ferrari Grand Prix racers Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi, the speedy craft, propelled by a 4500cc V12 (which was also used by the Type 375 Grand Prix car), handily won the world speed record the following year.

Ferrari Arno XI Hydroplane Racing Boat 
Ferrari Arno XI Hydroplane Racing Boat

Modified for record breaking marine duty, the engine ran on methanol to allow higher compression ratios for the additional twin-superchargers to deliver more than 500 hp. The boat piloted by Castoldi averaged speeds well over 150.2 mph in 1953. It broke the 24 nautical miles record in the 800 kg category as the Arno XI averaged 102.13 mph.

When Mr Castoldi was finished with Arno XI, it was sold to Nando dell’Orto, a rich engineer, who went on to race it with great success for more than 10 years, securing numerous wins. The boat went through various aerodynamic improvements during that time, including a modified nose and the addition of a fin, finishing its competitive racing career in 1960 with a European championship victory and numerous fastest laps, many of which still exist.

Peter Wallman, specialist at RM Europe, said: We are thrilled to be offering the historic ARNO XI for sale. This awe-inspiring racing boat has beauty, history, provenance and performance; it simply ticks every box for any serious collector.

The current unnamed owner acquired the racing boat over 20 years ago, restoring it to mint condition, and it is now being sold at auction. [RM Auctions]

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