back in the 1950s, ferrari powered a powerful hydroplane built for one thing: to break the world speed record on water. the endeavor was proposed by achille castoldi — a racing champion — to enzo ferrari who agreed to help him. dubbed the 1952 ferrari arno XI racing boat, this exclusive water vehicle is now on sale on dupont registry.

all images courtesy of dupont registry

the 1952 ferrari arno XI racing boat was built to shatter the speed record in the 800-kg class. achille castoldi had been setting records on water since 1940, and to achieve the record, he commissioned cantieri timossi to build a 3-point hydroplane from hardwood, covered in mahogany veneer. when enzo heard he had painted the upper body in ferrari red, the scuderia F1 team was sent to lend their expertise. this culminated in a world record in the flying kilometer: 150.40 miles per hour, which still stands to this day.

1952 ferrari arno XI racing boat on sale designboom

at first, castoldi had planned to use a ferrari engine, so he purchased a 4.5L V12. when enzo understood he was going for the record, he realized they needed more power. using lessons learned on the track, they nearly doubled the compression ratio to handle methanol. a hotter spark was needed, so the distributors and coils were replaced by twin magnetos. each cylinder had twin spark plugs to ensure a clean burn. it wasn’t enough, so two giant superchargers were driven by the crankshaft. each one had its own weber 4-barell modified to dump meth into the engine with an air/fuel ratio of 5:1. what started at 385 horsepower made between 550 and 600 in race tune.

1952 ferrari arno XI racing boat on sale designboom

today, this ferrari is for sale and looking for a new owner. it comes with a well-documented history file that includes hundreds of period photographs and handwritten notes from ferrari’s engineers. the boat is currently being certified at ferrari classiche, and a copy of the U.I.M. record certification that attests to achille castoldi’s 1953 speed record is included as well.

1952 ferrari arno XI racing boat on sale designboom

project info:

name: 1952 ferrari arno XI racing boat

on sale: dupont registry for more info

juliana neira I designboom

aug 14, 2019

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Adm1n