Ferrari's world speed record breaking boat
Image: courtesy of RM Auctions
Ferrari is course a famous name on the road and racetrack, but it is also a marque that has made speed machines for the water. This is highlighted by last month's sale of the 1953 Timossi-Ferrari 'Arno XI' Racing Hydroplane at the RM Auctions Monaco event.
This boat was built by Timossi di Azzano Timossi Azzano’s Cantieri Timossi boatyard, located on Lake Como. It incorporated two pontoon-like attachments running along each side of the boat, which, along with the propeller, were the only parts of the boat to touch the water. The tunnel underneath the boat, in the triangular zone between the two pontoons and the propeller, gave the boat aerodynamic lift. The motor, was a Ferrari Tipo 375 F1 V-12, the same engine that powered Ferrari's Formula One cars in 1951.
The boat was constructed in order to chase the 800 kg class world speed record. Design and construction began in 1951, and was completed in 1952. After a somewhat unsuccessful shakedown, in which the boat only reached an unofficially recorded 124 mph, it was back to the workshop for the engine. Ferrari's chief racing engineer, Stefano Meazza, tuned the engine to operate on methanol, and added twin superchargers and twin four-choke carburettors. The result was an improvement from just under 400 brake horsepower, to over 600.
Back in the water the Timossi-Ferrari 'Arno XI' Racing Hydroplane reached a speed of 102.34 miles per hours, breaking the speed record in the 800 kg class.
In the years since, the boat has been modified, immaculately maintained, and continued to race. The 1953 Timossi-Ferrari 'Arno XI' Racing Hydroplane was sold at auction in mid-May 2012, for €868.000.
See and hear how the Ferrari boat performs in this short video: