1953 Arno XI Ferrari-powered Hydroplane up for Sale


Meet the 1953 Arno XI, a classic wooden hydroplane powered by one of Ferrari’s legendary V-12 Formula 1 engines. This boat’s connected directly to Ferrari—Enzo himself gave the green light to sell one of his state-of-the-art Lampredi F1 engines for use in this water-based vehicle. It also set a class world speed record in 1953, which makes this more than simply a cool old hydroplane. In fact, this is the only boat in the world to have officially received a Scuderia Ferrari racing engine. Now it could be yours.

Don’t expect the Arno XI to be an old boat bargain, though. It’s been offered for sale several times over the years, after receiving what was described by a previous auction listing as a thorough and exacting restoration in the 1990s. It sold for €868,000 at one point (or a little more than $1,000,0000), and there’s no reason to think it won’t sell for at least that much this time around (the current seller simply asks interested parties to “call for price”).

The Arno XI’s story ought to be biopic fodder. The highlight of builder Achille Castoldi’s record-setting career, the 150.5 mph (150.49 mph, to be specific) speed of the Arno XI earned it a place in history. The pursuit of speed was interesting enough on its own, too. Ferrari’s 4.5-liter V-12 originally made an impressive 385 hp, but this wasn’t nearly enough for Castoldi’s goals. Ferrari’s motorsports engine specialists set to work, adapting the engine to run on methanol and adding twin superchargers, which netted around 600 hp.

Thankfully, the next buyer won’t need to deal with the headaches of a high-strung supercharged methanol engine, as the boat’s since been converted to run on 100 octane gasoline instead. The Arno XI is said to be suitable for water runs, although it’s so beautiful it could easily be the centerpiece of a Ferrari exhibition. You can find the Arno XI listed for sale on duPont Registry.



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