Updated: Aug 1, 2020
Imagine plopping a Ferrari Grand Prix engine into a boat...well, here’s the story! The 1953 Timossi-Ferrari Arno XI Racing Hydroplane was designed by speedboat racer Achille Castoldi, who piloted the world record run on Italy's Lake Iseo. He and the machine set a world speed record for its class in 1953, going 150 mph!
As you can see, the boat has a slick, solid wooden frame with a mahogany outer skin with strong metal for the subframe. The engine used in this boat was the same type that had been used in Ferrari's Grand Prix race cars, including a car that won the first World Championship Grand Prix in 1951, which also soared at an astonishing 150 mph.
Except, this engine was modified to run on methanol, which allowed for much higher compression and more power. Additionally, twin superchargers were also added, all of which raised its horsepower from the original 385 to 600.
The 1950s were a time when John Cobb and Donald Campbell dared to break 200 mph using ridiculous jet-powered hydroplanes. Still, Timossi-Ferrari Arno XI Racing Hydroplane proved powerful speeds for a partially wooden boat that wasn’t jet-powered. Would you dare get behind the wheel? If you have a few million lying around then you can! Back in 2012, RM Auctions estimated the boat’s whopping value between 1,000,000 euros to 1,500,000 euros ($1,294,000 to $1,941,000). I’m left wondering how much it is worth now.