Lot Number
238

1974 Riva Aquarama Special "Lealena"

Sold For €448.000

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Sotheby's - MONACO 2016


Hull No.
596

Documents: Venice Boat Registration Certificate

  • Originally delivered to Italian financier Augusto Tibaldi
  • Beautifully restored and maintained in Greece

Two 350 hp Riva V-8 engines. Length: 8.78 m

The ultimate version of the legendary twin-engined Aquarama, the Aquarama Special was an improvement of earlier models, with a longer, more efficient V-hull design, more power from two 350 horsepower Riva V-8 engines, and numerous luxury details that made this already classic boat even better adapted for comfortable navigation on the sea. It was the final mahogany runabout built by Riva, with the very final example being delivered in 1996.

That offered here, hull number 596, belongs to the second series, manufactured between 1973 and the mid-1990s, which is distinguished by a redesigned instrument panel, a new steering wheel, and additional safety features. Factory ledgers indicate that “from hull number 593, cabin’s top is upholstered and a new set of five fire extinguishers are installed on board”. Hull number 596 was the ninth example built in 1974, over a year’s total production of 21, many of which were exported to foreign countries.

The Aquarama Special was sold new in 1974 directly by Riva of Sarnica to Augusto Tibali of Santi Cosma e Damiano in Rome’s Latium region. An immensely wealthy banker, Signore Tibali was reportedly very close to the circles of power in Italy’s capital, including involvement in affluent Masonic lodges known to have been involved in major political affairs. He regularly made Italian newspaper headlines until he withdrew from official participation in politics in the early 1980s.

Lealena was sold thereafter to another well-known socialite and businessman in whose ownership it has remained since. While it has been seldom used over the passing years, it was always professionally maintained and was recently fully restored in Greece to a very high standard. Her present condition shows great concern for the preservation of the boat’s original specifications, which made the Aquarama Special a world-famous symbol of luxury living and la dolce vita.



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