International Trophy Sale 2013

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1954 Ferrari Hydroplane, Nando Dell’Orto model boat, 36” in length.

Lot No.: 280

Sold for (£): 1,298

Achille Castoldi was good friends with Ferrari Formula One drivers Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi and was also a wealthy powerboat racing privateer. In 1940 Castoldi set the world speed record of 81.1mph in the 400kg Class with his boat, "Arno". By 1953, Castoldi had decided to concentrate on setting top speed records. So he commissioned an 800kg Class, three-point hydroplane hull, and then approached marine construction newcomers, Scuderia Ferrari, to build the engine. What Ferrari supplied was a Type 375 V-12 Grand Prix engine that displaced 4493.7cc and produced approximately 385bhp. This engine spun the twin bladed propeller at up to 10,000rpm!

At the January 1953 Campione d'Italia races, Castoldi piloted "Arno XI" to an unofficial top speed in excess of 124mph during the shakedown testing, prior to the official two-way run. However, his rival, Mario Verga achieved a speed record of 125.68mph. Two weeks later, he surpassed his own record with a two-way top speed of 140.74mph.
In preparation for another attempt at breaking Verga's new record, Castoldi had a new engine built. This time, "Arno XI" was fitted with a new methanol burning, twin supercharged 4.5L Ferrari powerplant that now produced 600bhp.

Ferrari sent Stefano Meazza, the chief race engineer of the Scuderia to help prepare the new supercharged engine. On the morning of October 15, 1953, Achille Castoldi succeeded in smashing the 800kg Class speed record with an average "flying kilometre" two-way speed of 150.49 mph. He followed up the performance later that day by setting another record in the "24 Nautical Miles" event.

When Castoldi retired from hydroplane racing in 1954 he sold "Arno XI" to a wealthy engineer named Nando Dell'Orto. Dell'Orto revised the body lines of the engine cover and front fairing, added a large fin behind the driver for stability, and went on to race the boat for a few more years. The most notable success was a 2nd place finish in the 1965 900kg World Championship. It is the Dell'Orto revised boat which this model replicates...

Scratch built to an exacting standard and measuring more than 36" (or 3ft) in length, this imposing model boasts Heartwood Honduras Mahogany wood, similar to that used by real boat builders, which has been expertly painted and varnished to a fine finish. The hood is wood (thin and light), not plastic as some lesser models are, and hundreds of copper nails and chrome trim combine to precisely duplicate the real boat's elegantly curved hull. Finally, in the cockpit, realistic gauges and switches, plus a leather seat complete the accuracy of the 1954 Dell'Orto hydroplane. The 'real thing' is due to be sold at auction in March 2013 and is expected to fetch in the region of £1.26 million, this is a rather more cost effective option!