Ferrari V12 powered 1953 Arno XI motor racing boat to be auctioned at RM Auctions during 2012 F1 Monaco GP (Photos & Video)

Arno XI, a motor racing boat powered by a 4.5L Ferrari V12, the same engine that powered Ferrari F1 race cars in 1950’s, will be auctioned at the RM Auctions on 11-12 May in Monaco this year. Achille Castoldi, the brainchild behind Arno XI, wanted to create the fastest boat in the world. Luckily, Mr Castoldi, was friends with Ferrari GP drivers Luigi Villoresi and Alberto Ascari. Together, the three of them managed to convince the great Enzo Ferrari, who agreed to provide all the technical assistance needed in order to develop Arno XI.

Ferrari provided Mr Castoldi with their prized possession, the 4.5L V12 engine that helped Ferrari win their first ever World Championship Grand Prix in 1951 at Silverstone. Work to develop Arno XI began almost immediately. Arno XI’s Ferrari V12 was added with twin superchargers, which helped the engine generate peak power of 502 bhp at 6,000 rpm.

On 15th October 1953, this 800 kg Ferrari powered hydroplane, achieved a record speed of 241.7 kmph (150.19 mph) in Italy’s fourth largest lake – Lake Iseo. Incredibly, Arno XI’s record is still unbeaten, making it the fastest boat in the world (800 kg category).

Castoldi, after achieving his dream, sold Arno XI to Nando dell’Orto, with whom, Arno XI secured many more victories. During that period, ARNO XI underwent several changes in its design. Arno XI raced for the last time in a competition in 1960 and ended its career with numerous fastest lap times that still remain to be broken, and a European Championship.

Arno XI motor racing boat was acquired by its present owner, more than 20 years ago and is expected to fetch between €1 million ($1.31 million) to €1.5 million ($1.97 million) when it goes under the hammer at RM Auctions during 2012 Monaco F1 GP.

Speaking about the addition of Arno XI, Mr Peter Wallman, Specialist, RM Auctions Europe, said, “We are thrilled to be offering the historic ARNO XI at our Monaco sale. This awe-inspiring racing boat has beauty, history, provenance and performance; it simply ticks every box for any serious collector. It’s an exceptional piece of history, made even more famous by the countless models one sees of it in important collectors’ libraries and is likely to appeal to serious car collectors as much as it will to traditional boat collectors. It has that alluring mix of ’50s Ferrari grand prix car with the sheer beauty and simplicity of the hydroplanes of the period. We are honored to have been entrusted with its sale.”