Ronzino Riva BPM 1500 compressor 1937 "497"

In 1935 Serafino Riva, father of the great engineer Carlo Riva, was commissioned to build the Ronzino Riva, one of just six racing inboards to come out of the small Sarnico shipyard, already known at the time.

The first purchaser of Ronzino, Count Metello Rossi di Montelera, owner together with his brother Theo of the famous Martini & Rossi distillery, collected many titles and awards, breaking all possible records and is considered the greatest pre-war European powerboat champion.

Since then Serafino has continued to design and build racers and has passed this passion on to his son Carlo.

It is the second Riva racer in the redan single-seater series. Particularly important for the historical memory of powerboating is the fate of Metello Rossi's racer. The count, who also ran in the fast touring category, christened it with a certain irony "Ronzino", but he certainly wasn't a nag. It appeared for the last time in public at the Milan Boat Show in 1937. Hospitalized for sixty years in the Turin hills on the Montelera estate, in 1996 it was purchased by a Milanese collector and perfectly restored in total respect of its originality. The restoration was entrusted to the Erio Matteri shipyard. Erio carried out a "recovery" type restoration on Ronzino maintaining all its original wooden parts except for the absolutely necessary replacement of the longitudinal bulkheads of the engine area which were corroded and no longer reliable and of some deck support strips.

All the aluminum parts have also remained original, only re-polished, and so are the iron parts, repainted or re-chromed.

The racer of Count Rossi di Montelera has thus returned to its former glory at the time when it won the Grand Prix.

Today it is the only Riva inboard racer still in existence and the only pre-war racer still perfectly seaworthy throughout Europe.


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