Gianni Agnelli’s 55-knot custom speedboat sold at auction

RM Sotherby’s has auctioned off a custom 37ft LOA speedboat that was originally commissioned by the Italian billionaire and Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli.

A true thoroughbred, G Cinquanta sports a deep-vee wood-epoxy hull drawn by the legendary Renato ‘Sonny’ Levi, the sides of which are beautifully varnished, and exterior lines and cockpit detailing by Sergio Pininfarina, one of the all-time greats of the automobile industry. She was built at Cantiere Delta in Anzio, 40 miles south of Rome.

Those lines don’t deceive either. This boat is fast. Indeed, not long after her launch in 1968, an Italian yachting journalist commented that she was probably the perfect boat from which to watch offshore powerboat racing, in that she could not only be there at the start, but also get to the finish line in time to watch the winners arrive.

Her name is a composite; the G comes from Gianni and the 50 marks her original top speed, although now she is capable of around 55 knots because she was recently re-engined with four lightweight 8.0-litre BPM Vulcano V8s that in total deliver more than 1,400hp via straight shafts and four three-blade props.

The original four Vulcano V8s delivered around 1,280hp. The present set have just over 100 hours on them. Unusually her engines are located in two separate engine bays, one in front of the cockpit and the other behind. Beyond the replacement engines, she is in totally original condition.

Recommended videos for you

There are two cockpits. The aft one is all about the driver – just a single bolster seat, steering wheel and a super-macho old-school instrument console bristling with analogue dials and lots of lovely levers – four gear shifts for the left hand,
four throttles for the right.

The forward cockpit is for the passengers – two bench seats and plenty of grab-rails – imagine the white knuckles that must have clung to them over the years!

Beneath the teak foredeck there’s also a vee-berth, basin and shower, as well as a head-locker. She is being sold by only her second owner, whose classic boat collection at one time also included the 1931 115ft J-Class Astra. He was gifted the boat by family friend Agnelli around 45 years ago while still in his 20s.

Article continues below…

Update: RM Sotherby’s announced today that G Cinquanta sold for €450,000.