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Alfa Speedboat

A friend from New Zealand,on a recent visit told me of a Alfa speed boat that he had seen ,although he had no details . After a little digging around I found the speedboat that he referred to, it is in fact a hydroplane called "Little Cracker" and she certainly is a little cracker she's powered by an Alfa Romeo 3 litre v6 24valve engine producing 290hp @8000rpm.The hydroplane holds a number of Australasian and New Zealand hydroplane records at between 202.776kph to 204.326 kph .
There is a web site for the team. http://www.littlecracker.com/ach.html
I post a few photos below to whet the appetite.
Charley
 

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Idroscivolante T108

At this years Venice Boat Show , an interesting craft made its appearance after a seven month reconstruction by the Dalla Pieta boatyard of Venice – Malcontenta. The boat is Idroscrivolante T108 powered by an Alfa Romeo 9 cylinder radial aircraft engine.
The T108 Idro participated in the famous Pavia –Venezia race between the years 1933 and 1938 , piloted by Colonel Prospero Freri. These were the years that the race was dominated by Theo Rossi ( 1933, 1934,1935) of vermouth fame and Col.Renato Donati (1936,1937) who also held the world altitude record at that time in the Alfa powered Caproni Ca.113.AQ.
The attached photos show the original condition of the boat ,as it was delivered to the yard and the beautiful finished item, the reconstruction of which was sponsored by the yard itself.
The T108 actually belongs to the Civic Museum of Naval Education Milan and will be displayed and stored at the Leonardo da Vinci museum in Milan.
This of course not the only boat powered by an Alfa Romeo aircraft engine probably the most famous being the Sant’ Ambrogio 11 of Achille Castoldi which featured an Alfa Romeo AR RA 1000 rated at 1.800hp and was capable of at least 124MPH.
Details of Idroscivolante T108
Weight 1.5t
Depth 7.95m
Width 2.80m
Skate Width 0.80m
Speed 130 km/h
Engine 9cyl Alfa romeo.

For more details see….
Dalla Pietà Yachts — architettura nautica
http://www.altomareblu.com/?p=4229
 

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Idro

Hi Carlo,
Can I draw your attention to the photo that you posted of the idro and point out a few differences to the IDRO that I originally posted. The Idro in your photo has a platform stretched between the floats ,however this may be merely cosmetic. The idro in my posting has at various times a spinner and a Townsend ring ,it is also fitted with a 2 bladed prop. Probably the most important difference is what is written on the back of your photo , it states that the Idro is fitted with an AR Lynx engine which when you check the photo it clearly is ,as the Lynx is a 7 cylinder engine, however the engine on my orignal posting ,is, as I stated in the posting a 9 cylinder engine . This leaves us with a number of possibilities , either this is the same Idro upgraded from a 7 to a 9 cylinder Alfa motor , or it is a completely differrent boat .
There were in fact more than one of these boats that took part in the Pavia -Venezia race , That would explain the lettering on the side of your boat, so could this be another boat.? They were banned from the race post WW11.
Charley
 

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montreal power

I am attaching a couple of photos of Montreal powered boats..plus a few other photos.
1. Franco Gilberti boat built by Abbate 1972.
2. UFO 66 .Twin Montreal OP.2 class (8200cc) of Caprara & Scalabrin ,set new European record at Alessio Sept 1973.
3.Marine V8.
4. FB Mostro AR 2000CC 1972.
5.Antonio Passarin - "Mariella" at speed during" Pavia Venezia race"( Although the photo was labeled as Pavia Venezia ...I believe this photo was taken during the Milan canal race of 1939 ) in his AR12c powered boat.
 

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Eugenio Milinari Pilota Alfa Romeo

On a recent holiday in Bellagio, I convinced my wife to take time out to visit the Eugenio Molinari boatyard in Lezzeno.I had been interested in Eugenio for many years and particulary since many of his records had been set using Alfa engines, two set in 1970 with AR 1750 motors. He is also the winner of the Pavia Venezia Raid as a pilot and constructor. At the present he is the holder of 72 records and if his plans hold out will attempt his 73 this September at the age of 75. We were dissappointed to find the Boatyard museum closed and upon enquiry of a wirey old chap were told that the museum was no longer open to the public. The old chap dissappeared and returned with none other but Eugenio himself who was busy working in the boat yard but was kindness itself and told us to go back to the museo and he would have an english speaker show us around. As we arrived back at the gate a lady pulled up in an alfa spider. The lady turned out to be Eugenio's wife who was most charming and showed us about the yard and what an amazing place it was. Championship boat after championship boat and quite a few Alfa powered. Pride of place of course went to his latest record breaking machine ,the Ferrari F430 powered Freccia Rosso. It is a great shame that the Museum is not open to the public ,unfortunatly a great deal of investment is needed to update the facilities in particular to put a new floor in to display the engine collection and no state aid forthcoming. As we were leaving we again met up with Eugenio who introduced us to his son , who also competes in a 3 point Alfa powered boat. A great visit with a remarkable man even my wife was enthralled despite having accompaning me under sufferance.
To cap off the day as we arrived back to our hotel in Bellagio we found parked outside Alfa spider 8c Competizione number 1.
The end of a very good day.

I attach some photos of the boats plus an old clipping..

See Eugenio pilot the Ferrari powered boat on Youtube.

 

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idro video

I was trying to upload a video of an Idro to this post,but failed . I have now put the clip on Youtube and give link below.I hope it works. The idro in clip took part in the 1932 Pavia-Venezia raid . It is not T-108 but seems to be powered by an Alfa Romeo "lynx" .the side of the engine cowling indicates that the Idro was made by Savoia -Marchetti. I also include a photo of another idro Driven by Vito Mussolini ,who won his catagory in the 1936 raid they seem to be one and the same boats to my eye. A nice oppertunity to see one of these idros in action.





 

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Idro

I have just added another clip of the Pavia-Venezia raid to Youtube.This time the race is 1936 and a number of different idros are to be seen . The first is Theo Rossi in ARDEA an Isotta-Fraschini powered machine there is also a brief glimpse of an AR Lynx powered machine which looks to be the one in Carlo's photograph ( post #7). We see Rossi cross the line in Venice followed by Vito Mussollini. I include photo of Rossi Boat .

 

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Idro

I have finally found some video (poor quality) of the 1937 Pavia-Venezia Raid in which the AR powered Idro T-108 triumphed. I have uploaded the clip to Youtube and posted the link below. We see T-108 crossing the line in Venice followed by a number of other boats and idros among them a AR lynx powered boat.For once Theo Rossi was down the field and we see him at the end of the clip.

 

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Ezio Selva

Some rare footage here of Ezio Selva's fatal crash in his AR powered "Moschettiere" in 1957 at Miami. His death all the more tragic as the other boats had been disqualified for jumping the start.

 

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AR 2500 Powered boats.

I have just uploaded extracts from the film " German and Italian sneak craft" to YouTube . This shows the Twin AR2500 powered MTSM motor torpedo boat and the single AR2500 MTM motor explosive boat being tested post war.

 

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Italian Hydroplanes

A few more photos of two Alfa powered idros.........
1. S.I.A.I - ALFA ROMEO pilot Col. Goffredo Gorini Winner Raid Pavia Venezia 1937-38-39
2. Col. Prospero Freri - engine Alfa Romeo - boat Gorini - 1934
 

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