Monterey

16-17 August 2013

Previous Next

Lot 158

1958 Timossi-Maserati KD-13 Hydroplane

  • Engine no. 450S 4515

Sold for $280,500


520 hp (shaft), 5,663 cc DOHC Maserati V-8 engine with four twin Weber type 46 carburetors. Length: 20 ft.

  • Only known surviving Maserati Tipo 59 Timossi Hydroplane
  • Raced by Carlo Casalini, Lino Spagnoli, and Gianluigi Crivelli
  • The 1969 KD-class World Champion


If you were an Italian speedboat builder in the 1950s, and your new hydroplanes were the most audacious crafts on the water, you’d turn to your own domestic racing engine makers in your search for ever more power. You might start out with Ferrari, but when Maserati’s utterly brutal 450S racing V-8 became available specifically for marine duty, you’d opt instead for that.



The first enlarged, marinized version of the 450S engine appeared in 1958. Thanks to wet liners, the 4.5-liter engine in the 450S was relatively easy to increase in bore, so marine variants in 5.6- and, later, 6.4-liters were built. After a single preliminary example, Maserati constructed six more Tipo 59 powerplants in series, beginning February 14, 1959, with number 4515 for Lino Spagnoli. Presumably, then, this was the engine that powered his KD-class hydroplane to an overall World Championship victory that year, the first of 10 consecutive titles for Timossi-Maseratis.



At the same time, Timossi #13 was being raced by the immortal Carlo Casalini, who took it to 2nd place in the KD-Class European Championship in 1960 and 1961. Amazingly, Casalini’s first race was in 1928, and 40 years later, he won a World Championship in an LX-class outboard. Even then, Casalini wasn’t done with the sport, winning his last race in 1975, with a total of 163 life-time wins altogether.



Cantieri Timossi, on Lake Como, had been building increasingly successful three-point hydroplanes for almost a decade and had risen to fame a with Ferrari-powered world speed record in the early 1950s. By the end of the decade, Timossi had begun a long and exceptionally fruitful association with Maserati, which included testing for road engines in their boats, as well as Maserati marine engines that were essentially for Timossi’s exclusive use.



Among Timossi’s best customers were the Guidotti family, who were deeply affiliated with the sport’s Italian governing body and the Ezio Selva race team (named in honor of the late, great racer). The Guidottis even tested Maserati’s Tipo 53 engine, which was intended for the 150S race car.



Thus, if one wanted a Timossi hull but lacked the resources to acquire a new one, a used boat from the Guidottis was a good bet, and when Gianluigi Crivelli received sponsorship from Ignis for a boat in 1962, it appears that he bought one.



As with so many other racing vehicles, Italian hydroplanes traded hands many times, leaving a difficult trail to untangle. Individual races were not documented as well as automobile races, where a photographer could stand on the side of the course. Conversely, there were fewer vehicles, and the tremendous expense of competing at the top level meant a smaller pool of potential competitors. All of which explains how Carlo Casalini’s Timossi #13 ended up in the hands of the Guidottis and then Crivelli, who was also able to acquire a used race engine: Spagnoli’s Tipo 59, number 4515.



Crevelli became increasingly competitive in KD-13 as the decade went on, reaching 2nd place in the KD European Championship in 1968 and then winning the Gran Premio Campione D’Italia and the World Championship on September 7, 1969. For that event’s Prima Prova, he covered over 12 kilometers in 13 minutes 7.2 seconds, for an average speed of nearly 110 km/h, and then he went on to win the Conda Prova. He took 2nd in the Terza Prova and won the Classica Finale, in 40 minutes 6 seconds, which was 11 seconds ahead of Gino Lupi in the eight-liter, B.P.M.-powered #22 Timossi-Celli.



The timing was perfect, as 1969 was at the end of large-displacement racing in Europe. However, it corresponded with its rise in America, and KD-13 ended up in Toronto, where it was eligible for a seven-liter class. At some point, engine number 4515 was damaged and the hull was stored for years in a Canadian boatyard. Richard Crump (author of the seminal book Maserati: Sports, Racing & GT Cars, 1926–1975) eventually acquired and restored both, and he reunited engine 4515 and Timossi #13 in their World Championship-winning configuration. He used it sparingly in vintage competition, and it has only been operated on water once in 13 subsequent years in the Thomas Mittler Collection. It retains a startling degree of originality, with left and right (sinistra and destra) hull plates marked Guidotti and a highly original hull. And, of course, it also retains its original engine. Period photographs show #13 being raced from circa 1960 with Carlo Casalini and right up through the 1969 World Championships with Gianluigi Crivelli. During a decade when Timossi-Maseratis completely dominated the highest tier of hydroplane racing, Timossi #13 was always at the front of the pack. Few other competition vehicles have ever won at championship levels over such a span of time.



When Gianluigi Crivelli bought Timossi #13 and installed Tipo 59, number 4515, he obviously knew what he was doing: uniting what was already a very fast boat with what became one of the most desirable Italian V-8 engines ever built. Even with the later availability of the 580-horsepower Tipo 64 Maserati marine engine, the Tipo 59 remained the powerplant of choice for KD-class hydroplanes. Among all those, Timossi #13 is the most correct and original survivor, as well as the 1969 World Championship winner.



That unbeatable combination ensures that it will be, as it always has been, among the most desirable and important 1960s racing boats in existence.

Addendum

Please note that this boat is offered on a Bill of Sale.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more