Villa Erba

23 May 2015

Previous Next

Lot 102

1959 Riva Florida "Nounours"

  • Hull no. 341

Sold for €146.250


260 bhp, 350 cu. in. Mercruiser V-8 engine. Length: 6.1 m

  • Delivered new to Brigitte Bardot by Monaco Boat Service
  • A resident of the South of France for decades
  • Beautifully restored by Sportmer


The Florida, built from 1953 until the late 1960s, is the most successful of the mahogany Riva single-engined runabouts.

The craft offered here, hull number 341, was built in 1959 in Sarnico and imported to France by the sole appointed Riva distributor there, Monaco Boat Service of Monte Carlo. Its original discreet buyer was Roger Vadim, the film director and then-husband of renowned French film star Brigitte Bardot. Vadim had purchased the boat for his wife, which was a seemingly appropriate gift, as Bardot had lived in St. Tropez since 1958, in her famous villa La Madrague, which offered private and direct access to the Mediterranean.

The boat, christened Nounours (“Teddy Bear”), would soon become a familiar sight, moored in front of La Madrague and in the old harbour of St. Tropez, where celebrities from all over the world are seen socialising with their friends and family during the holidays.

In the late 1960s, Bardot set her sights on the latest single-engined Riva model, the Junior. As such, Nounours was sold to a chef at the restaurant at the Port Grimaud marina. Some 20 years later, it was offered for sale at an auction held at Napoleon’s Chateau de Fontainebleau, where it was acquired by a young Swiss-born Monte Carlo resident and passionate Bardot fan.

In 2005, the boat was purchased by the current owner and registered under the French flag in July. He subsequently had the boat completely restored by Riva specialists at Sportmer in 2007. Once completed, it remained in their yard, where it was winterised for proper storage. Although the boat is in exceptional condition throughout, it has only been captained on the water a couple times since restoration. As such, Nounours would require additional service prior to being placed back into a regular rotation.

This striking Riva has been described in various books on Brigitte Bardot’s formidable life and career, and it is still considered one of the rare remaining icons of the St. Tropez “jet set”, during the fabulous destination’s glory days in the 1960s. As this craft has been owned and enjoyed by one of the decade’s most famous icons, it would surely be the centrepiece of any Riva collection, and it is still very much at home on the waters off the South of France.



Motore Mercruiser V-8. Lunghezza 6.1 m

• Consegnato nuovo a Brigitte Bardot, dal Monaco Boat Service
• Per decenni, abitante nel Sud della Francia
• Egregiamente restaurato da Sportmer

Il Florida, costruito dal 1953 fino alle fine degli anni ’60, è, tra i motoscafi Riva in legno, il monomotore che ha avuto più successo.

La barca offerta qui, scafo numero 341, è stato costruito a Sarnico nel 1959 e importato in Francia attraverso il solo distributore ufficiale della zona, il Monaco Boat Service di Monte Carlo. Il primo acquirente è stato Roger Vadim, il regista allora marito della famosa stella francese Brigitte Bardot. Vadim ha comprato la barca per sua moglie, come appropriato regalo, visto che la Bardot aveva vissuto a St. Tropez fin dal 1958, presso la sua famosa villa La Madrague, che offriva un accesso privato e diretto al mar Mediterraneo.

La barca, chiamata Nounours (“Orsacchiotto”) sarebbe presto diventata una vista familiare, ormeggiata davanti a La Madrague ed al vecchio porto di St. Tropez, dove le celebrità di tutto il mondo si ritrovavano, con gli amici e le famiglie, per trascorrere le vacanze in compagnia.

Alla fine degli anni ’60, la Bardot posa gli occhi sull’ultimo modello dei motoscafi Riva monomotore, lo Junior. E’ per questo motivo che Nounours viene venduto al cuoco del ristorante della marina di Port Grimaud. Circa 20 anni dopo, la barca viene messa in vendita in occasione dell’asta che si tiene al Castello di Napoleone di Fontainbleu, dove viene acquistata da un giovane Svizzero, residente a Monte Carlo, appassionato ammiratore di Brigitte Bardot.

Nel 2005 la barca è acquistata dall’attuale proprietario, e, nello stesso luglio, registrata sotto la bandiera francese. In seguito la barca viene totalmente restaurata presso lo specialista dei Riva, Sportmer. Una volta completato il restauro, la barca rimane presso il cantiere e viene appositamente preparata per essere messa in rimessaggio per lungo tempo. Sebbene il motoscafo sia in eccezionali condizioni in ogni sua parte, dopo il restauro è stata messo in acqua solo in un paio di occasioni. Per questa ragione, prima di essere nuovamente messo in regolare uso, Nounours avrà bisogno di qualche lavoro di preparazione.

Questo Riva è stato citato ed appare in diversi libri che trattano dell’incredibile carriera e della vita spettacolare di Brigitte Bardot, ed è oggi considerato una delle poche icone sopravvissute legate al “jet set” di St. Tropez durante quei favolosi e mitici giorni degli anni ’60. Visto che questo Riva è stato di proprietà, ed usato, da uno dei simboli più importanti di quel decennio, potrebbe certamente essere il punto forte di ogni collezione Riva, ancora perfettamente a suo agio nelle acque del Sud della Francia.

Addendum

Please note that contrary to the printed catalogue, this Riva is currently fitted with a Mercruiser V-8 engine.

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