Riva Ariston “VITA” #263, 1959


Like many Riva enthusiasts, the interest begins as an experience already in childhood.

This is the story of a true enthusiast who spent 16 years restoring his complete wreck in the form of a rather unusual 1959 Riva Ariston.

Already at the age of 8 or 10, the interest in these beautiful mahogany boats was aroused when the young boy saw water skiers being pulled by boats with glossy varnish and rumbling V8 engines.

The search began in 2000 when the internet started to work for real, and in 2003 he found the “dream boat” in Germany. The condition was probably not the best, but it was a genuine Riva Ariston! With a profession as a carpenter, it was perhaps easier to accept the condition…

The boat turned out to be interesting, as it is one of 6 Aristons (#258 – 263) that was equiped with a Chris Craft 283 V8 already back in 1959. Later boats were powered by the Chrysler Sea-V M80 and only in 1963 did GM’s 283 (by Chris Craft) become standard in the boats.

It would take 16 years before the boat was ready, as in new condition. All the work is done by the owner himself and in the meantime he also managed to renovate an old house and build a new garage, just to be able to complete the boat.

The result is impressive, and the pictures speak for themselves. More pictures and the name of this “super restorer” will be coming soon on the Members page under the heading Renovations.