You could own this 800hp 36‑litre racing hydroplane
Anyone who loves fast cars can’t help but have a soft spot as well for fast boats. And this is a very fast boat, and as scary as only a racing hydroplane can be…
And it’s for sale. Yes, that could be you in the back there, hanging on for grim death behind, wait for it, a 36-litre Hispano-Suiza V12 with 800 horsepower. That was enough power to propel it up the Seine in Paris at 100mph while on Lake Evian in 1938 it hit 131mph.
The imposing 8.2m (27ft) long hydroplane, Rafale V, was built by Chauviere on the banks of the Seine, commissioned in 1934 by the head of the Tecalemit organisation. The most powerful hydroplane of its type with the standard 650hp – before Hispano-Suiza upped the ante to 800hp – the sleek racer set several speed records, on lakes and in the Mediterranean during the Grande Semaine Nautique at Cannes.
But it is perhaps the sight of it tearing up the Seine through Paris that is most evocative of the derring-do of the speed-crazed 1930s daredevils who drove it. Fittingly it is being auctioned by Bonhams on February 8th 2018 in the Grand Palais in Paris, near where 80 years before it roared past at 100mph.
Feeling brave? You’ll need nerves of steel as well as a substantial sum: its presale estimate is £600-800,000.