Villa Erba

25 May 2013

Lot 138

1956 Riva Ariston Cadillac "Slughi"

To be auctioned on Saturday, May 25, 2013

High Bid of €150.000

  • Hull no. 101


250 bhp, 365 cu. in. Cadillac V-8 engine. Length: 6.45 m (21 ft. 2 in.)

  • One of 19 Cadillac-powered Riva Aristons
  • The only example from 1956 known to survive
  • Sold new in Italy and has been a resident here ever since
  • Beautifully and authentically restored


One of the most successful of all Riva wooden runabouts was the Ariston, named for the celebrated Milan movie palace and translating from Greek to “the best”; not humble, perhaps, but in the end, an apt choice. The Ariston combined Riva’s original runabout design with inspiration from Chris-Craft’s delicately rounded “barrelback” stern, giving it lightness and elegance.

Only 19 examples of the Ariston were outfitted with powerful Cadillac engines: six in 1956, eight in 1957, and five in 1958. This is the second example ever built, and it is most likely the oldest to known to survive. Hull number 101, known as Slughi, was outfitted with a 250-horsepower V-8 engine. As a comparison, Chris-Crafts at the time were available with a 158-horsepower inline six-cylinder engine. Delivered new to Sig. Dolci, an industrialist from Milan, Slughi is believed to be unique among the 19 hulls, as it was built during the change from Riva’s traditional two-piece windscreen to the new, and soon to be iconic, panoramic design. The hull was fitted with the two-piece unit, but it was drilled to accommodate the latter, should the client elect to make the change to the modern design.

Fated to never leave its home country, Slughi was retired from service in the mid-1960s and stored in a hangar on the Italian Riviera for decades. It was discovered in 2004 by a master marine carpenter and expert yacht restorer, M. Guastini, who embarked upon a complete restoration, which included installing new planking on the deck. The next two owners continued the restoration, locating many missing, rare original parts, with the present caretaker completing the work at the Albertoli yard on Lake Maggiore. The original planking on the sides of the hull was saved and retained, whilst the bottom was replaced and reinforced, as on many old Rivas, for safety purposes. The original Cadillac V-8 was restored with much care, and the upholstery was restored to its original pattern.

The result is a spectacular boat of class, elegance, and refined Cadillac power. Slughi is ready to be enjoyed this summer season and will be delivered with its Cantiere Riva blue cover and its wooden berth.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

aclassick@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

aabaci@rmauctions.com

+49 (0) 40 441 95 737
Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

dwarrener@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmauctions.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmauctions.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, USA

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@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

ikelleher@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom

jboxstrom@rmauctions.com

+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

mgirardo@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

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

Vinnie Mandzak

vmandzak@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more