“Perlita Too” is a BARN FIND RIVA, she was the first Riva ever to arrive in the US; sold to Hollywood producer Roland Reed (standing in the boat ~ above image), ready for her first voyage headed for Catalina, California in 1953. “Perlita Too” is the only remaining Riva of 4 built with the record breaking Scripps V12 engine. Lastly she is the oldest Riva Tritone in existence and the first of 267 Tritones built, and as Mr. Riva says, the very first Riva sold outside Italy.
Perlita arrived in Hollywood in 1953, ordered from the factory in Italy by Film Producer Roland Reed, after he had been impressed by a Riva on a boat show stand in Milan, Italy. Mr. Riva still has some of the original correspondence from Roland Reed, which he showed us when we visited him in Italy some years ago. This is “Perlita Too” arriving in Los Angeles, California in a special wooden crate; Roland Reed in the foreground grinning like a Cheshire cat! – James & Caroline
Last week our friends James & Caroline reached a major milestone in their Riva Tritone’s meticulous four-year restoration project. “Perlita Too” was successfully re-launched into Seattle’s Lake Union, back in the water after 33 long years.
Together, the team of Mike Velsher (from Dennison International), Jim McNeilly (from McNeilly’s Marine Services) and with James at the controls performed the first water test aboard the stunning Riva on Lake Union.
Since August 2009, we have had the pleasure of following this remarkable restoration project on the PERLITA TOO – A BARN FIND RIVA blog. Over those two years we have shared every step of the project with them, including sourcing the 30 foot sections of wood via Switzerland and the spectacular wood work and craftmanship by restorer Chris Casparis at Sea Sonic Boats in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
To the intricate restoration of the huge 900 cubic inch Scripps V-12 powerplant by engine extraordinaire Jim McNeilly in Seattle, WA. To the detailed restoration of the authentic Alfa Romeo steering wheel with the help of historian and author Piero Gibellini, completed by Butch Dennison of Dennison International in nearby Puyallup, Washington – who also completed the balance of the mechanical work on the project.
And now that the water test is complete, back to Dennison International to finish the interior work and the mountain of details necessary to complete the restoration to the level of perfection that only James and Caroline will consider acceptable. Until every last detail has been completed, our friends James & Caroline will remain “Sleepless in Seattle”…
Today they have updated their blog PERLITA TOO – A BARN FIND RIVA with the most recent images of the re-launch, and if you haven’t yet had the opportuity to see the blog, which chronicles the entire restoration project, check it out by clicking here – It’s simply amazing. You can also find the link to the site listed on the right side of the Woody Boater home page.
Congratulations James & Caroline, your almost there – WooHooo!