RIVA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
 
 

SUPER FLORIDA

The first ''Florida Super'' was built in 1953 and its regular production started at the end of 1954 with the 1955 series. Compared to the first example built, the 1955 series introduced more frames at a centre distance of 22 cm and all the modifications made to the other Riva production (use of adhesives for the side planking, steering box, propeller shaft, Phillips screws, Goodrich propeller shaft bearing bush and leatherette and Saran upholstery, as well as an electric rev. counter and water temperature gauge). In 1957, starting from # 219, the deck was of three-ply Honduras with the white strips incorporated.

With the 1958 series the sides and transom were also of pre-formed triple diagonal planking and the stern had a curved shape. The 1959 series had many new features, introduced from # 238 of 1958: the deep-centre wheel, the new S.W./Chris-Craft instruments with redesign of the dashboard and new side pockets. The Vipla strip on the backrests was V-shaped and ivory colour. In 1960 the name became ''Super Florida'', which appeared on the dashboard in place of ''Riva Chris-Craft''. With the introduction of the Chrysler V8 the gear lever was moved to the wheel, the temperature gauge had two scales, one per bank, the electrical system became 12 volts and the stainless steel tank held 130 litres instead of 100. A Plexiglas article tray was fixed above the dashboard. All screws were Phillips. The electric siren was standard from the 1961 series, as on the other models. The bottom was slightly modified at the midship section. New upholstery of extra-rough Resinflex was fitted with red edging to the backrests and front seats, with ribbed padding for seats and backrests with ivory coloured upholstery.

The ''V'' design on the backrests became tapered. On request the hood could be provided with opening side windows. New modifications to the bottoms were made in 1962 and the overall length became 5.92 m. The driving seat could now be folded flat. In 1963, as well as soundproofing modifications, the only change in appearance was the chrome plated cutwater, which was 35 cm longer. The only modifications to the 1964 series were the greater length, 11 cm, due to a greater rake of the bow. The dashboard was no longer Formica, but Honduras, with a shaped upper lip of solid wood. The instrumentation was VDO, innovative as regards appearance and technology. The threading of wood screws was changed, becoming Reed & Prince. The upholstery was now imported from America. The internal side panels were still made of mahogany, but now of Honduras type. After experiments to the bottoms made in 1966, the 1967 series, starting with # 992, had a new bottom with a more pronounced ''V'' and a Riva Crusader engine. The cockpit coaming panels were now deeper and upholstered with rib-padded Vipla, similar to those of the Junior.


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