- Ex-Dodi Al-Fayed
- Unique history and provenance
- In the same family for over 30 years
- Over €800 000 in invoices for a complete refit in 2017/2018
- No reserve
Built in Italy in 1972, this motor yacht was consigned to posterity in 1997, Lady Diana's last summer. She spent time on board this yacht which belonged at that time to Dodi Al Fayed.
Cujo was assured of an unusual destiny before it had even been built. Its first owner was John Van Neumann, the entrepreneur who opened up the American market to Porsche and Volkswagen. In 1972, he ordered a motor yacht from the Italian shipyard Baglietto, with a specification request that was straightforward: it had to go fast, faster than anything else on the water, anywhere in the world.
The two 1350 bhp diesel turbo engines, with 18 cylinders in a V, suggest that the client's demand had been understood. Built by Castellanza in Italy, these two engines allowed a maximum speed of 40 knots (close to 80 km/hour). At more economical speeds, it had a range of 460 miles which was enough to cross the Mediterranean in any direction.
The businessman was completely happy with his yacht for a few years, before wanting something that was even bigger and faster. Cujo was sold to M. Kashoggi, who sold it straight on to his cousin: Dodi Al-Fayed. The boat underwent a full refit at the CARM shipyard in Lavagna, regaining its splendour, with a layout that was even more sophisticated.
After that, it appears the owner was inseparable from his boat in Saint Tropez. Cujo was moored at the Suffren quay, opposite the Café de Paris and Sénéquier. As Dodi Al-Fayed was acquainted with the Hollywood world, he invited many friends on board, including Brooke Shield, Clint Eastwood, Tony Curtis, Bruce Willis...
It was his guest in the summer of 1997, however, that ensured the yacht's posterity. Several times, during the month of August, Lady Diana spent time on the boat. There are photos showing the Princess in a black costume and white shorts on board. The poignant image of her in a turquoise swimsuit sitting at the end of the bow, as if on a diving board, was actually on Sokarr, the boat belonging to Dodi's father.
After the couple's tragic death, the crew on Cujo were devastated. They tried to remain faithful to the memory of Dodi and his last love, but finally lost heart. The captain Stefano, began more often to take command of Sokarr, its 70-metres requiring careful manoeuvring around the ports of the Côte d'Azur.
Cujo remained in the family, assigned to the role of private taxi for special guests of Mohamed Al Fayed, and taking on the appearance of an austere life-boat. Little by little, it lost its soul. Decommissioned in 1999, it spent several years on dry land and under cover, at the CARM shipyard where it had first been refitted.
Finally, one of Dodi's cousins, Moody, could no longer bear to see the boat slowly lose its dignity. He dedicated an exceptionally large budget of nearly 800 000€ (all invoices available on request) to restoring Cujo to its former glory. The interior arrangements and the new design of the exterior styling was entrusted to the celebrated Tommaso Spadolini.
And so, Cujo underwent a breathtaking transformation that was more than just another rejuvenation. With this striking new appearance, it was difficult to believe that the boat was originally built in 1972. In fact, once finished, it was like a new Porsche being delivered to its first owner, offering a timeless modernity.
Moody then spent the last two seasons cruising around Sardinia and the Amalfi coast. His young children, professional commitments and house in Porto-Cervo, however, took up a lot of time and he made the difficult decision to part with this precious item. The new owner can be assured that it will take to the water immediately.
Moody would like the buyer to be conscious of the spiritual heritage they will assume responsibility for. His great wish is that the new owner will have as much love for Cujo as Dodi had.
In any case, the boat, as presented, offers an exceptional and totally unique opportunity to acquire power, style and history in a single vessel.
For more information and photos: https://www.artcurial.com/fr/lot-1972-cujo-baglietto-no-reserve-3980-65