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There, he sponsored the world’s first super sports cars

There, he sponsored the world’s first super sports cars

Already at the university, he surprised his teachers, after which he created real masterpieces on behalf of Enzo Ferrari, Ferruccio Lamborghini and Renzo Rivolta, including the 250 GTO, which today is considered the most valuable car in the world. However, with the passage of time, many of his working relationships ended in conflict, and moreover, Bizzarrini’s own brand never achieved the success it deserved – and yet, few would dare dispute that he was one of the most talented and influential Italian masons of the 1950s and 1960s. Sixties.

Born Giotto Bizzarini to wealthy parents in Tuscany in 1926, his interest in technology soon showed itself. He had an inheritance: his grandfather had co-invented the spark telegraph with Marconi. A mechanical engineering graduate from the University of Pisa in 1953, Giotto really impressed his teachers after graduation: he transformed a Fiat Topolino into an attractive sports coupe by adding its engine and even moving it rearward for better weight distribution. Interestingly, instead of the factory speed of 95, compared to 150 km/h, the only copy of the Makinita still exists today.

He named his self-made car the Fiat Topolino Macchinetta (car) and increased its output from 14 to 30 horsepower.Source: Fiat

After his studies, he went straight to Alfa Romeo, where he was an engine designer and was commissioned to build the frame for the Giulietta Berlina, but he didn’t really like his first job. At the same time, he befriended engineer Carlo Chitti at Alfa, and two Grand Prix drivers, Giovannibattista Guidotti and Consalvo Sanesi, taught him how to drive a race car. His next job, where he comes to interview Machinita, as if she was invented just for him: Enzo Ferrari He was looking for an engineer who could assess technical defects of cars while driving and have an idea how to fix them.

Today, the Ferrari GTO racing car, made in 36 copies, breaks one sales record after another ($50-70 million).Source: Ferrari

So Bizzarrini came to Ferrari in 1956, immediately as head of development, and took Chitti with him. He has engineered such masterpieces as the 250 GT 2+2, SWB, Testa Rossa and the legendary 250 GTO. The latter is now a treasure for collectors and investors, and is one of the most expensive cars in the world, with some copies breaking records with selling prices of several billion forints. But let’s go back to the past, the event took place in 1961, which is what vehicle historians consider the “Great Migration”, and the root cause was the tyranny of Enzo Ferrari (and his wife) and the many controversies.

Giotto Bizzarini at the height of his design career in the 1960s. He also designed a Lamborghini engine, but had to use the heart of a Chevy in his own modelSource: Wikipedia

After the dismissal of Sales Director Girolamo Gardini, five important and senior professionals left the company at the same time, among them Racing Director Romolo Tafone, Bizzarrini and Chitti. The three founded the ATS brand (Automobili Turismo e Sport) with the money of Count Giovanni Volpi. First, a racing car was built for the Count – with designer Piero Drogo – colloquially known as the “bread car” due to the shape of its tail, based on the Ferrari GTO, called the 250 GTSWB. The only completed example is still in operation today. , and I raced in Hungary a few years ago.

Bizzarrini was no longer a Ferrari employee when he designed the “Breadcar” that started at the Scuderia SerenissimaSource: Ferrari

New customers on the scene, then they own a sports car

Then, as fate would have it, Bizzarrini and Chitti parted, after which the ATS company was also dissolved due to bankruptcy, and the protagonist started a new business called Societa Autostar. As one of his first assignments, in 1964, at the request of the Autocostruzioni Societa per Azioni, he designed the grille for the small sports coupe ASA 1000 GT with four cylinders of one liter (but with 86-100 hp). Later, life brought him together with Ferruccio Lamborghini, for whom he created perhaps the most important creation of his career, the brand’s first V12 engine, but the collaboration did not last due to disagreements.

The pepper is small but mighty: the basics of the one-liter engine of the ASA 1000 GT came from the “dissection” of the Ferrari Colombo’s V12. Less than 100 of these cars were madeSource: AutoCostrosione

The 12-cylinder block itself had a very long career anyway, after the 350 GTV and its successors, as well as in the legendary, mid-mounted Miura, and lived on in countless later Lamborghini models. Over time, Bizzarini’s next client was Renzo Rivolta, who first produced refrigerators, then mopeds, Isettas and, finally, sports cars. He built his two luxury coupes, the Iso Rivolta IR 3000 and Grifo, with American V8 engines. And soon the breakup came here too, because Rivolta wanted street cars, and Bizzarrini wanted racing machines, so our engineer left the company.

Italian design with American engine: The Iso Grifo deviated from the usual recipe, but instead of cutting-edge technology, up to 400 horsepower didn’t look bad.Source: iso

At the time, it seemed time for Bizzarrini Spa to operate as a manufacturer of cars rather than engineering orders, which eventually only produced four models, a total of 140, until its closure in 1969. Consider it a sin that the company’s 5300 GT is built on the same technology as the Iso Grifo, So it is powered by the same Chevrolet engine, and its driving performance and looks are impressive. There was also an affordable model called Bizzarrini Europe in the range, which was a copy of the Opel GT, initially with a 1.5 Fiat, and later an Opel 1.9, of which around twenty were produced.

A masterpiece, now under the Bizzarrini brand name: Giorgetto Giugiaro has designed a luxuriously mechanically engineered undercarriage for the 5300 GT StradaSource: Automobili Pizzarini

Perhaps the company’s most exciting model was the P538 race car, produced in three versions, which was powered by a Lamborghini V12 engine (which Ferruccio rejected during development), but in 1966 appeared at Le Mans with a Chevy V8 engine. Production finally ended in Livorno in 1969, after which only one prototype was made (Sciabola, Picchio Barchetta, etc.), and in the following decades Giotto Bizzarrini worked as a consultant for American Motors, General Motors, and Japanese motorcycle brands. He also taught at the University of Rome. He passed away in May of this year at the age of 96.

A farewell model that evokes the 70s: the Bizzarini Manta has been assembled from broken parts of a P538, but only one remains.Source: Automobili Pizzarini

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