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Automobili Bizzarrini

legal form Società Per Azioni
founding 1962
resolution 1969
Reason for dissolution insolvency
Seat Livorno , Italy
management Giotto Bizzarrini
Branch Automotive industry

The Automobili Bizzarrini SpA was a manufacturer of high-performance sports car from Livorno , Italy , in late 1962 by Giotto Bizzarrini was founded. Until the company was dissolved in the spring of 1969, Bizzarrini constructed a number of high-performance but fragile road and racing vehicles, only a few of which were realized and today are among the exclusive classics.

Company history

Giotto Bizzarrini's professional career began in 1954 in Alfa Romeo's development department . In 1957 he was hired by Ferrari . There he was involved in the development of the 250 GTO , among other things . After a violent dispute with Enzo Ferrari , at the end of 1961, together with Carlo Chiti and a few other former Ferrari employees, he took part in the Automobili Turismo e Sport (ATS) project, the declared aim of which was to compete with Ferrari in both racing and road vehicles build up. At ATS, Bizzarrini had a certain influence on the development of the ATS 2500 GT sports car . At the same time, he developed the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Breadvan racing car for Giovanni Volpi . After less than a year, Bizzarrini and Chiti separated from ATS, which was in liquidation mainly for financial reasons. While Chiti began to set up the Autodelta company in Milan , Bizzarrini founded a company called Autostar in Livorno , which was renamed Società Prototipi Bizzarrini in 1964 and then Automobili Bizzarrini SpA a year later . It was here that Bizzarrini initially developed engines - including the 3.5-liter twelve-cylinder engine of the Lamborghini 350 GT - and later other vehicle components.

Giotto Bizzarrini had been in close contact with Renzo Rivolta since 1962. For his young Milanese company Iso Rivolta , Bizzarrini first developed the steel chassis that formed the basis of the Iso Rivolta 300 . A little later, he also designed the chassis for the Iso Grifo A3 / L , a two-seater coupé, with which Renzo Rivolta wanted to add a model with a decidedly sporty focus to the Gran Turismo 300. Bizzarrini developed from the A3 / L (L for "Lusso") a competitive version with the designation A3 / C (C for "Corsa"), which was used several times in long-distance races. The A3 / C was built in Bizzarrini's factory in Livorno; however, it was initially sold under the brand name Iso. After an argument in which u. a. to use rights to brand names went, Bizzarrini and Rivolta parted ways. Iso then limited itself to the manufacture and sale of the Grifo A3 / L, while Bizzarrini sold the A3 / C under the name Bizzarrini GT 5300 . The cars were extremely powerful and had a good reputation , especially in the US market. Nevertheless, business was not satisfactory. After the GT 5300, the Bizzarrini 1900 GT Europe and individual copies of the Bizzarrini P 538 racing car , which was used in the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1966, were created.

Since the end of 1967 Bizzarrini found itself in financial difficulties. In view of the looming bankruptcy of his company, Giotto Bizzarrini removed numerous components from the company from the summer of 1968 in order to remove them from the access of the insolvency administrator. This also included individual chassis and chassis parts. The details of this have not been clarified. In October 1968, Bizzarrini was insolvent. After the production of automobiles had ceased, the insolvency administrator had the existing material sold in order to pay off the liabilities. Salvatore Diomante, Bizzarrini's previous plant manager, took over most of the tools, spare parts and molds in the insolvency proceedings and transferred them to his newly founded company Autocostruzioni SD , which, among other things, deals with the restoration, but also with the reproduction of Bizzarrini models. Giotto Bizzarrini worked as a consultant for SD in the early 1970s and, together with Salvatore Diomante, developed a number of prototypes that were presented as Bizzarrini but not mass-produced.

Giotto Bizzarrini's son Giuseppe is also active in the automotive sector. Among other things, he runs the Carplast company, which manufactured body parts for the Alfa Romeo SZ and RZ .

The models of Bizzarrini SpA

Racing version of the Bizzarrini 5300 GT at the DAMC 05 Oldtimer Festival Nürburgring
Bizzarrini P538 from 1967
Bizzarrini 1900 GT Europe

During its existence until 1969, the Automobili Bizzarrini company produced three different vehicle types, each of which was only realized in small numbers.

Bizzarrini GT 5300

The first production vehicle that was manufactured and marketed by Bizzarrini under its own name was the Bizzarrini GT 5300 based on the Iso Grifo A3 / C Corsa. The car used eight-cylinder engines from Chevrolet in different tuning levels. It was offered as a roadworthy Strada version as well as a racing version with the additional designation Corsa . In addition, three vehicles, known as Spyder, were built with an open body. The GT 5300 was built from 1966 to 1968. The scope of production is not clearly clarified. In the literature, the figures range from 78 copies to 149 vehicles.

Bizzarrini P 538

The Bizzarrini P 538 was designed as the successor to the GT 5300. It was an open two-seater, which was intended exclusively for competition purposes and was primarily tailored to long-distance races. There was also a single copy called Duca D'Aosta with a closed structure. An eight-cylinder engine from Chevrolet or a twelve-cylinder engine from Lamborghini was used as an alternative . Between 1965 and 1967 four, according to other sources five original vehicles were built; In the following 30 years, Autocostruzione SD also produced around a dozen replicas in Turin .

Bizzarrini 1900 GT Europe

The Bizzarrini 1900 GT Europa was a compact sports car that used Opel technology. Conceptually, it was a forerunner of the Opel GT . In the first place, engines from Opel were used, some examples also received engines from Alfa Romeo or Fiat , some of which were tuned. Initially, the idea was to manufacture in larger series; however, it could not be realized. Only about 20 copies were made by 1969. The 1900 GT Europa was the trigger for the development of the similarly designed, but based on Ford technology, Siva Sirio .

Later vehicles with the brand name Bizzarrini

Bizzarrini Manta: Unique piece with body by Giugiaro . In the background: An AMC AMX / 3 , which formed the basis for the Bizzarrini Manta.

Bizzarrini Manta

The Bizzarrini Manta was a unique piece that Giorgio Giugiaro designed in 1968 on the chassis of a P 538. It was the first car that Giugiaro designed for his own company Italdesign . Toyota copied Guigiaro's ideas recognizable for the Toyota EX 7 show car presented in 1971.

Bizzarrini Sciabola

The Bizzarrini Sciabola was a two-seater mid-engine sports car that was presented to the public at the 1976 Turin Motor Show. It was based on the AMC AMX / 3 , a sports car made by the American car manufacturer American Motors (AMC), the chassis of which Giotto Bizzarrini had designed in 1969. AMC had initially planned a series production of around 1000 copies per year, but stopped the project before production began in the summer of 1970. Bizzarrini took over the construction and also the body design developed in the USA largely unchanged and hoped to be able to produce around 20 vehicles. However, AMC refused to deliver technical components. Bizzarrini and Salvatore Diomante revived the concept in 1976. They exhibited the outwardly unchanged car as Bizzarrini Sciabola. Series production did not materialize due to a lack of investors.

Picchio Barchetta

First prototype of the Picchio Barchetta with Giotto Bizzarrini (left)

The Piccio Barchetta was a competition vehicle created in 1990 that Bizzarrini designed for the Italian racing car manufacturer Picchio Racing Racing Cars. A BMW engine served as the drive . The barchettas were used in Italian hill climbs and were quite successful.

Bizzarrini BZ-2001

The BZ-2001 was a mid-engine - sports cars , which emerged in the early 1990s. It was a project by the American contractor Barry Watkins, to which Giotto Bizzarrini primarily contributed his name. Neither the chassis nor the running gear were developed by Giotto Bizzarrini. Instead, Watkins used technical components from Ferrari , which were clad with a new, sensational body. The BZ-2001 was a wide, open two-seater with a plastic body. Apparently it was supposed to be based on the 5300 Spyder SI . In 1993 a prototype was created based on the chassis of a Ferrari Testarossa . The frame and suspension had only been slightly redesigned; the Ferrari's twelve-cylinder engine was also initially adopted. The body, however, was independent. However, like the Ferrari, it had noticeable side air intakes. Watkins Racing planned to produce 150 copies of the convertible annually in California from 1995 . A series production did not materialize, however; only a prototype of the BZ-2001 was created, which was shown at various American motor shows in the 1990s and received different engines in the course of the 1990s. In 1996, for example, there was talk of using a (less expensive) eight-cylinder engine with a displacement of 6 liters and allegedly 500 hp.

Bizzarrini Kjara

The Bizzarrini Kjara was a prototype of an open sports car with hybrid drive presented in 1998.


  • Wolfgang Blaube : A fish called Manta . Presentation of the Bizzarrini Manta and a brief description of the history of the Bizzarrini P 538 in: Oldtimer Markt, issue 10/2008, p. 44 ff.
  • Alessandra Scalvini, Federico Gavazzi: Bizzarrini e le corse , in: Il genio e la macchina: Bizzarrini e Lampredi: due storie dell'auto italiana . Bandecchi & Vivaldi - Editore, 2010.
  • Philippe Olczyk : Bizzarrini & Diomante. The Official History , 3rd edition 2017, ISBN 978-84-697-6659-0
  • Halwart Schrader , Georg Amtmann: Italian sports cars . Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-613-01988-4 .

Web links

Commons : Bizzarrini  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Schrader, Amtmann: Italian Sports Cars, p. 88.
  2. ^ Blaube: Blaue Mauritius, Oldtimer Markt 5/2006, p. 176.
  3. ^ Philippe Olczyk: Bizzarrini & Diomante. The Official History , 3rd edition 2017, ISBN 978-84-697-6659-0 , p. 113.
  4. ^ Richard Heseltine: One Vision. Classic and Sports Car , issue 9/2004.
  5. On the Spyder cf. Oldtimer Markt issue 5/2006, p. 172 ff.
  6. auto catalog No. 14 (1971/72), p. 148.
  7. Oldtimer Markt 4/2011, p. 42 ff.
  8. Auto Catalog 1994/95 (No. 38), p. 255.
  9. Reinhard Lintelmann: 1000 sports cars. Cologne 2005 (Naumann & Göbel Verlagsgesellschaft), ISBN 978-3-625-11353-9 , there p. 183.
  10. Auto Catalog 1996/97 (No. 40), p. 257.