The onslaught of continuation models (or recreations) is continuing. The latest iconic Italian classic to get the increasingly popular treatment is the beautiful Bizzarrini 5300 GT Corsa.
Words: Wilhelm Lutjeharms
Two years ago it was made official that the revered Bizzarrini brand would be revived. With respected automotive figure and ex-Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez at the head of the company, expectations were high right from the start.
Keep in mind, Giotto Bizzarrini was one of the most significant automotive engineering names to come out of Italy. He played a huge roll in the development of the Ferrari 250 GTO, the Ferrari 250 “Breadvan”, the ATS 2500 GT as well as Lamborghini’s first V12 engine, as used in their first car, the 350 GT. Needless to say, he was also part of the development of the ISO Grifo, from which the Bizzarrini 5300 GT and A3/C models were further developed.
Fast forward less than two years after the news were made public of the company’s resurrection, and the first Bizzarrini 5300 GT Corsa Revival prototype has hit the road. According to the company this car will undergo final endurance testing before the first customer cars will be completed.
The manufacturing process
These cars are manufactured in the UK using the original blueprints, and even experts that were originally involved in the project are said to have given their input. As expected, some improvements have been made with modern safety regulations in mind. An example is a new fuel tank which has been expertly shaped using 3D scanning, to fill the available void in the chassis – this would not have been possible all those decades ago.
The racing sticker on the car has a significant history. In 1965, at the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race, chassis number 0222 won the over 5-litre class and finished ninth overall in the hands of French racing drivers Regis Fraissinet and Jean de Mortemart. The car ran the race at an average speed of 169kph and wore number #3 during the race.
Following the race, Giotto Bizzarrini drove the car back to Northern Italy! What a joy that must have been!
Being a master engineer, Giotto Bizzarrini moved the front-mounted engine as far back in the chassis as possible for optimum weight distribution. Today, this approach has been proven to be as impactful as before, as each wheel is said to carry a perfect 25 per cent of the car’s total weight!
Furthermore, each of the 24 Revival Series cars to be manufactured will be hand-built. It will feature a “lightweight single-piece composite body” over a steel frame. A modern twist inside is a six-point roll bar and a safety fuel cell – both meeting FIA historic racing regulations. There is also a 5.3-litre, V8 engine with Weber carburettors delivering over 298 kW. The highlight is the weight though, as this engine only needs to power a car tipping the scales at 1 250 kg.
The so-called “lightweight single piece composite body” is made of carbon-fibre. The reason the company decided on this material is because Bizzarrini used glass-fibre at the time as he wanted to use the lightest material possible. Today, that would have been carbon-fibre. As COO of Bizzarrini, Richard Quinlan, says: “As a result, the 5300 GT Revival Corsa will be offered with a full carbon-fibre bodyshell as standard for those customers who do not need to conform to Historic Racing regulations.”
According to the company, and rather expectedly, the car is said to feel significantly more rigid than the original examples.
These cars were engineered for racing, as the original ones, but the company made it clear that should customers want to drive their cars on the road, that need would be met by Bizzarrini. Handover of the first customer cars will take place from next month.