1968 Bizzarrini 5300GT Strada
Red with Black Leather Interior
When designing his beautiful and impressively fast Iso Grifo, Renzo Rivolta relied upon one of Italy’s greatest automotive engineers, Giotto Bizzarrini, designer of the Ferrari 250 GTO and Testa Rossa. Mr. Bizzarrini designed the Iso Grifo with the necessary elements for success: the stout, reliable and easily tuned Chevrolet small-block V-8 engine and 4-speed gearbox from the Corvette, a welded-sheet platform frame, sophisticated suspension and a svelte and aerodynamic body. Although it was double the price of a Corvette, it was significantly lighter and featured technical innovations that even the most exotic cars of the era could not better. The resulting car was a true race car for the road that looked the part, with the roofline standing a mere 43" above the asphalt.
Giotto Bizzarrini built his own version of the Grifo for racing, winning the big-bore GT class at Le Mans in 1964 and 1965. The Bizzarrini GTs were developed as race cars and the two marques, Iso and Bizzarrini, coexisted. Iso built road Grifos while Bizzarrini built racing Grifos. Eventually their relationship soured but Bizzarrini had cleverly registered the Grifo name, reportedly the suggestion of Nuccio Bertone, and traded its use to Iso for a supply of parts sufficient to build about 100 Bizzarrini 5300GT Stradas. Fitted with more rakish and exotic bodywork, the Bizzarrini 5300GT is rare, exotic and aerodynamic.
This particular car was among the very last constructed. Its construction was initiated in 1968 at the Bizzarrini factory, but the typically tenuous health of Bizzarrini s.p.a. meant that the car was not completed before the company went into receivership. It sat unfinished, but was eventually completed in 1977 by Laboratorio Automotori di Bizzarrini, the company that Giotto Bizzarrini was then running. There is a notarized letter from Mr. Bizzarrini that explains this.
In more recent years, the car has been comprehensively restored to the highest standards to competition specifications, which includes a $35,000 racing engine that produced 423hp on the dyno. In total, the restorative works came to over $302,000, and included every mechanical system on the car. Power is fed through a newly sourced clutch and Super T-10 transmission to a rebuilt 3.92 ratio third member and onward to four newly cast magnesium wheels. The brake calipers, master cylinders, soft lines, hard lines, and pedal assembly were all rebuilt or replaced. A modern brake bias adjuster was fitted. The suspension system was crack checked while apart and re-assembled with all new bushings, tie rod ends, and bearings. The steering components were also crack checked, the steering box was rebuilt, and a new steering wheel fitted. All ancillary items in the engine bay were also restored. A new radiator, oil cooler, and MSD electronic ignition system were fitted. The starter was rebuilt. An entirely new exhaust system was fabricated. All the plumbing and electrical systems were restored to insure reliability in a racing environment, and the engine is now protected by a modern Accusump oil pressure device. A new 25 gallon fuel cell was installed. A significant effort was made towards driver comfort and safety. A new seat was installed with a new safety harness, roll hoop, and new wiper motors and assemblies were made. New glass and Plexiglas was molded and installed to the front, rear, side windows, and headlamp covers. The chassis was carefully set up with competitiveness in mind. Modern, remote canister Penske shocks were modified, painted to appear vintage, and installed with Eibach springs, and the correct ride height set. This all amounts to a frame-off professional restoration endeavor, and this included the soda blasting and refinishing of the chassis as well as the high quality repainting of the entire body in Imola red.
Consequently, the car is in stunning cosmetic condition, both inside and out. The paintwork was completed to high standards, and the body has excellent gaps and fit. The chrome was renewed as well, and the badging, trim, and glazing (much of which is Plexiglas) are excellent throughout. The wheels are beautiful, and there are numerous competition details like the fuel fillers, vents, and Le Mans number ball lights. This car sits on four new 7.00X15 Goodyear tires.
The interior is very Spartan and has also been completely redone to extremely high standards. The seats are lightweight and very supportive competition buckets, which have been upholstered in leather and fitted with competition harnesses. The center console has also been done in leather. The dashboard and instruments have also been restored and are like new, with full competition instrumentation and warning lights.
The engine compartment and trunk are both spotlessly clean and detailed. The engine compartment has been set up for competition use with quadruple Weber carburetors and custom airboxes with large K&N panel filters. Like all 5300GTs, the engine is mounted well back in the chassis to provide optimum weight distribution. In fact, the engine is so far back that the distributors are accessed through panels in the interior. The trunk is almost completely empty, containing ventilation ducting and the reservoir for the plumbed in fire system.
This is an outstanding opportunity to acquire a beautifully restored example of this rare and stunning car. Equipped for competition, the car would make an excellent vintage racer, a raucous event car, and is certainly clean enough to show. The car comes with dyno sheets and a photo album documenting the restoration, as well as a large stack of invoices detailing the work described above.
Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA
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