Early 5300GT Strada, Lightweight Alloy Body, 9” Campagnolo Rear Wheels, 400+HP
Bizzarrini 5300GT Strada Alloy
s/n 1A33*0253, Eng no. K5341F100750
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 50 Bizzarrini GT Stradas.
Completed in 1966, this is one of the early, first-series 5300 Stradas featuring aluminum bodywork and the more attractive interior layout. These early cars closely resemble their famed competition kin and sport one of the most exotic designs ever penned for a road-going car. The car was delivered new in Italy and remained there until it was restored by marque specialists Diamante in 1986, after which it was taken to Austria by well-known Bizzarrini enthusiast and the Lamborghini agent there, Bruno de Cillia. He sold the car to another Austrian, Kurt Gaggl, shortly afterward and then in 1999 the car moved to Denmark under the ownership of knowledgeable enthusiast Peter Larsen.
In more recent years the car has been subtly modified to offer the best of two worlds; it sports an all-steel race engine featuring billet steel crank, steel rods, high-compression pistons, polished and ported race heads, 4-barrel Holley carb, Edelbrock manifold and a large-bore stainless steel exhaust system, but with a milder cam that gives the car extreme tractability. Nevertheless, the car delivers over 400 bhp on the dyno (there are on-file photos of the engine together with a complete specification). The car also sports an oil cooler, uprated springs and the optional, wider 9\" rear wheels. All of these performance upgrades have not, however, spoiled the appearance of the car, as evidenced when it won the GT category of the prestigious Cartier Concours d’Elegance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2005, the award being inscribed “Beauty in the Beast – the bespoke road-racing GT (1960 – 1970)” – a most apt description. It has also run in several rallies including the Italia Classica where its owner reports that it would sail past GTOs on the long, fast corners of the Autostrada around Savona at 230 “clicks” (kph) on the clock while maintaining a most compliant and comfortable ride with all the creature comforts.
The car comes from a long-standing Bizzarrini enthusiast and until now has sat alongside one of the famous “Corsa” race cars that he has owned for 35 years! It is finished in silver metallic cellulose with a soft black leather interior that is equipped with four-point safety belts, lumbar supports and a fire extinguisher. There is an extensive file accompanying this car that contains photographs of the car’s participation in events, registration papers, Bizzarrini literature and a Bizzarrini Register information sheet from Jack Koobs de Hartog, the foremost marque historian. This is one of the finest examples of these rare Italian-American hybrids that one could add to a collection of performance cars.
Note: The 327 engine, numbered 707F010850, that the owner removed from the car is to be included in the sale with shipping from the UK being at the buyer’s expense.
Information above courtesy of Gooding and Co.
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Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608