The reborn Bizzarrini brand has achieved its next significant milestone. The first Bizzarrini 5300 GT Corsa Revival prototype has taken to the road for final endurance testing before the first customer cars are completed.
Built at Bizzarrini’s dedicated facility using original blueprints and materials from original suppliers. The original car’s fuel tanks were located deep in the sills, as well as behind the driver but now – using advanced 3D scanning – Bizzarrini engineers have created a tank intricately shaped, filling the available void in the chassis.
First developed as a high-performance variant of the Bizzarrini-engineered Iso Grifo A3C, the 5300 GT Corsa was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro with refinements by Piero Drogo of Carrozzeria Sports Cars. Incorporating a tried and tested V8 engine, the 5300 GT was light, fast and reliable.
Famed for its performance in the 1965 Le Mans 24 Hour Race, perhaps the most legendary 5300 GT is chassis 0222. That summer, French racing drivers Regis Fraissinet and Jean de Mortemart took the over 5-litre class win at Le Mans, also finishing ninth overall. Not only did Chassis 0222 run the race at an average speed of 169km/h, Giotto Bizzarrini himself then drove the car back home to Northern Italy immediately after the race. The 5300 GT Revival Corsa prototype takes livery inspiration from this legendary car, encapsulating the spirit of a bygone age of high-performance race cars.
Bizzarrini fitted bespoke independent rear suspension and shifted the front-mounted engine as far back in the chassis as possible. This approach to weight distribution proved a key advantage against many contemporary front-heavy cars. In testing the Revival, modern measurements show that each corner of the car carries 25% of its overall weight, illustrating the visionary genius of Giotto Bizzarrini to design a car in 1965 that still delivers perfect balance in 2022.
24 new vehicles will be hand-built, with a lightweight single piece composite body, over a steel frame. Inside, the two seats are protected by a more comprehensive six-point roll bar and safety fuel cell, meeting FIA Appendix K historic racing regulations. Independent rear suspension to Giotto’s Corsa specification and all-round disc brakes are paired with a period-specific 5,300 cubic centimeter V8 with Weber 45 DCOE (Doppio Corpo Orizzontale E) carburettors developing between over 400 horsepower. At just 1250 kg, the Bizzarrini 5300 GT Revival Corsa has excellent power to weight ratio.
The original 5300 GT made extensive use of the strongest lightweight material of its day, glass fibre. The 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.
Giotto’s work at Ferrari came to an unexpected end, during one of the most damaging moments in Ferrari’s history, informally known as the ‘Night of the Long Knives’ or ‘The Palace Revolt’. As the story goes four of Ferrari’s top engineers, including Giotto, revolted against Enzo Ferrari’s running of the business, and the sacking of commercial director Girolami Gardini. Il Commendatore responded by firing them too. For Giotto, it was partly a desire to settle the score with Ferrari that led him to take his creation to Le Mans in 1965, where it won its class.