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1967 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada Alloy
RM Sotheby's

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A paradigm of design and performance; the physical bookend to the eponymous marque of legendary engineer Giotto Bizzarrini


One of 86 alloy-bodied examples produced; dramatic Italian styling coupled with American power


Benefits from an exhaustive, multi-year restoration completed in 2021 by Rebellion Motors of Lausanne, Switzerland; more than 246,000 CHF of restoration work on file


Generously equipped with power windows, triple-vane wing vents, Talbot mirrors, and chrome Borrani wire wheels


Accompanied by two spare, correct-type Chevrolet 5.3-litre engines

At the 1963 Turin Motor Show, the Iso Rivolta company of Milanese industrialist Renzo Rivolta debuted two Giugiaro-designed variants of their new Grifo sportscar. The Grifo A3/L was on the Bertone stand, while the A3/C debuted on Iso’s stand; only the latter was built by Giotto Bizzarrini’s consultancy in Livorno. Despite significant differences, both variants sported Giugiaro-designed coachwork, and they synergistically presented a stunning combination of Italian styling, race-developed underpinnings, and American V-8 power. Convinced that the A3/C’s incredibly low, slippery profile and front-mid-mounted 5.3-litre V-8 engine configuration could translate into motorsports success, for the next 18 months Bizzarrini made the A3/C under agreement with Iso. The car neared 305 km/h on the Mulsanne Straight in 1965, and the Bizzarrini-built Grifos won the GT class at Le Mans in 1964 and, again, in 1965. Bizzarrini and Iso subsequently struck a compromise wherein Bizzarrini would continue to build the Grifo under his own name as the 5300 GT in both “Strada” roadgoing form, and “Corsa” variants for racing. While the Bizzarrini Strada is ostensibly a road car, its specifications read like those of an all-out competition car, with lightweight aluminum bodywork, a fabricated platform chassis, and a semi-monocoque body riveted to the frame. This advanced chassis, combined with near-perfect weight distribution which utilised lessons gleaned from Bizzarrini’s previous work on Ferrari’s 250 GTO, resulted in outstanding performance and incredible handling. Output of the Strada’s Chevrolet V-8 engine ranged between 350 and 420 horsepower, providing a claimed top speed of up to 290 km/h. And at an original price point nearing $10,500, the Strada’s performance was simply unrivaled, provided one could even find an example for sale. Rarer—and faster—than any contemporary roadgoing production model from competing Italian marques, the Bizzarrini 5300 Strada GT is a true paradigm of design and performance. This 5300 GT Strada, number 264, is believed to have been delivered new to the United States, during September 1967, and is one of the 86 alloy-bodied examples completed by Bizzarrini. According to information compiled by the Iso-Bizzarrini Owners Club, as well as the Bizzarrini Registry, chassis 0264 remained in the United States until 1990, when it was imported to the United Kingdom and submitted to its first recorded restoration. After passing through a chain of owners across England and continental Europe between 1998 and 2007, chassis 0264 finally settled down within the careful ownership of a noted Italian collector in 2008. Under its most recent previous owner, the car was inspected by marque expert Jack Koobs de Hartog in the UK during September 2015, and in November 2016, the car was purchased by the consignor, at which time it still wore its prior restoration. Chassis 0264 was subsequently submitted to Rebellion Motors of Lausanne, Switzerland during August 2017 for the start of a total, exhaustive, multi-year restoration which would see the car’s alloy body entirely stripped down to bare metal, and fastidiously corrected. This Strada’s chassis also proved to be in relatively aged condition, and so Rebellion Motors with Carrosserie Challenge (also of Lausanne) masterfully repaired and, where required, recreated, and welded in new body panels and chassis reinforcements. In all, this exacting approach likely relieved this Strada of some of its more characterful artifacts of Bizzarrini’s production line—in essence producing a “better than new” finish. A compendium of invoices (on file) illustrate all work completed in great detail, and in total they represent more than 246,000 CHF lavished upon this incredibly sought-after Anglo-Italian hybrid. As presented today, chassis 0264 is desirably equipped with power windows, triple-vane wing vents, Talbot mirrors, and chrome 17-inch Borrani wire wheels. Sparingly used since the completion of its restoration, chassis 0264 retains many superb and correct details throughout. Additionally, its sale is accompanied by two complete, correct-type Chevrolet 5.3-litre engines, one of which has been partially rebuilt by Oldtimer Center Ostschweiz in St. Margrethen. Eminently presentable for the most prestigious concours and classic racing events, this is an exceptional gran turismo car in all respects. Perhaps Giotto Bizzarrini, the “Father of the 250 GTO,” said it best: “I started with the idea of the Ferrari GTO and set about trying to improve on it.”