First Bizzarrini 5300 GT Corsa Continuation reclaims the road

Consider the legendary cars gifted to the world because of people trying to get revenge on Enzo Ferrari. The Ford GT40? Revenge after a falling out with Enzo. The founding of Lamborghini? Ditto. The Monteverdi 375S? Ditto. The Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada and 5300 GT Corsa? Ditto. That’s four, which isn’t all of them. Italian engineer Giotto Bizzarrini has the distinction of making this list twice. An in-house coup led to Enzo firing a number of key personnel, Bizzarrini included. Where did the engineer who’d worked on Ferrari icons like the 250 GTO and the Breadvan go? To Lamborghini to help develop the 3.5-liter V12 in Ferruccio’s first car, the 350 GT. Then Bizzarrini set up his own shop, designing the 5300 GT Strada for the road and the 5300 GT Corsa to beat Ferrari at Le Mans.

The overall win proved elusive, but the 5300 GT won the Over 5.0-Liter class in its first-ever attempt at Le Mans, finishing ninth overall. If that sounds lackluster, remember that the entire might of the Ford Motor Company couldn’t get the GT40 to the finish line in that car’s first two years competing at Le Mans in 1964 and 1965, representing nine DNFs.

As is the thing to do nowadays, a group of monied-up enthusiasts resurrected the Bizzarrini name in 2020 in the UK and committed to building 24 continuation examples of the 5300 GT Corsa that triumphed in 1965. The outfit finished the first prototype for testing in April of this year, delivering the first customer example this month. As was done with the original Lamborghini Countach prototype, engineers tracked down figures who’d worked on the original, designed the continuation using original blueprints, and sourced materials and components from original suppliers. The changes were made either to employ better technology in the spirit of the original, or for safety. So instead of the glass fiber body of the 1965 car, the modern versions get single-piece carbon fiber bodywork over a steel tube frame. And instead of a fuel bladder running through the door sills, an FIA-approved 95-liter fuel cell was designed to fit behind in voids around the cockpit. 

The result is smashing. When companies designing new sports cars say they want to channel the spirit of the 1960s, this is what they’re after.

Each example comes drenched in Rosso Corsa Bizzarrini 222 red, accented with a white roundel. Under that lengthy hood lives a 5.3-liter V8 breathing through four twin-barrel Weber carbs to pump out more than 400 horsepower. In a car that weighs about 2,700 pounds, that’ll do for giddy-up. Although the car has been built for track duty, the company says clients can get a road-legal version if they prefer.

The 5300 GT Corsa continuation is meant to herald the overall continuation of the brand as well. It’s expected that all 24 versions will be delivered by next year, a company exec saying that now “we are refining initial engineering and design proposals for our modern supercar.”

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