Continuation cars and officially sanctioned new builds are always the subject of some debate. So let's have one more for the conversation: the Bizzarrini 5300 GT Corsa Revival.
The tales of Bizzarrini the man and Bizzarrini the company are too long to tell right now; the important bits include a man that worked at Ferrari and helped develop the 250 series of cars (before being unceremoniously sacked), and a company that made the 5300 GT, another of those stunning Italian supercars using Detroit V8 power. Which actually took a Le Mans class victory in 1965.
There's much more to tell that that, of course, but with so few cars made in period - Bizzarrini went bankrupt in 1969 - and such stunning Giugiaro-penned design, the 5300 is perfect fodder for continuation. With the company now under the ownership of Pegasus Brands since 2020, this Corsa Revival car is what the resurrected Bizzarrini looks like.
There will be 24 of them, built in the UK. Which sounds odd for a car like this, but the attention to detail for these 21st century 5300 GTs is incredible. People involved in the original project have been consulted, a Bizzarrini Rosso Corsa paint sample that hadn't seen light in half a century was found to get the colour right, and the car was built from blueprints using suppliers that had provided parts back in the 60s. Naturally, concessions to modernity have been made, with a reprofiled fuel tank and safer seats, but that's kind of par for the continuation course nowadays.
Under the bonnet is a "period specific" 5.3 V8, with Weber carbs; along with independent rear suspension, another of Bizzarrini's key updates for the 5300 over the Iso Grifo it was built from was to push the engine a long way back. This was early days for mid-engined cars, and the compromise helped the GT turn despite that huge V8 out front. Testing has shown the 1,250kg kerbweight evenly split 25 per cent per corner. Bizzarrini was onto something, y'know...
The GT Corsa Revival seen here pays homage to chassis 0222, the car that won the over 5.0-litre class at Le Mans in 1965 - and which Bizzarrini drove back to Italy after the race. Buyers, however, will be able to choose whatever they want, even going as far as carbonfibre instead of glassfibre panels if so desired. That will make it ineligible for historic racing but, once more, pay your money, take your choice... This name might say 5300GT Corsa Revival; on the other hand, if you want to use it on the road with a carbonfibre body, then Bizzarrini can make it so.
Bizzarrini's CMO Simon Busby said: "We have an ambitious long-term vision for the Bizzarrini brand, and the 5300GT Corsa Revival serves as either an introduction or a reminder of the storied heritage of Bizzarrini. We were thrilled with the car's performance during endurance testing.... Now, as we complete the process of building the cars for our customers throughout the world, we are refining the initial engineering and design proposals for our modern supercar. Utilising the very latest technologies, and built with the ethos, passion and values of our founding genius, this will truly be a Bizzarrini for a new generation."
So, hopefully, the first we've seen of Bizzarrini for a very long time will usher in a new era. Deliveries of this Revival Corsa will begin in May; for those that are keen, it's not said to be sold out just yet...
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