GOODBYE TO AN AUTO GIANT – The motoring world mourns the passing of Giotto Bizzarini (above in a photo from the 60s). The Tuscan designer, one of the most skilled and creative in history, passed away yesterday afternoon at the age of 96. In its long and prosperous careerdriven by a devouring passion for racing cars, has helped create authentic legends on wheels, such as the Ferrari 250 GTOthe engine V12 Lamborghini and, last but not least, the splendid ones 5300 Gran Turismo which bear his name.
FROM ALFA TO FERRARI, SO MANY MASTERPIECES – Livornese of the Quercianella district, Bizzarrini receives the name of Giotto from his parents thanks to an idea of his paternal grandfather, educator and author of scientific works. After graduating from the University of Pisa in 1953, he began his adventure in the world of engines at theAlfa Romeo. At the age of 28 he enters the department of experimentation, where he is assigned to the team of Consalvo Sanesi, pilot and historic chief test driver of the Milanese company. In February 1957 he moved to Ferrari: there cut of the Drake, the talent of Bizzarrini emerges in all its clarity. During his years under the sign of the Prancing Horse, the designer from Livorno worked on the 12 cylinder engine from three liters of the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossato the two-litre one of the Testa Rossa 500 Mondial and provides a fundamental contribution to the development of the models of the 250 family, from the GT SWB to the Spider California, up to the legendary 250 GTO. The Livorno-born engineer was also the technical manager of the Ferrari team in the last edition of the legendary Mille Miglia, in 1957. On that occasion, by mounting steel plate blocks, he solved a problem with the braking system of Piero’s 315 S Taruffi, who finally wins the race.
FRIENDSHIP WITH CHITI AND THE LAMBORGHINI V12 – At Ferrari Bizzarrini formed a solid friendship with Carlo Chiti, also from Tuscany, and after leaving Maranello, in 1961 the two founded the Tourism and Sports Cars. The ATS is a short parenthesis, but fundamental in opening new horizons to both technicians: Bizzarrini decides to start his own business and gives life in his Livorno to a engine company, the Autostar; Chiti, together with Lodovico Chizzola, set up Autodelta, which would soon become Alfa Romeo’s racing team. In his Livorno workshop Gonzo mounts Amadori Campagnolo brakes on Alfa Romeo and Volkswagen cars, but the activity also contemplates consulting services for the complete design of new cars and new engines Among the most famous clients there is a man who cultivates with a truly rare determination the ambition to build the most beautiful sports car in the world: his name is Ferruccio Lamborghini and for him Gonzo will draw the V12 engine from which originates the legend that continues to live today (find out Who the most beautiful supercars of the house of Sant’Agata Bolognese with the 12-cylinder engine).
THE MEETING WITH PIERO RIVOLTA – After the experience in Ferrari Bizzarrini crosses the path of the Lombard industrialist Piero Rivolta, who in 1962 decides to enter the luxury sports car sector with the GT 300 coupe designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro for the Bertone body shop. From this car starts the adventure of Iso Rivolta (Who to find out more), for which Bizzarrini will sign in 1963 Iso A3/Ca car intended for competitions, and, two years later, the legendary Grifo GTpowered by a large Chevrolet-derived V8 engine.
HIS DREAM, TODAY REBORN – In the meantime, the desire to give shape to one’s dreams does not abandon the Tuscan designer, who from the ashes of Autostar gives life to a new company with his name and creates the 5300 GT Strada (in the photos above), a sports car on a Grifo base refined with some components taken from the A3/C. In total, 133 berlinettas came out of the gates of Bizzarrini, which today, more than half a century after the end of production and the closure of the company, has returned to the limelight thanks to the automotive division of Pegasus Brands, a well-known dealer of luxury cars with offices in London, Geneva, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Dubai (Who the news and Who the first information about new supercar which could arrive in 2024).
THE HONORARY DEGREE – After his last parenthesis as an entrepreneur, the Tuscan engineer continues his career as a consultant for car manufacturers, collaborating in the design of some prototypes such as the BZ 2001, a promising spider on Ferrari mechanics whose project, unfortunately, never took off . In October of 2012 Gonzo receives from the University of Florence the Degree Master of honor cause in Design in the new headquarters in Calenzano), inaugurated on the day of its proclamation. Only last autumn had the city of Livorno celebrated the genius of Bizzarrini with a “three days” dedicated to him in the spaces of the Hangar Creativi, and a few months earlier he had been awarded the gold medal of Livorno talents.