Lot #5093 - During the 1950s, Giotto Bizzarrini worked as chief engineer at Ferrari on such projects as the Ferrari 250 GTO. In 1961, he left Ferrari and, by 1963, he had formed his own company, Bizzarrini. In the mid-1950s, Bizzarrini wanted to include a mid-engined racing car to his lineup to help achieve the success that his GT racers were unable to provide. The GT cars had been able to secure class wins, but Bizzarrini wanted an overall victory. Design, development and testing of the P538 began in mid-1965, and it took six months for the first chassis to be constructed. The chassis was a traditional tubular construction with triangle-shaped tubes. Disc brakes were placed in the front and rear. The suspension was comprised of double wishbones and the engine was a Chevrolet V8 engine mounted at a 90-degree angle. It had a 5.3 Liter displacement size and could produce around 365hp. A 5-speed ZF manual gearbox was mated to the engine and drove the rear wheels. The body was lightweight but strong, comprised of aluminum and fiberglass. The name of the vehicle, P538, was derived from the Chevrolet Corvette engine 5.3 Liter V8. The car, with V8 power, was ready by the 1966 LeMans 24 hours race, but there had not been any time to do proper testing. It took only seven laps for the team to find a problem with the car and it returned to the pits. There had been a vibration in the wheel. The vehicle was hoisted up on jacks, and in the process, ruptured a water hose within one of the triangular tubes and sidelined the car from the race. The car was brought back to LeMans a year later, though it was not allowed to race for reasons unknown. The prototype racer was now obsolete. The car offered here is Chassis #P538*B*04 was commissioned by Frenchman Jacques Lavost (ISO & Bizzarrini Owner Club Director in France) after the initial four cars were built in 1960s. Giotto Bizzarrini and his wife started construction of the car in early 1970s with Salvatore Diomante at Autocostruzione SD, using the same components used on the 1960s-built cars. This car may be distinguished from 1960s-built cars by the use of square as opposed to round frame tubing. Although the car is titled as a 1965, It is understood this car was completed in 1978 and has certification from ASI (Automotoclub Storico Italiano or in some circles, "Italian Classic Car authority"). This car has different front air intake and side intakes in doors than the original 1960s cars and it has two triangular-section headrests and matching roll bars. In 2013 the engine/transmission of the car were rebuilt and a new 180 crossover exhaust was added. The Holley carburetors were also upgraded to period-correct Bizzarrini quad Webbers. The car has a brand-new interior and is ready to be enjoyed.
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