Bizzarrini S.p.A. was an Italian automotive manufacturer in the 1960s founded by former Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and ISO engineer, Giotto Bizzarrini. The company built a small number of highly developed and advanced sport and racing automobiles throughout the 1960’s. Notable models include the 5300 GT Strada and the P538S. A selection of Bizzarrini automobiles were featured at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours. “Although Giotto Bizzarrini was a remarkable engineer,” said Ken Gross, the Selection Committee Member who helped assemble the class, “he wasn’t afraid to choose Chevrolet Corvette V-8 power for his own cars.”
Giotto Bizzarrini was born in Livorno, Italy in 1926. He graduated as an engineer in the University of Pisa in 1953 and taught briefly before joining Alfa Romeo in 1954. He worked for Alfa Romeo from 1954 to 1957 before making the switch to Ferrari in 1957, eventually becoming controller of experimental, Sports and GT car development. He worked at Ferrari as a developer, designer, test driver, and chief engineer for five years. His developments there included the Ferrari 250 TR, the Ferrari 250 GT SWB (Short Wheelbase Berlinetta or Berlinetta Passo Corto), and the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO.
After leaving Ferrari he became part of Automobili Turismo e Sport (ATS), a company started by the ex-Ferrari engineers to build a Formula 1 single seater and a GT sport car, the A.T.S. Serenissima. One of ATS’s financial backers, Count Giovanni Volpi, owner of Scuderia Serenissima, hired Bizzarrini to upgrade a Ferrari 250 GT SWB, with chassis number #2819GT to GTO specifications. This resulted in the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Drogo also known as the “Breadvan” and thus the legend of Bizzarini was born.
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