Bogus Bizzarrini: 1967 Lamborghini 400GT

What would you do if you heard about a 1967 Lamborghini 400GT that was destroyed by fire? Most of us would do nothing, but a certain former Army helicopter mechanic saw an opportunity. In what can only be described as an ambitious project, the charred remains of the 400GT have slowly been converted into a replica of the striking Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada. Unfortunately, poor health forces the project’s mastermind to sell the in-progress car and a jackpot of original Lamborghini components. Find it all here on eBay for $95,000.

The Bizzarrini Strada was the brainchild of Giotto Bizzarrini, whose resume includes stints at Ferrari and Iso Rivolta. The knowledge gleaned in these roles benefited him when launching his own company, as the formula of  low weight and big power influenced each of the 140 cars Bizzarrini S.p. A produced from 1964 to 1969. The 5300 GT’s smooth lines and low profile are heavily influenced by Ferrari styling of the era, but is more dramatic given the coupe’s overall height of less than 40 inches. The seller of the hybrid Lamborghini/Bizzarrini created a mold of a 5300’s body, adhering to the dimensions of the original Italian supercar.

Citing his engineering experience and ownership of another of Giotto’s creations, an Iso Grifo, the seller notes that he has sourced the correct parts to create a road-legal monster that should be well-suited for track days and eligible for vintage racing. Although we are not sure how many race associations would accept it, the pedigree of this unique creation certainly seems significant enough to warrant a second look by event officials. The car features a matching numbers Lamborghini 400 GT engine, with the frame ID tag and original chassis plate intact. Smokey Allman, the pit crew chief for Parnelli Jones, oversaw the rebuild of the blueprinted engine. The suspension, brakes, and differential are OEM Lamborghini parts salvaged from the flamed-out 400GT.

To match the proportions of the Bizzarrini, the seller worked with Doane Spencer of Hollywood Sports Cars to shorten the chassis and push the engine back six inches. Spencer then added all necessary structural reinforcements to withstand the rigors of vintage racing. The male body mold is very close to completion and the photos show it mounted on the modified chassis to establish fit and alignment. We’re curious what happened to the Bizzarrini that helped form the mold, as the seller notes he once owned an original Strada. Regardless, time will tell if his handiwork is faithful to Giotto’s design.

Taking on someone else’s project is always a gamble, as the concept exists in their mind alone. However, the documentation provided on the project’s webpage is confidence inspiring, as the parts list is extensive and photo records confirm the work performed thus far. We would still want an up-close inspection of the bodywork to ensure it is as strong as the seller states, and to also verify that the vehicle measures up proportionally. With an endless supply of misguided kit car creations always available on eBay, taking a chance on one with Italian exotica under the hood could be risky. But then again, how often do real Bizzarrinis appear – in any form – anywhere?

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Comments

  1. Kraig

    I’d say the seller should finish the project, or have someone finish it for him before asking that kind of money.

  2. Wil

    Wow, now that is the Ultimate Bitsa. Sorry to hear the creator had to give it up, what a great dreamcar project. That list of parts made me put a bib on. Hope he get’s to see it finished someday.

  3. J. Pickett

    I think the concept is flawed, I loved the Bizzarrini. And also loved the Lamborghini 400. But they were very different cars. The Lambo would be worth far more than the Bizz. and I think the proportions will be way off. But to each his own. At least he’s not painting it flat black or putting 36′ wheels on it.

  4. Dolphin Member

    I’m with J. P……..altho it’s an interesting idea, and obviously a labor of love, the project is flawed for a couple of reasons.

    It’s so much work that the builder risks running out of time before he gets to drive it, as happened to the seller. Then, after all that effort, the car will not be loved by either the Lambo crowd or the Bizzarrini crowd, which might not matter if you just want to enjoy it. But when the time comes to sell it I’ll bet that it won’t bring nearly as much interest or money as either an original Lambo 400 GT or GT Strada. At that point it might end up being better to part it out than to try to sell it whole.

  5. Bob

    I’ve always loved the looks of the Bizzarrini.

    The 400GT is also one of the most beautiful cars ever to me.

    A disadvantage of the stock Bizzarrini was the access panel for the rear of the engine required one to remove the windshield.

    So in eyeballing this, it looks like the V12 is farther forward than the Chevy V8 is in the Bizzarinni.

    So if you have a burned 400GT and you have the skills to make that body, why not make a fiberglass Lambo body???

    Aside: Boy that’s a gorgeous engine.

  6. Mark E

    I admire the seller for their inspiration and determination but I have to agree with J Pickett. This project would be similar to taking a burned out Cadillac Allante and making a Ferrari out of it…

  7. Joseph Geisler

    A REALLY close inspection of the replica PLUG will note SEVERAL discrepancies. There is lots of work to be done on that plug. Lot’s of work!! The MAIN thing here though, is the running gears and there needs to be LOTS of proof that it IS from the burned original. All of the interior panels, bracing, and workings still must be researched to be of authentication. We do know a little about Lamborghinis in our shop. Nice idea though. Still needs a lot of work!

  8. Chris H.

    Short of commissioning a re-body of the Lambo in Italy, what else would you do with the chassis? This looks like the ultimate Revell model kit. As long as niggling details like the window glass don’t leave you frustrated, I’d say the heavy lifting is done. If you don’t like the price, you sure won’t like the cost to maintain the engine.

    • Wes

      For those of you that don’t like the set up (afford to maintain), sell the drive train, choose one you can afford (with the money ma655555555555 from the sail)

      • Wes

        Sorry, my cat just ran across the keyboard and disrupted my thoughts. I will return shortly.

  9. Skip M

    If I had 95 large and a pet mechanic on retainer, it would be a no brainer. Unfortunately, I have neither. It’s sorta cool in a very odd sort of way, taking an exotic body that used to cover rather mundane mechanicals and using it to cover an exotic underpinning…

  10. e55

    I am not a Bizzarrini expert, but it’s plain to see that the proportions are off. This can be easily seen by looking at the wheelbase of the replica (the first photo) compared to that of the red Bizzarrini (second photo). The former is visibly shorter than the latter.

  11. Jeff

    Family/friends need to come to the rescue. Complete it!

  12. Jim Simpson

    Yeah, sorry guys but the Bizzarrini P538 that was Lamborghini powered sets the president for such a project, and yes I realize that most of them were Chevrolet powered…. still I think it is a great project and will likely be well received by gearheads at any event… The builder clearly did not care about value but saw beyond the box to a project that is insanely neat. I am sure that in the right hands the proportions can be fixed and the lucky buyer will end up with a spectacular piece of machinery with fine looks.

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