Track Monster: 1965 Bizzarrini 5300GT Corsa

1965 Bizzarrini 5300GT Corsa

For many of us, discovering a barn find remains a wish; discovering a car we covet in a barn requires an even greater stroke of luck. But discovering a forgotten classic with those two criteria intact and the added bonus of being an incredibly valuable and sought-after piece of history requires unfathomably good odds. While there’s little known as to how this enormously valuable Bizzarrini 5300GT A3C (the “C” standing for Corsa, or Competition) was found, one thing is clear: with four days left here on eBay and bidding over $95,000, this car remains as desirable as it was when it first lit up LeMans in the mid-60s.

1965 Bizzarrini 5300GT Corsa Engine

While very little information is offered in the eBay listing, this really is a car that doesn’t need much description. Sure, some more details on history and condition would be helpful, but the seller provides a direct (overseas) phone number to reach him on for serious buyers. If $100,000 is effectively play money to you, I’m betting the seller is confident you’ll come to him with any questions. While this car will likely be completely restored, one of the more attractive components to a potential buyer has to be the simplicity of its powerplant: a 5.3L big-block V8 sourced from a Corvette. American power in a gorgeous Italian-styled body has seemingly always been a recipe for success.

Bizzarrini 5300GT Corsa in 1965

In one of the pictures on the listing, you can see the numberplate “LI89” visible; a quick Google search reveals bits and pieces of competition history at events ranging from receiving a DNF at the Lorraine Rally (due to a missed checkpoint) to being driven by Regis Fraissinet at a preliminary trial event for the 24 Hours at LeMans. Of course, competition was exactly what the car’s original visionary, Giotto Bizzarrini, had always intended, and the Corsa versions were developed with a lightweight aluminum body and the big-block V8 shoved further back in the chassis for optimum weight distribution. Over 400 b.h.p. was on tap, thanks to hotter camshafts and bigger carbs. For Bizzarrini, who would later split from business partner Renzo Rivolta due to differences in their vision for the company’s future, vindication came in the form of a class win at LeMans in 1965.

1965 Bizzarrini 5300GT Today

This particular car on eBay is clearly a project, but with some interesting qualities: the engine bay looks like it has been at least cleaned, if not already serviced. The body shell doesn’t appear heavily damaged despite needing through restoration. Details such as the original fog lights and the ensconced headlights are still intact. If it suffered race damage, it appears to be have been corrected at some point. No mention is made of the interior, but again, if you’re buying a competion version of any car, it’s likely not as much of a concern as provenance and race history. If any of our readers know more about this car and its past, please share your insights in the comments below!

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Comments

  1. Rick

    Definitely a small block, not a big block in sight!

  2. 1998redwagon

    Funniest part of the eBay advert is the line that says “Have one like this to sell?”. Yea, right. I’ve got six of them in my garage. All different colors.

  3. Robert J.

    It is not so difficult finding a very rare and valuable car. But rare is the man indeed with both the fortunes and sensibility to truly enjoy one.

    Also, the seller should have omitted the picture demonstrating this cars massive oversteer.

  4. Dolphin Member

    If this is the real thing it would be an amazing thing to be auctioning on Ebay. Bizzarini made only about 100 5300GT and Strada cars, which have a value of $425-625K according to the SCM Guide, and probably more now if offered by one of the major auction houses either here or in Europe.

    Then he worked for ISO and made fewer Grifo coupes plus 29 racing versions called the A3C—the one in this Ebay auction. All but 5 had aluminum bodies and the other 5 had fiberglas bodies and were used for GT racing at the highest level. One had the highest top speed of any car on the Mulsanne Straight one year at Le Mans, which is pretty good cred.

    If this Ebay car actually is an A3C it would be worth more than an ordinary 5300GT, likely about a million before restoration. If it’s car #8 in the race photo and can be documented, then probably more.

    The question is, what is this car? The car doesn’t seem to have the “incredible untouched body” that the sellers claims, and the exterior and engine bay don’t seem to be from the same car. With the mania for as-found original cars this would be very easy to sell at a major auction other than B-J, so it’s surprising to find it on Ebay.

    • Bernardo

      There’s one picture on the ad that shows part of the roof, and that part where paint is missing seems to reveal a fiberglass section. Also, the little, no to say none, degradation of the body, with lots of points missing its paint indicate the probability of being a fiberglass body… Interesting…

    • Horse Radish

      According to the phone number the seller seems to be French and his 3 lines of English are a little awkward.
      Translation (I think):
      (Incredible) Unrestored original and unmolested Body.
      Iso A3 C Race Car Bizzarrini 5300
      1965, 450 cv
      please call me 01133613916500
      Serious Inquiries only…..

      You got the phone number, why bother with E-bay.
      Seller is obviously looking for a world-wide audience and has most likely found it.

  5. Mike Gulett

    This car will not sell on ebay.

  6. Peter

    Be aware that this dealer never actually sells the vehicles he lists on eBay. He will end the auction early as always. Basically he just uses ebay for advertising. As close to a scam as there is.

    • Horse Radish

      The scam, I believe, would be on the buyers side.
      What are they bidding $110k, when dolphin says most likely the value is 10 times that ?

      At that level E-bay is a joke, of course.
      And those people serious enough will contact the seller DIRECTLY.
      At which point you do your due diligence….(establish real car and real seller)

      The bargain hunters will be left out in the COLD !

  7. jim s

    in the photo of roof it looks like fiberglass. i too think that if is for real it should be at a high line auction and the seller is just using ebay to let people know what the seller has. great find.

  8. metalfinder

    This ”deal” has been kicking around Europe for a few years. Being in the middle of the continent , I assure you if it were a real deal, it would be in my garage long ago. There are so many of these ”offerings” along with letters from Nigerian Princesses with truncks of gold bars looking for the great white hope.

  9. jeff

    Twice the engine was referred to as a big block Chevrolet, which it certainly is not. It is also referred to as a 5.3 L which is a common identifier for an LS1 engine commonly used in late Chev trucks. This is a classic SBC which has double hump head castings, a real limited breathing head. If the block beneath those heads is original to the heads, then this began life as a 327 (i.e. 5.3L). Aluminum water pumps we not available in those days and the brass Welch plugs in the block tells me this engine is quite fresh. The perimeter material in the engine photo doesn’t allow one to confirm this engine is even in the car being sold.

  10. Tirefriar

    Mike G, great to see you chime in. Please don’t mind shedding a bit more light on this car. Inquiring minds want to know

  11. Don Andreina

    A few things that may or may not help.

    The Giugiaro Catalogue Raisonné states the body was made out of aluminium. Racing body differences not specified except wrap-around bumpers and this quote: ‘Materials are different; where the road coupe version uses glass on the side, the racer uses sheet metal’. It’s not clear what area is specifically being described, or if glass means fibreglass re: Jim S’s comment above

    One image in the ebay ad looks like it features Bizzarrini himself (head on left), but there’s no proof linking the car in that pic to this.

    Then there’s this:

    http://barnfinds.com/bogus-bizzarrini-1967-lamborghini-400gt/

  12. WillCorke

    @Robert J. Looks like understeer to me.

    The historic photos show air scoops at the rear, but the contemporary photos don’t. Different car?

  13. A.J.

    Awesome car if real. But I always wonder why somebody would put something like this on eBay which is targeted at the masses. There are probably 50-100 people in the world with the interest and means to buy this car and letting them know it is for sale is not hard. Very confusing.

  14. Jimmuh

    This seller has so many different ‘screen names’ and stories he should write a book of fairy tales! He trolls 3 different car forums (that I know of) and is usually called out within 10 posts; then disappears for a year, only to return with a new name and another “barn find” exotic….who knows if he actually owns or brokers any of the cars he talks about, or if they are even real cars? Great ‘theater of the internet’, not much else…..

    • tom999p

      Hmm, Ebay only shows one:

      The box below contains the User IDs that this member has used on eBay.
      User ID Effective Date End Date
      0664802444 Dec-05-08 Present

  15. Maestro1 Member

    One of the reasons I look at this site is the knowledge of the participants. Well done, guys.

  16. Kaizer

    One word from the description pretty much sums it up…

    “Incroyable!”

  17. lolamk1

    A man by the name of Jean-Francois Piersotte answered when I called and sent me a link to over 60 photos of car. Said it was chassis 0226– the one Bondurant had raced in Austria. Told me it was numbers matching and that he had the engine completely done in Italy and left the body mostly original for someone else to do.

  18. lolamk1

    Mr. Piersotte is listed on linked-in as a photographer in Belgium. There are some great photos of cars on his site but his profession is photography– no car interest or experience listed. food for thought…

  19. Dolphin Member

    After lolamk1 mentioned A3C chassis 0226 I Googled it and came up with links to a few sites that display period photos of A3C car #8 but no current information. There have been questions about where the car is now but no firm info on its whereabouts.

    One of the links was to Mike Gullet who owns a Bizzarini and writes a car blog. He wrote an entry dated Feb. 6, 2015 about some of the recent auctions in Europe. RM sold a 1965 Iso Grifo A3C road car, chassis 0216, for 1,036,000 euros (almost US$ 1.2 million).
    http://www.rmauctions.com/lots/lot.cfm?lot_id=1072299

    As Mike G. said, that car held the record price for any Iso or Bizzarini non-race car for 2 days. Then Artcurial sold a 1968 Bizzarini 5300GT Strada road car for 1,187,200 euros (over US$1.3 million), which reset the world record price again.
    http://www.artcurial.com/en/asp/fullCatalogue.asp?salelot=2651+++++147+&refno=10516367

    Those were both road cars, so it would be interesting to know what a race version with history would bring.

  20. hhaleblian

    As predicted by this illustrious group…auction killed early.

  21. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    There was a comment made here by classiccarfan about Philippe Olczyk that has been removed. Mr. Olczyk contacted me and made multiple threats in an attempt to coerce me into removing the comment. I eventually complied, but it wasn’t because of his threats. Classiccarfan never commented before or after this statement, so it does seem that they may have been more interested in harming Mr. Olczyk’s reputation than joining the Barn Finds community. I have no way of knowing who was right or wrong here. The comment was malicious, but Mr. Olczyk’s bullying techniques were not appreciated either.

    As always guys, proceed with caution when purchasing any car from anyone.

    The comments have been closed.