Giotto Bizzarrini was a talented engineer in the 1950’s that worked at Ferrari and later in the 60’s with Lamborghini before eventually setting up his own company, Bizzarrini, in 1963. While at Ferrari, he was one of the engineers responsible for the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO, amongst others.
Yet with Lamborghini, he was the very man responsible for the creation of the incredible V12 engine that powered the legendary Miura (and every subsequent V12’d Lambo on up to the Murcielago). It was during his tenure with Lamborghini though, that his passion for building bespoke racing cars met head-on with Ferucio Lamborghini’s resistance to do so. Hence, his leave from Lamborghini and the formation of his own company in ’63.
In mid-1965, the design, contruction and testing of the first P538 chassis took place with the aim of entering the LeMans 24 HR race of 1966 with a V8 version. There were only 3 ‘Spider’ versions of the car produced; 2 of them with a 5.3L, 365bhp Chevrolet V8 (hence the ‘538’ designation) – 1 of them being customer-requested with a Bizzarrini-designed/built 4.0L Lamborghini V12 slotted in the back. This is that car…
Weighing only 700kg, yet pushing out 430bhp, the performance on-tap for this one-off was gob-smackingly incredible. Estimated top speed was 170mph. The sound it made probably redefined the word ‘frightening’ in motoring circles…
***Little bonus video of the V8 version rumbling along…>>>