There's a mission underway to revive Bizzarrini, an Italian sports car brand founded by legendary engineer Giotto Bizzarrini in the 1960s. What makes him so legendary? He's the engineer who oversaw the development of the Ferrari 250 GTO, and incredibly he's also involved with the modern Bizzarrini, even in his nineties.
The original Bizzarrini only lasted a handful of years before it folded in 1969, though in that short time it managed to launch a stunning road car known as the 5300 GT Strada. The modern Bizzarrini plans to offer continuation examples of the 5300 GT Strada, and you can learn all about the original in this latest episode of “Jay Leno's Garage.”
The version shown here is a 1967 model that recently underwent a restoration in Italy. Its exterior has been painted to match the car's original spec, though the interior features a dark blue leather instead of the original burgundy.
Bizzarrini actually started developing the 5300 GT Strada during the brief time that he worked for Iso Rivolta. At Iso, the car was a race car known as the A3/C (also referred to as Grifo A3/C). Examples were widely raced, including in the 24 Hours of Le Mans where in 1965 one of the cars enjoyed a class win and ninth-place finish overall. That race car has previously featured in "Jay Leno's Garage."
Bizzarrini launched the road-going 5300 GT Strada in 1966. It was fitted with a 5.3-liter V-8 sourced from General Motors, hence the “5300” in the name, and could reach a top speed of 174 mph. Later models received a more powerful 7.0-liter V-8. Approximately 145 examples were built before Bizzarrini folded.