1967 Bizzarrini P538

Is there a more unappreciated racing name than Bizzarrini? Giotto Bizzarrini started as a test driver at Alfa Romeo before moving on to Ferrari, where he was one of the minds behind the Testa Rossa; following that, he lead the team that created the legendary 250 GTO.

But then he struck out on his own—a decision with fascinating results, but one that arguably undid the man. For the 1966 Le Mans, he created the often obscure P538, a car that broke with the Italian racing preference for the V-12 and chose a Corvette V-8 from Detroit. It managed 365 hp with a 5,359 cc OHC 90-degree Chevrolet V-8 engine, with four Weber 45 DCOE carburettors, a five-speed ZF manual transaxle, double wishbones, coil springs, shock absorbers, and a rear inboard.

Sadly, the Bizzarrini P538’s debut ended in failure, and in 1968 the FIA changed displacement rules anyway, thus ending any chance of the P538 competing in European endurance racing. It also turned out that Bizzarrini was a better engineer than financial manager, and his company was defunct by 1969. This example of a Bizzarrini P538 will run you $700,000 to $900,000.

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