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[Giampaolo] Dallara, who also engineered 370hp, although Dallara later “civilized” it

Ferrari but was working at Lamborghini, to a mere 336 (SAE) in their 350 GT. The
and we got the four-liter racing engine from transmission is a transaxle in unit with the
Dallara, and we put it in the Bizzarrini, the engine, and suffers in feel somewhat from
P538, and it had a top speed of about [140 the distance to the shifter.
mph]. It was very competitive.” Gammino raced the first 4.0-liter V-12
While the A3/C and 5300 GT borrowed car once, after which he retired from rac-
liberally from the Iso, the P538, in either ing. Bizzarrini must have liked the idea,
V-8 or V-12 configuration, was unusual to however, because he commenced con-
the point of being alien. Giugiaro drew struction of this car with a 3.5-liter engine:
a fiberglass body that one contemporary Le Mans 1967 was the target. Bizzarrini’s
review described as “a hunkered-down operation was on a shoestring at best, how-
lizard,” almost exactly twice as wide as it ever, and after finishing 1966 with neither
is tall. FIA regulations dictated some ele- a result at Le Mans nor anywhere else, they
ments of the design, such as a passenger failed to get the new car built in time for Le
seat and room for a suitcase (as the class Mans 1967.
was for production-based cars). But no one As the spring of 1968 approached, it
said anything about putting the driver in the looked as though they’d be ready for the
center, the passenger on his left and equip- race, but the Automobile Club de l’Ouest
ment on his right. revised the engine formula for the new
The trunk and flat front profile required season, dropping the displacement limit
a minuscule radiator, not ideal for endur- for their Sports Prototype class to 3.0 liters,
ance racing, and the rear-mounted engine and ending the competition hopes of the With more than five feet between the wheels,
required some fancy plumbing, so Bizzarrini V-12 P538s. there’s plenty of room for center seating.
routed the coolant though the round-sec- Nineteen-sixty-eight did not turn out
tion frame rails, as a sort of supplemental to be a good year for Bizzarrini at all.
radiator, and, we suspect, supplemental “Bizzarrini was a character, he was never
foot heater. The frame itself is a spaceframe, a very good businessman,” Gammino told
a little beefier than Touring’s Superleggera, us, and his finances disintegrated to the
but the fiberglass body is bonded directly point where he was forced to declare bank-
to it as in a Lotus, helping stiffen the wide- ruptcy. It’s unclear how much of the car
open car. Either engine works with a de was built when he ran out of money, but
Dion rearend and Girling disc brakes, in the eyes of an Italian bankruptcy court,
inboard in the rear. it should have been sold to help settle his
The 3.5L Lamborghini engine in our fea- debts. Bizzarrini had other ideas.
ture car—the 18th V-12 they built, #0127— When the assets of Scuderia Bizzarrini
is fed through six Weber twin-throat carbu- were sold off in 1970, including at least
retors. Estimates of the power output vary, one V-8 P538, the 3.5-liter car was not only Campagnolo knock-offs are in magnesium alloy,
and current owner Van Horneff plans to test not among them, it had disappeared alto- Lamborghinis generally used wire wheels.
it on a dyno, but when Lamborghini first gether: Before the court locked the doors,
put the engine on a dyno in 1963, it put out Bizzarrini took #002 apart and, along with

Chevrolet V-8 powered cars


B izzarrini used the first P538 built for development work in the beginning of 1966, and it prob-
ably crashed that winter. The car that appeared at Le Mans four months later may have been
this car, it may have been a second car or, more likely, it reused any and all salvageable parts of the
original car, whatever those were.
In 1967, Bizzarrini rebodied at least one V-8 as a coupe and sold it to the Duca d’Aosta. Some
sources suggest this was a third V-8 car, possibly constructed as a second 1967 Le Mans entry.
Another, possibly the 1966 Le Mans car, was also rebodied; it ended up in the hands of Giugiaro at
ItalDesign; he rebodied it a third time (at least) as his Manta show car. Both the Duca d’Aosta and
ItalDesign cars have remained in those configurations, and are the only V-8s that can be reliably
confirmed as Bizzarrinis built in the 1960s.

Lamborghini V-12 powered cars


M ike Gammino’s 4.0-liter car, often called 001 but actually un-numbered, was completed in
1965, after which he imported it into the U.S. He ran it once at Bridgehampton, where “we
had some problems with it.” He gave it to his mechanic, Liberto Girardi, and at his death, it passed
through a series of owners until it landed at the San Diego Automotive Museum.
Van Horneff’s feature car is stamped P538 002 on a front stabilizer. It was built for the 1967 Le
Mans 24h but never completed. Disassembled by Bizzarrini by 1970, it was finished it as a com- Passenger bubble doesn’t actually match passen-
mission in 1974 or 1975. ger seat. It’s Italian, it doesn’t need a reason.

HEMMINGS.COM July 2008 21


• HEMMINGS SPORTS & EXOTIC CAR

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