Italian Design Icons – Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada

The Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada – the red beauty with the very unique outside shape is one of my favorites. The design of the bodywork is very special and one of the most elegant ones, especially for a car which was only built to perform at motor racing events. The narrow and gentle line at the doors gives the 5300 GT a very stylish and smart look.

Italian Design Icons - Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada

The relationship between the Iso Grifo and the Bizzarrini 5300 GT, both designed by Giorgio Giugiaro for Bertone is very close. The outside design of the Bizzarrini 5300 GT, which was named Iso A3/C in the beginning , was intended be a motor racing version of the Iso Grifo. Giotto Bizzarrini was accredited, and Bertone was asked to do only the final finishing of the design. Who knows for sure. At this time, I suppose, many things weren’t fully documented.

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The story of developing the Iso A3/C or Bizzarrini 5300 GT is quite complex and told in slightly different ways. Giotto Bizzarrini thought that the Iso A3/L, which became later worldwide famous as the Iso Grifo, could reach more success in numbers by selling it to private clients with some fine results on a race track. Renzo Rivolta agreed, but he was a bit skeptical about motor racing.

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So, based on the semi-monocoque of the Iso A3/L the A3/C was created with the same engine, a 5.3 l General Motors V8 small block from the Chevrolet Corvette. The unpainted first version of this car was presented to public in October 1963 at the Autosalon Torino at the stand of Iso Rivolta, besides the Bertone S.p.A. stand , where the Iso A3/L „Grifo“ was presented.

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The number of items built was pretty much blurry. Older sources count 144 items, newer sources talking about only 78 cars and other talking about 100 – 110 items. Whatever is the truth, Giotto Bizzarrini couldn’t help, he said that he did not document things like this because his only interest was the technical side of the cars.

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A clever technical feature is the position of the engine in the car, long time before the mid-mounted engine was established Giotto Bizzarrini tried to place the engine as near as possible to the mid of the car behind the front axle. Some parts of the engine like the distributor only could be reached from the cockpit behind a small hatch. With this engine placement the car had a weight distribution from 52 to 48% from back to the rear and gave the car a very good balance and handling. This little feature wasn’t that new, Bizzarrini has done this before when he created the famous Ferrari 250 GTO.

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I think it would be very easy to write a big book about the colourful life of Giotto Bizzarrini. After he was dismissed at Ferrari with some other leading people like Carlo Chiti, he started a few projects, like ATS, the Scuderia Serenissima, as a consultant at Lamborghini and last but not least the collaboration with Renzo Rivolta for developing the Iso A3/L „Grifo“ , an old school Gran Turismo.

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In the year 1965 the business relationship between Renzo Rivolta and Giotto Bizzarrini broke up due to the use of name rights in special of the name „Grifo“. With a „gentleman agreement“ Rivolta got the rights back for the name „Grifo“ and Bizzarrini could promote the A3/C from this time onwards under his own name, Bizzarrini 5300 GT.

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But what counts today is a beautiful and powerful very well designed car which became an Italian design icon. The price for a Bizzarrini 5300 GT is still growing from 250.000 € in 2010 to over 1 Million € since 2015 at the Artcurial Auction.

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Enjoy the pictures of this icon, there is more to come from other „Italian design icons“.


MODEL Iso A3/C – 5300 GT
TYPE Sports car coupé
NUMBER OF BUILD CARS not that clear, between 78 – 147 items
ENGINE longitudinally front-mounted GM small-block V8 type 327
BORE AND STROKE 101,6 mm x 82,55 mm
CUBIC CAPACITY TOTAL / CYL. 5358 cc / 326,97 cc
VALVE TRAIN OHC, 2 Valve per cylinder
ENGINE ASPIRATION Naturally aspirated engine
TRANSMISSION 4-speed + 1 reverse manual
DRIVE WHEEL. Rear wheel drive
HORSEPOWER 350 bhp at 5400 rpm
TORQUE 508 Nm at 3500 rpm
FUEL FEED Holley carburetor
CHASSIS semi-monocoque
BRAKES discs all around
SUSPENSION FRONT double wishbones, coil springs, transverse stabilizer
SUSPENSION REAR De Dion axle, coil springs
LENGHT 4394 mm
WIDTH 1730 mm
HEIGHT 1110 mm
TRACK FRONT / REAR 1410 mm / 1437 mm
FUEL CAPACITY 132 liters
TYRES FRONT / REAR 185/80 R15 / 225/80 R15

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