Films: 1965 Bizzarrini A3/C: A Le Mans Underdog Story

1965 Bizzarrini A3/C: A Le Mans Underdog Story

October 24, 2017
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42 Comments on "1965 Bizzarrini A3/C: A Le Mans Underdog Story"

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Seth
Seth

I want to personally drool on this one of a kind car, haha

CruiseMulholland
CruiseMulholland

@Michael Gulett right you are : Iso Grifo A3/C No. 022 had a light fiberglass body from yacht builder Nautici Catarsi. This also was the first Bizzarrini with independend rear suspension and inboard disc brakes. Essential ingredients for the racing success in Le Mans. With ongoing funding for the A3/C homologation by Rivolta – 100 cars had to be build – this could have been a potential World Champion in the GT class.
Fascinating the Bizzarrini story.

John Daggett

I really connected with the owners philosophy about buying a car based on passion and enthusiasm, not worrying too much about the technical detail or wondering if he can flip it. Me? I’m not rich and can only afford one car, I needed a new car for work it gets used every day, its a 2016 Abarth 595. The noise, the boost gauge, the fun way it drives I love it! I think that is what the owner was getting at?

Michael Gulett
Michael Gulett
@Robert in LA I believe that Bizzarrini designed the A3/C with Le Mans specifically in mind, after all it was the most desirable race to win. He was the chief engineer of the Ferrari 250 GTO and he has said that if he would have stayed at Ferrari the A3/C would have been his next creation except of course it would have had a Ferrari engine. The A3/C takes Bizzarrini’s ideas used on the GTO and pushes them to extreme: the engine is further back, the windscreen is flatter, the car is much lower and has much better aerodynamics. The… Read more »
Bizzarrini GT 5300 No. 0256.jpg
Robert in LA
Robert in LA

Mr. Gulett, I had no idea. You are quite modest about your achievements. For those who are new to the Iso and Bizzarrini cars, Mike Gulett is the author of a book that presents Iso literature, photo graphs and drawings of the period, and provides commentary. In that book you present the case that this car was designed specifically for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and discusses the involvement of Giorgetto Giugiaro in the project.

Iso Car Literature
Paperback: 88 pages
Publisher: lulu.com (September 30, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 110505635X
ISBN-13: 978-1105056352

Robert in LA
Robert in LA
Thanks for this, Michael. I was hoping that someone who knows these cars far better than I do would have things to say about the aerodynamics and the weight management. Putting fuel in the rocker panels is an interesting choice. Not only is that the lowest static structure in the car, but it is as far outboard as the fuel can be placed. Of the three tanks, the rocker panel tanks would have likely been the lowest, and therefore the last to be used. If this is true, much of the weight of the fuel in the rocker panel tanks… Read more »
Robert in LA
Robert in LA
The front mid-engine placement and the aerodynamics of the slab sides are both interesting features. Bruce Meyer says he does not ‘study’ these cars, however he certainly would be in contact with people who do. Meyer may not seek them out, but I suspect they influence him because his observations about this car are so astute. Moving some of the engine weight out of the nose must have made the car more nimble than the car would have been with the engine in what was a more conventional place for the time. Iron block 327s weigh somewhere around 500 pounds.… Read more »
Robert in LA
Robert in LA
Like many people I really never knew that much about Giotto Bizzarrini’s work. The cars are so rare. They look fairly conventional, yet their engineering has some distinctive features. Hearing Bruce Meyer talk repeatedly about the way that this car, from a tiny company with very limited resources, came to dominate Le Man’s had me wondering how they did that. Did the designer just happen to hit a sweet spot in suspension design and balance or are there some more fundamental principles at place that Giotto Bizarrinni employed. For instance, was this car specifically designed for Le Mans, more than… Read more »
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Sotirios Bakaimis
Sotirios Bakaimis

very good observations

Sotirios Bakaimis
Sotirios Bakaimis

GREAT STORY & VIDEO!!!

Michael Gulett
Michael Gulett

Here are a couple of photos of Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada No. 0256 which I owned for a few years.

The second one is at The Quail in 2012 where we won the Bizzarrini Class and the first photo is the engine.

Bizzarrini.0256.5.jpg
Bizzarrini Class Winner at The Quail-2012.jpg
Alberto1962
Alberto1962

Thanks Michael for clarification. And congrats for your fantastic Bizzarini! Unfortunately in Switzerland there is hardly a chance to see one driving. But at least I saw an ISO Grifo at my Corvette’s specialist garage in Zurich. Petrolistic Greets from Switzerland!

Michael Gulett
Michael Gulett

@Alberto1962 and @bananaslinger

This is an Iso Grifo A3/C built by Bizzarrini it can be called a Bizzarrini A3/C or an Iso/Bizzarrini A3/C. There is a lot of confusion about the naming of these cars before Bizzarrini split with Iso. Bizzarrini called them various names which has led to the confusion.

This is not a Bizzarrini GT 5300, that name came later.

@CruiseMulholland

The body on Iso Grifo A3/C No. 022 was not made by Drogo. It is fiberglass not aluminum and was made by Catarsi.

Jonathan WC Mills
Jonathan WC Mills

I’ve met this car and Bruce both, and he couldn’t be a nicer, more authentic, truly passionate enthusiast. Our community is lucky to have him.

Alberto1962
Alberto1962

Wow what a car. Race and Design in one. Bizzarini was a genius. Why not him call as the commendatore’s spirit. Enzo was a bit gelous (smile). And what music from the exhaust and motor bay comes to my corvette 327 ear. Oh yes of course with a prise of Weber carburetors mixed in. Only one thing I don’t understand: why on the front I find a Grifo emblem? If I am not mistaken that was ISO?

Jack Koobs de Hartog
Jack Koobs de Hartog

#B-0222 was no Iso but a Bizzarrini. If you look carefully at attached photo from Le Mans in 1965 it already had that Bizzarrini Grifo badge

#222 1965 06 17 Le Mans (17).jpg
Dominick Toscano

Was @ Trancas the day Bruce rolled with with the Bizzarrini, more like thundered in,as the 327 engine all alloy ,420hp and w sidedraft webers clearly filled the air,my favorite chevy engine of all time the 327,then the 427.Was their with my Spider! pic of the Bizzarrini,with my Spider in the back ground!

20637813_1918344528182320_5453377615178428686_n.jpg
CruiseMulholland
CruiseMulholland

Entertaining to watch a again well lensed and edited car-enthusiast video… this one stands out for me because of the protagonists. The Bizzarrini (actually the Iso Grifo A3/C B0222 – engineered by Bizzarrini for Renzo Rivolta, body by Drogo) is my favorite race-/sports car of the 60s. Luckily this LeMans class winner ended up in Bruce Meyer’s garage and is not circling around on top of a spot-lit turntable in a car museum. This presentation of the iconic – but not widely known – race car and its enthusiast owner will be remembered.

bananaslinger
bananaslinger

iso (grifo?) a3/c
or
bizzarrini 5300gt

this title is not wrong, but not right either….

SantaCruzRed
SantaCruzRed

I ran into my one and only Bizzarrini in 1968 while working at F. Paul’s Foreign Auto Parts on Long Island. This remarkable car pulled into the parking lot and everyone piled out to see what it was… and it was stunning. Great vid… as usual.

SantaCruzRed
SantaCruzRed

CMLF: I was a California kid going to school for a year, so my recollection in not being a “local” is kinda sketchy… I think Huntington.

CMLF
CMLF

Where on LI was this store?

CMLF
CMLF

When o LI was this store?

Carmen La de La Cadenita
Carmen La de La Cadenita

El sonido cuando baja la velocidad con los engrandes se escucha perfecto… <3 hermoso

Larry Kirkpatrick
Larry Kirkpatrick

This definitely works for me. I am sufficiently inspired to go out and blast through some corners, open some throaty pipes, and think that the whole world should be watching me have fun!

AndrewAllred
AndrewAllred

I was thinking the same thing! “welp- i guess ill leave for work a little early and take the long way”

cbell92129
cbell92129

AMAZING CAR!!!

Jared
Jared

Basso profondo! This car sounds amazing.

B Bop
B Bop

Wonderful video of a stunning car. It just exudes brutish elegance.
I hope this is appropriate, but for those who might be interested, here is another great video of the restoration of one of these cars, with some rather spectacular scenery to boot.

Robert in LA
Robert in LA
This is a very helpful and informative video about these cars. Thank you for posting this. There are fascinating little details of the construction of this car, present: things that only a restorer deeply engaged with the history of the marque would know. I found it interesting for instance that the Bizzarrini engineering team attempted to use magnesium for the brake calipers. Apparently the magnesium would off-gas at temperature displacing brake fluid and leaving a gas pocket in the brake line. Also interesting is the assertion that this is one of the early performance cars of this class in which… Read more »
Brennan McKissick

Fantastic story and video.

Ian Miles
Ian Miles

One of the best sounding cars I have heard in a long time. Fascinating story too.

Alexandre Goncalves
Alexandre Goncalves

This car completelly blew my mind!

Thank you Petrolicious and thank you Mr. Meyer!

Kurt Uzbay
Kurt Uzbay
I had the pleasure of hanging out with Mr. Meyer at Amelia … One of the true car guys- by that I mean: he doesn’t just buy/restore and then stare at his cars in the garage… He races and campaigns them. !! I appreciate that.. Car shows etc are great and fun, love ’em.. but to race and compete these beautiful machines, is a different level… By the way: Giotto Bizzarrini was chief engineer is credited as the designer of the 250 GTO… Of course, Enzo woke up on the wrong side of the bed one morning and fired GB… Read more »
Mike
Mike

Bizzarrini was never fired, he quit along with many other Ferrar employees in what was known as the palace revolt. Bizzarrini regretted leaving but Ferrari was stubborn and that was that.Giotto went on to build the Lamborghini V12, the on to the Iso Rivolta company. The original cars were Iso Rivolta A 3c’s Bizzarrini went on to build those cars under his name after a fall out with the Rivolta family.

Harv Falkenstine
Harv Falkenstine

Great video. I like the narrative, Bruce Meyer’s enthusiasm is catching…he has been instrumental in making it okay for a car guy to like louvers, flatheads and Ferraris. The Bizzarrini is what happens when an artist designs a racecar.

Dennis White
Dennis White

Terrific! Now, Bruce’s Alfa TZ, please!

Alexandre Goncalves
Alexandre Goncalves

Problem solved! :))

Eric Roth
Eric Roth

video link is broken. Petro….need my Tuesday video fix!! haha!!

Franje
Franje

I had the same problem but I was able to view it at Youtube.

Alexandre Goncalves
Alexandre Goncalves

I’m trying to see this video, but I get the following message – “video not available”…

Petrolicious, can you please tell me what’s wrong?

Thanks!

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Same problem here as well .

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