Exploring Bizzarrini Ghepardo: Reviving Classic Spirit in the 2000s

Exploring Bizzarrini Ghepardo: Reviving Classic Spirit in the 2000s

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In the vast expanse of automotive history, few names elicit as much intrigue and admiration as Bizzarrini. The brainchild of the ingenious engineer Giotto Bizzarrini, this marque traversed a remarkable journey from crafting iconic vehicles like the Ferrari 250 GTO to facing the challenging terrain of financial obstacles. Join us as we delve into the captivating history of Bizzarrini Automobili, a tale of innovation, rebellion, and resurrection.

Giotto Bizzarrini, a man of diverse talents, transitioned from the realm of a test pilot to that of a distinguished car maker. Collaborating with fellow visionaries like Chiti and other defectors from Maranello, he co-founded ATS (Automobiles, Tourism and Sport), fueled by the audacious goal of outshining Ferrari. Later, his journey led him to Lamborghini, where he crafted a formidable 12-cylinder motor. Bizzarrini's unconventional philosophy, characterized by breaking all the rules, laid the foundation for his foray into designing groundbreaking vehicles.

The ISO Rivolta and Bizzarrini Automobili emerged as products of his relentless pursuit of new pathways. Although the GT Strada 5300, Baby Bizzarrini 1900 GT Strada, and Sport Competizione P538 received market acclaim, financial woes associated with production led to the company's demise after only 150 automobiles were produced.

The Seventies saw Giotto Bizzarini lending his talents to workshops and consultancy, showcasing his brilliance in a different realm. However, the Bizzarrini marque seemed to have exited the stage, fading into the archives of automotive history.

Enter Giorgio Viti, a real estate entrepreneur with a passion for reviving automotive legends. On April 30, 2002, he founded VGM Motors S.r.l., acquiring the 'Bizzarrini Automobili di Livorno' marque and materials. Inspired by the brand's past success, technical prowess, and aesthetic appeal, Viti set out to resurrect Bizzarrini and make a mark in the contemporary automobile market.

With access to Bizzarrini's original blueprints, Viti meticulously reconstructed the racing GT Strada 5300, retaining its handcrafted aluminum body and De Dion rear suspension. Recognizing the brand's significance, Viti envisioned a modern Bizzarrini capable of offering a competitive, high-quality product tailored to individual preferences.

In 2002, the design phase for the new Bizzarrini automobile commenced. The culmination of this effort was the unveiling of the GTS 4.4 V8 prototype at the Geneva Motor Show in 2005. This handcrafted masterpiece, produced in limited numbers, seamlessly blended power, road handling, and performance with a provocative aesthetic reminiscent of racing vehicles.

Crafted from aluminum panels over a chrome molybdenum alloy steel chassis, the GTS 4.4 V8 encapsulates a motor and electrical system deemed the best in the market. The German firm Alpina, renowned for performance and reliability, became the ideal partner, providing the 4.4 cc 90° V8 with a volume compressor, delivering an impressive 530 hp and meeting the safety standards demanded by the new Bizzarrini.

The GTS 4.4 V8 embodies the spirit of Bizzarrini, beckoning to drivers who seek the thrill of leather-clad steering wheels and the exhilaration of speed on both road and track. In the wake of its presentation at the Geneva Motor Show, the company aimed to conduct road and track tests before commencing production in 2006.

As the sun set on Bizzarrini's initial chapter, Giorgio Viti's vision breathed new life into this storied marque, ensuring its legacy continued to evolve on the asphalt of the modern automotive landscape. The resurrection of Bizzarrini is not merely a revival; it's a celebration of automotive artistry and the relentless pursuit of excellence.

The GTS 4.4 V8 underwent a name change to Ghepardo, but this shift didn't lead to production success. It remained a single prototype, and by 2017, it was stored in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The last sighting of the car occurred at the Geneva Motor Show in 2018.