The very first car made by Giotto Bizzarrini as a mechanical engineering student at the University of Pisa will be among the many Bizzarrini automobiles on display at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance next month.
Bizzarrini built the car, nicknamed The Macchinetta, in 1953, and it became the foundation for his career. Based on a Fiat 500 Topolino chassis and drive train, it had an aluminum body formed over a lightweight steel frame. Despite the fact that the engine had a capacity slightly smaller than that of a standard Fiat 500 unit, Bizzarrini was able to fit a SIATA high-performance cylinder head with twin carburetors, boosting its output to around 30 bhp.
Bizzarrini later drove The Macchinetta to a job interview at Ferrari, and once Enzo Ferrari saw it, Bizzarrini was hired without hesitation. He went on to develop some of the most-loved Ferraris ever, a list that includes the 250 Testa Rossa, 250 GT SWB and 250 GTO. He also designed the Lamborghini V12 engine, and worked with Alfa Romeo, Iso and American Motors.
The automobiles to be featured at Pebble Beach are those that Bizzarrini built under his own name, such as the P538 Barchetta, the 1900GT Europa and the rare 5300 Spyders. The Macchinetta was restored and shown at a small collection of European events, but this is the first time it will appear in the United States.
“Although Giotto Bizzarrini was a remarkable engineer,” said Ken Gross, the Selection Committee Member who helped assemble the class, “he wasn’t afraid to choose Chevrolet Corvette V8 power for his own cars.”
Pebble Beach Automotive Week begins on Wednesday, August 17 and includes car debuts, the Tour d’Elegance, the Classic Car Forum speaker series and RetroAuto — all preceding the Concours held on Sunday, August 21 on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links.