Classic & Sports Cars 1971 Bizzarrini 128P "Prototype"
- Year: 1971
- Make: Bizzarrini
- Model: 128P "Prototype"
- Engine: 1300cc 130 HP
- Transmission: 5 Spd.
- Price: $CALL.
With all of Giotto Bizzarrini’s stellar achievements from his Alfa Romeo and Ferrari days, he could have easily rested on his considerable laurels. However, as he famously once said, “I am not a designer, I am a worker,” and his legendary work ethic and drive to create simply could not be denied. During the early 1970s, Bizzarrini closed his factory and he returned to consulting. In addition to racing and continuing with the design and construction of a number of one-off prototypes, the engineer was also able to impart his considerable knowledge to new generations of engineers at the University of Pisa.
One such later Bizzarrini effort encompassed a pair of sleek new competition Barchettas, designated 128P, fitted with fiberglass bodywork and riding on tubular space-frames with an 87″ wheelbase. Designed and developed in 1971 and displayed at the 1972 Turin Motor Show, the car offered here, numbered 128P01, was a left-hand drive prototype for the subsequent right-hand drive competition car, which made its racing debut at the 1973 edition of the Targa Florio. Contrary to some reports, the cars were in fact designed and built by Giotto Bizzarrini himself and not by one of his sons, according to a recent conversation with Jack Koobs de Hartog, the well known Bizzarrini marque historian and friend of the famed engineer.
Aggressively purposeful, the 128P was powered by a transverse-mounted Fiat 1300-cc inline four-cylinder engine fed by a pair of side-draft Weber carburetors. The amazing 130-bhp output from this “Rally” spec engine was transferred through a Colotti T46B VW-derived rear transaxle with gearing that allowed the car to reach top speeds of some 140 mph in racing trim. That performance potential, coupled with lightning-quick handling by virtue of its fully independent suspension made Bizzarrini’s creation a definite contender at the storied Targa Florio. Giotto Bizzarrini and Massimo Larini were co-drivers, but the team suffered an accident and sadly did not finish. However, the racing car continues to exist today on display at Italy’s Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile (National Car Museum) in Turin.
It is believed that during this period around 1971, after his company folded, Giotto took this 128P chassis, removed the open Barchetta body & made a new version of his Europa Fastback in the form of a Notchback Coupe displayed at the Turin show that year. It was a very pretty design for a mid-engine road car, but disappeared once the show was over. One can see in that B & W story feature in Auto Italia magazine, it was a grand effort by Mr.Bizzarrini to get back on the map to sucess.
This Prototype’s fiberglass body was found dorment in a field outside the original factory & was restored around 1990 by the Bizzarrini’s (see the enclosed magazine & many photos of Giotto at the wheel during the restoration). It exemplifies Giotto Bizzarrini’s drive & exceptional engineering prowess. It is accompanied w/copies of period articles and two wonderful 1972 images of Sig. Bizzarrini as it neared completion. As the only one of just two examples of the Bizzarrini 128P created and this sole example under our private ownership, the offering of this prototype, the 1971 Turin Show car, marks an historic opportunity for collectors to view of the many fascinating works of Giotto Bizzarrini.
We are proud to announce that our little Bizzarrini was invited to the prestigious Amelia Island Concours d’lelgance this past March 12, 2017 & we won big at the event. Amongst the 300 fabulous cars on the field, we managed to come away with the incredible “Camille Jenatzy Award” for the most Audacious Exterior !! This was a great honor & we want to thank Bill Warner & Mark Becker for their hospitality & their historic event.