by Mike –
The photo below of a car called a “Bizzarrini Spyder” was on a chat site recently posted by Darren Frank and I asked Jack Koobs de Hartog to explain this car.
Jack sent me this article that was originally published in the Griffon, the magazine of the Iso & Bizzarrini Owner’s Club.
Text and photos by Jack Koobs de Hartog
When I was asked to write an article on the AMX Spyder it gave me a little bit of a problem.
The agreement with my former publisher was that we wouldn’t include the AMX Spyder in my first Bizzarrini book. For me it wasn’t clear that this car had anything to do with Bizzarrini.
Unknown powers to me at last gave the AMX Spyder some space in the book.
In 1969 Richard Teague commissioned Bizzarrini and Diomante to build a series of prototypes for their AMX/3.
Due to a lack of American Motors money the project ended after about six were built and it was agreed that all had to be scalped, parts in stock included.
No one knows, or wants to tell, exactly what happened but more than six AMX/3’s still survive and now and then a new one is ‘found’. Apparently not all of the parts were scrapped.
Then, in 2000/2001, suddenly an AMX Spider appears.
The present owner stated that he acquired the car in 1992 from Mr. Giorgio Giordanengo from Cuneo, Italy. A well known ‘restorer’of classic cars. Also a sheet with technical specifications, undated but signed by Giotto Bizzarrini, accompanied the car. Amongst others he states “Anno di progettazione e sostruzione prototipo: 1970/71”. That doesn’t mean that this specific car was built in 1970/71. The prototype was built then. Was that the AMX/3 (later Sciabola) prototype?
Although Giotto Bizzarrini was interviewed dozens of times over the years he never mentioned the AMX Spyder project.
But of course there is/was the AMX/3 – Sciabola owned by Mr. Diomante living ‘around the corner’ from Mr. Giordanengo. So, till proven otherwise, it is my supposition that this Spider was built in the 1990s having some left over AMX/3 suspension parts used to build it.
That could be all the AMX there is in it. It doesn’t even shelter an American Motors engine, the wheelbase and track differs from the AMX/3 and it looks like a Bizzarrini P538.
Strange thing is that the documentation shows the name “AMX Spider” while it was labeled at the Brussels Bizzarrini Expo as a “Bizzarrini P538”. Though the Expo catalog again says “AMX Spider”.
So in what aspect do we have to assume that this is an AMX ??
Jack Koobs de Hartog is the author of several books about Bizzarrini and can be reached by email at: email@example.com.
You can read about the real Bizzarrini Spyders here.
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