My Car Quest

February 11, 2016

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

by Mike –

You must know by now that my unique 1966 Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada is for sale.

I listed it a few days ago on eBay and it has had more than 10,000 views.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

The popular classic car for sale web site, Bring A Trailer, posted about my Bizzarrini this past Tuesday linking to the Bizzarrini eBay listing. There are about 100 comments now.

I sometimes visit this site, and I know that some of you do as well. The quality of the comments are interesting they range from very knowledgeable, respectful and professional to – well – not very knowledgeable, respectful and professional.

Here are some comments that caught my attention – my responses are below each comment

Click on the images for a larger view.

I’ve seen this car in person and it is absolutely stunning. Certainly one of the best examples in the world. As to the price? Does anyone really know for certain these days? Especially for cars without a lot of recent comps.

If you’ve done the car buying game for any length of time you’ll know that even some of the most outrageous prices only need to make sense to one guy – the final buyer.

My response – very smart comment – there are no public comparables for this car because a Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada of this quality has not been for sale in a public venue for at least 10 years, to my knowledge (except when I bought this car nearly 5 years ago). I have been following the Bizzarrini market for about 10 years.

During this time high quality and rare classic cars have increased in value significantly. Especially those with a racing heritage, like the Bizzarrini GT 5300.

Bring a Camera. $700K and 5 photos ?

My response – funny but anyone who is really interested in a car will follow the links and see many more photos. I did not buy an eBay listing for your entertainment, that is what My Car Quest is for!

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada vent

bringatrailer loaded with $$

My response – I laughed out loud.

That’s the sexiest SBC engine I’ve ever seen.

Everyone really does look better in a tailored Italian suit!

My response – another laugh. And so true.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

Wow, I think BaT is a bit behind the curve. This showed up last week on eBay and someone linked it a few days ago in the other Bizz thread.

Optimader, so a 5300 Strada is really an A3/L (I assume L is for Lusso or similar). Still, this car above looks different from what I remember the A3/C looking like. But it’s a while since I looked at one. I believe the inaugural issue of Octane featured an A3/C, so I’ll check that.

My response – yes the cover story of Issue 1 of Octane Magazine compared a Bizzarrini GT 5300 to a Ferrari 250 GTO – read it, very interesting.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 StradaDoorHandle

this is owned by Michael Gulett, the ISO/ Bizzarini historian.

I saw this PERFECT car, when i bought my iso rivolta from him.

He is such a fair, honest, helpful,decent guy.

he has written a couple of ISO books. Google him.

Someone will be very, very happy with this car. Its perfect but no trailer queen. He uses it!

My response – aw, Nathan you are making me blush!

Couldn’t be sold by a nicer guy.

My response – Bob, more blushing.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada interior

My apologies to all of the ‘swooners’, but this car is just plain ugly.
The front 1/3rd.(from the nose to the ‘shark-gills) is acceptable, the remainder not so much. It looks bent-in-the-middle & then stretched…

My response – no need to apologize, maybe you have never seen one in person which would not be surprising since they are so rare.

Sorry–$700k isn’t a serious starting bid; it’s just an unimaginative PR exercise.

I love these things. They’re really a bizarre exercise in front-engine supercar–make that front mid-engine. IIRC, the rear plugs are accessed through a hatch on the dash. And they really are striking in person.

But this isn’t a serious sale.

My response – sorry, this is a very serious sale – as a well known classic Ferrari dealer says “This car is seriously for sale”.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada interior

“It is ready for show or a 1,000-mile drive”

I would like to meet the person who drops 700G on a show quality classic like this and then actually drives it. She’s up in the lofty stratosphere of trailer-queen money.

My response – at the California Mille last year I saw several million dollar plus Ferraris.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

Its a bargain compared to the Batmobile.

My response – another laugh! And absolutely true. The Bizzarrini will look good in your living room, on the street or at any show. The buyer of the Batmobile said he was going to put it in his living room.

Alright, I’m confused again. The seller says “I sourced and installed the Bizzarrini intake manifold with four Weber carburetors.” And then goes on to say “It is one of the finest and most authentic Bizzarrini GT 5300 Stradas in existence…..”

If the car was one of the most authentic, why did the seller need to swap out the intake manifold and carbs?

My response – this is a good question. The Bizzarrini GT 5300 had two carburetor options, one was a single Holly carburetor and the other option was a Bizzarrini designed intake manifold with 4 horizontal Weber carburetors. I was able to find a Bizzarrini designed intake manifold with the beautiful 4 Weber set up and I had to have it. Look at the engine photos – who could resist that?

Beautiful car from an exciting time. And the Bizzarrini story is interesting. But $700K for what a skeptic could describe as a kit car with a Chevy small block … that seems a fantasy. I think you could likely hire Giotto Bizzarrini himself to build you a new one for less than $700K.

My response – I don’t know what to say except maybe think 10 seconds longer before hitting the “Submit Comment” button.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada engine

$700K and no mention of Steve McQueen?

My response – there is no Steve McQueen connection, to my knowledge, but Paul Newman did sit in the car once in the 1970s according to the original owner of 36 years. The interior is still there so the drivers seat has Paul Newman’s patina all over it. And Jay Leno touched it at a car show in 2008 as he was giving me advice on technical matters. He knows a lot of stuff.

Valentino Balboni and Andrea Zagato have both mentioned this to me. Balboni said he still has a picture of a A3c hanging on the wall at home that he took at the Turin show.

My response – right you are Mr. Balboni said that when he was young the first car that got him excited about cars was a silver Bizzarrini GT 5300 that he saw at the Turin car show in 1966. He said that at Concorso Italiano in 2011 and he stopped by the winners circle at The Quail, A Motor Sport Gathering in 2012 to congratulate me and the Bizzarrini.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 and Balboni

From left to right: Mike Clarke, Dr. Paul Turek, Mike Gulett and Mr. Balboni

Hey guys, I didn’t mean to get your knickers-in-a-knot…but to me this Bizzarrini’s styling doesn’t appeal to me. I’m a proponent of:
Less is more. This car has too much ‘going on’ for my taste. Some people think a Harley Heritage Softtail is beautiful, I don’t. As has been said: “That’s what makes horse-racing”, everyone has their opinions!
I’m an Italian American, I drive an Italian car, ride Italian motorcycles, & am a fan of most Italian automobile designs—but this ain’t one of ‘em.

My response – everyone has different tastes – but this car was designed for one purpose – to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It did win the 5-liter and above class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1965, 9th overall. Not bad for a team on an extremely small budget. And some people think that Giugiaro of Bertone designed a masterpiece.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

I know all about Bizzarrini and his preference for the Corvette engine, which by the way, could also be had in a Chevy Biscayne. It’s just not the same, nor as important as a car that was designed with a bespoke engine. An engine designed specifically for the car is what separates the great cars from the pretenders. And separates the cars that belong in a museum from all the Nobles, DeLoreans, Moslers, Vectors, etc. Neat cars, but they don’t belong in the company of a 500TR or a GTO, IMHO.

My response – how does your comment square with the AC Shelby Cobra? And the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe? – the FIA World GT Manufactures Champion in 1965? The Cobra has a British chassis with an American engine.

The Cobra roadster has a British designed body in addition to the chassis. There are many more examples of great cars with chassis design by one company and engines supplied by another.

The three time consecutive Formula 1 constructors champion, Red Bull, does not make engines. Red Bull designs the car and they use Renault engines.

The Red Bull Formula 1 car with a Renault engine is arguably the best race car in the world right now.

See the comment below for another example.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

I don’t agree and here is a good example the Cisitalia was the first car MOMA ever exhibited. Not a Ferrari a Cisitalia. It was considered a true work of art yet it had a Fiat engine.

Other great cars with American engines that surpass the F car Cunninghams, Chaparrals and the Scarabs.

My response – right on! Also, Listers (British chassis and body) with Chevrolet and Jaguar engines had great racing success.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

no one is going to sell a $700,000 car on ebay!

My response – oh yeah!

Here are some comments that caught my attention that needed no response

Wow! That is gorgeous!

It’m stunned to see this is a 1966 model. It’s a great example of timeless styling in design. It will always be easy on the eye. I especially like the old school round headlamps.

Wow!! Both regarding the car and the entry fee.

first saw one of these trackside Elkhart when I was young and was fascinated, very loooow. It was a somewhat shagged driver in silver, stress cracks in the paint here and there, worn but not torn interior..Liquid metal.

Object lesson to Enzo: revenge is best served cold.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada engine

Killer! What a gorgeous timeless design. I love the engine sitting back towards the firewall, very Lotus’esque.

Two Words: Quail Winner. Awesome!

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada engine

This will be the BaT car of the year for me. It’s only February, but it doesn’t matter – nothing else will come close.

LOL….it’s as if BaT said, “Sorry guys, Bizzarrini do-over”.

Love the lines. Looks like it is straining to be set loose.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada interior

This is the logo car for My Car Quest, being sold by the gentleman who runs that site, I love every part of this car, the intake is a stunning work of art, as are the door handles, if your looking to buy this, who cares how many pictures are posted?

Absolutely gorgeous, I’d give my (insert body part here) for it.

Gotta be about the nicest of the Euro car/American V8 hybrids. Makes a Sunbeam Tiger seem pedestrian and a Shelby Cobra seem crude.

That said, did you see where the gas tanks are located? Talk about scary…

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada interior

Giotto Bizzarrini – the ‘Father’ of the 250 GTO – said of this car, ‘I started with the idea of the Ferrari GTO and set about trying to improve on it.’

The Bizzarrini does belong next to any Ferrari. After Giotto designed the Lamborghini V12 engine he was hired by the Iso Rivolta company, his first job was to source what Giotto felt was the best engine available. What he came back with was the 327 Corvette engine. This was from the engineer that built the GTO and designed the Lambo engine! He said the Corvette made more power and was more reliable than the Ferrari. He used these engines in almost all of his race cars while at Iso and racing on his own.

The Bizzarrini is a great car to look at and a better car to drive. The differences between the race car and street car are almost nil yet this car does both well not many cars can do that.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

Yes indeed this is Mike Gulett’s car and yes, it is a serious sale. Mike is perhaps one of the most knowledgeable experts out there when it comes to Rivolta & Bizzarrini cars.

This is a magnificent car. Its definitely more reliable than the Ferrari and other Italian exotics but at $700k I doubt it will be a daily driver. As for the condition of this car, the recent wins at the Quail and Hillsborough Concours should put any and all doubts to rest.

It’s one of those rare occasions where I can say “buy with confidence”.

I have run out of space and the conversation goes on – see all of the comments on Bring A Trailer to find out how a Bizzarrini GT 5300 relates to guitars and violins.

I am not the Bizzarrini/Iso historian guru as someone said but I know the few people who are and fortunately for me they answer my emails and return my phone calls.

Let us know you thoughts in the Comments below.

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Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson with a little tweak by Mike Gulett.


  1. Mike,
    My car was next to yours at Quail, so I got a good look at your car. Having owned 3 Bizzarrinis (still own 2), I know a nice car when I see it, and yours is truly outstanding! I cannot believe you are going to sell your car! They are so rare, and as we both know, once it is gone, you can never get it back for what you sell it for! Please re-consider!

    The market still hasn’t understood that this car, as Bizzarrini’s improvement of the GTO, is a far better race car! I am aware of a couple Bizzarrini’s that will be newly entering the race scene this year. It will be interesting to see how people react when they see the $1 million Bizzarrini’s beating the $30 million GTO’s!!

    Think long and hard before selling!

    • Scot, I am thinking and it is really sad but nothing is done until it is done and I am in no hurry.

      I posted many photos of Bizzarrinis from The Quail in the Forum at the link below and sure enough there is your beautiful Corsa next to my Strada:

      I knew that was your car Scott, although I must say that day went by in a blur.

  2. Mike, its great to see the impact you and your site is having on the classic automotive world. If anything, the usual BaT crowd got some free education. I’m glad to see you’ve included one of my comments as well. Its very amusing how people who can’t even afford a TICKET to the Quail or Concourse will criticize the car that they probably never heard of before. I guess that’s the beauty of free speech.

    I also tend to agree with above comment regarding selling your car. I don’t see this car being replaceable at $700k due to its condition, options and rarity. However, in the meantime I’m actively participating in California Lotto ))

    • George,

      I really do appreciate the appreciation. I do know that if I sell this Bizzarrini that I will never own another Bizzarrini of the same caliber because finding one would be difficult and then the price in the future will be a lot more than my selling price today.

  3. ~ hey Mike, i’m so glad you’ve made time to give this statement, since i read the entire BaT thread and somehow managed to avoid joining the fray. i was speculating as to your reaction knowing there had been some ‘inaccuracies’. as i expected from my limited contact with you, your reply is quite restrained and respectful.
    . my response; the one big question i haven’t puzzled through yet is, what vehicle can you possibly be considering as a replacement?? having seen the feast of examples you’ve listed in the recent finds i would expect the decision would make other mortals absolutely dizzy!
    . looking forward to next semester with sincere thanks for all i’ve learned. sc

    • Scot – I rarely comment on BaT and I certainly did not ask them to publish my Bizzarrini. I am surprised that they did because the price range is way above the range for the cars that they normally write about.

      It did make for some entertainment though didn’t it? I could not let some of those comments stand without providing better information and I don’t think I could have done that in the BaT format. I do appreciate the many commenters who were knowledgeable and intelligent about what they said.

      For my future cars – there are clues in my Car of the Day feature, both past and future.

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