by Mike -
The passage of time leads to incomplete memories, sometimes controversy, almost always unanswered questions and often unanswerable questions.
After reading my recent article, Giotto Bizzarrini – A Body Designer? – Oh Yes, Chris posted this in the Comments section,
I’m not sure that Giotto had much (if anything?) to do with the final shape of the GTO. Indeed, the GTO test mule he developed was so ugly it was nicknamed “Il Mostro” (the Monster). Giotto himself said he was no designer, but an engineer. The proof was, Il Mostro was mechanically and aerodynamically effective enough for Moss & Mairesse to be several seconds quicker per lap around Monza than with the previous 250GT SWB.
Also, I think Giotto may have left Ferrari (November,1961) before the shape of the GTO was finalised.
What Chris says is certainly consistent with what Winston Goodfellow wrote on page 18 in Bizzarrini, a technician devoted to motor-racing.
However, on page 49 of Rebel Rebel by Marc Sonnery, Giotto Bizzarrini had this to say,
“My interest in aerodynamics began when I developed sport and GT cars at Ferrari.
Hence, I initiated my experiments by modifying the profile of the bodywork starting with the 1958 Testa Rossa. The opportunity for an all-new body came when the Commendatore Ferrari asked me to make a new GT. I thus built the GTO prototype, beginning with moving the engine backwards to obtain simultaneously a better hood profile (by lowering it) and a better weight distribution. Since we were unable to shift the position of the driver, the extent of the engine’s backward shift was determined by the driver’s feet.
The Breadvan is an evolution of my aerodynamic research, started with the TR58, as was the Bizzarrini GT Strada later on. The points on which they differ are due to the types of chassis and, for the Bizzarrini, to the fact that it was destined for road use.”
I am interpreting a little but I think that if Bizzarrini was involved in the body design of the Ferrari TR58 and he was the chief engineer of the Ferrari 250 GTO some time later then I believe one can conclude that Bizzarrini had a lot to say about the body design of the GTO and not just the one ugly prototype – but the final beautiful result.
The way the engineers and designers worked in those days is described by Giorgio Neri (being interviewed by Marc Sonnery) on page 50 of “Rebel Rebel”,
Marc Sonnery: Ingegnere Giotto Bizzarrini came up with the original idea regarding the Breadvan for Count Volpi, but he did not do the actual design, drafts.
Giorgio Neri: No, he did not do the designs.
Sonnery: So you had carrozzieri (bodywork specialists) who worked …
Neri: Yes, yes they worked for us, and when we had an idea, even if there were no drawings, we would move forward like that, by eye, doing modifications as needed step by step while the piece was being built. That is how we operated.
Sonnery: Yes, so that body for the Breadvan, Ingegnere Bizzarrini said do something with a truncated tail …
Neri was talking about the Breadvan but I believe this is likely the method used for the GTO as well by Giotto Bizzarrini and Sergio Scaglietti. It is known that Scaglietti’s style of body design was to hammer the beautiful shapes into aluminum directly from his head – without drawings.
Maybe in this case; the GTO came from Bizzarrini’s head – or most likely from both of their heads.
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