My Car Quest

April 16, 2024

The Bulls of Yellowstone County – June 2013 – A Bizzarrini Story – Part One

by Mike –

We left off in our last episode of Bizzarrini GT 5300 #0286 with,

Once all systems had been tested, #0286 was pronounced ready for action.

Next up is action and here it is as described by a driver who was there.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

Ready for action

Text and photos by Dale Walmsley

Celebrations around the globe in 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the first Lamborghini. While the main celebration was in Feruccio Lamborghini’s homeland of Italy, there were many other smaller celebrations. One such celebration happened in Billings Montana; the most unlikely of locales to host a gathering of these rare exotics.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

Getting ready for action

Early in 2013, perhaps even late in 2012 there were some mumblings on the Vintage Lamborghini Garage site about a gathering in North America to mark the anniversary. Since the VLG only caters to the older Lamborghinis (Diablo and earlier) it was decided to create an event specifically for Lamborghinis of that vintage.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

Why Billings? There were two gentlemen spearheading the move. One named Jack Riddell lived in San Diego, California and the other lived in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Jack grew up in the Billings area so the suggestion was made to meet there. All agreed so plans moved ahead. Jack, incidentally, owns the highest mileage Lamborghini on the planet. He has put over 250,000 miles on his 400GT and has rebuilt the engine five times.

When word got around that there was a Lamborghini event being planned in Billings, another gentleman from Calgary by the name of Fred Phillips perked his ears up. Fred is well known not only for his collection of significant automobiles but also for enjoying them; having participated in events such as the Colorado Grand and the California Mille.

Mr. Phillips owns a number of vintage Lamborghinis, including a 350GT, two Miuras, an Espada and a Countach which, incidentally, has just 1,800 original kilometers.

Fred initially thought about taking three cars to the event; the 350GT, one of the Miuras and the Espada. Discretion won over valor and it was decided the Espada would stay at home. It wears its original coat of paint and the risk of damaging it would simply be too high. That left the 350GT and the Miura, neither of which had been driven in close to 15 years.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

Both cars were prepped for the event. Brakes, cooling systems and fuel systems were completely gone through to ensure there would be no failures. The cars were driven (hard at times) to shake out any bugs. Both performed well and plans were made to participate in the event.

A week before we were to leave, the Muira developed a disconcerting squeak at the front of the engine. Dave, our mechanic extraordinaire, determined it was a timing chain tensioner bearing and finding one in a week would not be possible, not to mention the engine would need to come out to make the repair. The Miura was to stay at home.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

Not to worry though; Fred had another idea. One of the cars in his collection that had just received a complete mechanical re-freshening was a Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada. Just how does one figure a Bizzarrini fits in with a bunch of old Lamborghinis? It doesn’t, really, except for one critical event. You see, the car’s namesake, Giotto Bizzarrini, designed the V12 engine found in every Lamborghini up to and beyond the Countach.

One might question how successful Lamborghini would have been had Bizzarrini not designed this engine for him. Bizzarrini was instrumental in getting Lamboghini off the ground. The question was posed to the event organizers and the Bizzarrini was welcomed with open arms.

Part two is here.

I love to see a Bizzarrini GT 5300 mixing it up with all those great Lamborghinis. It is interesting that the Miura was forced to stay home but the Bizzarrini GT 5300 made the trip flawlessly.

This brown Espada was on this same trip – the owner’s wife told be about it at Concorso Italiano last year.

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Bizzarrini logo

The Bulls of Yellowstone County - June 2013 - A Bizzarrini Story - Part One
Article Name
The Bulls of Yellowstone County - June 2013 - A Bizzarrini Story - Part One
A Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada joins many Lamborghinis on an amazing drive through the US West to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lamborghini.


  1. Credit where credit is due. I cannot take credit for all the photos; particularly the parade photo. I know that’s not mine because I was driving the car. There were a number of people taking photos at this event and many of them posted photos on a variety of forums. To pinpoint exactly who took which photo may be difficult. I just can’t take credit for all of them…


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