My Car Quest

May 28, 2024

A Real Bizzarrini GT 5300 at Auction in Monterey

by Mike Gulett –

It is always great to see a real Bizzarrini GT 5300 in person especially when it is up for auction. This is one that I have seen a few times over the years but when I saw it it was red. This Bizzarrini was formerly owned by a friend of mine who owned two GT 5300s; both were red, although one had a black interior and one had a tan interior.

Bizzarrini GT 5300

This one has been returned to its original body color of blue and it is the one with black interior. The blue color looks great on this shape. When I saw this Bizzarrini years ago I did not know it was originally blue.

I believe this is the only Bizzarrini GT 5300 equipped from the factory with air conditioning. Naturally it is documented by Jack Koobs de Hartog.

I plan to stop by the auction preview and see this one again.

Bizzarrini GT 5300

The auction estimate is $800,000 to $1,000,000 USD. It would not surprise me if the hammer price exceeded the top end of the range.

The auction company, RM Sotheby’s, writes,

– A paradigm of design and performance; the physical bookend to the eponymous marque of legendary engineer Giotto Bizzarrini

– Among the last of 86 alloy-bodied examples produced

– Accompanied by documentation compiled by marque authority, Jack Koobs de Hartog

– Benefits from over $130,000 of restoration work performed since late 2021; presented today in its factory-correct color combination

– Desirably equipped with air conditioning system, power windows, and Campagnolo center-lock, forged magnesium wheels

– Documentation supplied by marque authority Jack Koobs de Hartog illustrates that this 5300 GT Strada, IA3 0323, was among the last of those 86 alloy-bodied examples completed by Bizzarrini. Hartog’s report on this illustrious Strada notes that it was certainly delivered new to California, and originally finished in the attractive color scheme of blue over black leather.

Bizzarrini GT 5300

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 logo

Photos – Robin Adams ©2023 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
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A Real Bizzarrini GT 5300 at Auction in Monterey
Article Name
A Real Bizzarrini GT 5300 at Auction in Monterey
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It is always great to see a Bizzarrini GT 5300 in person especially when it is up for auction.
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Comments

  1. I say $1.3M

  2. Wes Stewart says

    Both of my daily drivers, a VW GTI and a Pontiac G8 GT (https://mycarquest.com/2020/05/opinion-wheels-gone-bad.html#comments) are red. I like red cars, but I have to say this one looks outstanding in blue. And speaking of wheels, those are amazing too.

  3. Mike Miles says

    That IS a delightful blue.
    I think I need to buy some more lottery tickets!!

  4. I was the lucky owner of a ISO GRIFO A3/C BIZZARRINI 1965 Chassis # BO212 Color shade of Champagne.
    I used my Bizzarrini on a daily base for 14 years in Strasbourg France, from 1966 to 1979, what a car and amazing experience.

    First show at the Paris Car Salon 1965, purchased by first owner Marc Gregory, was on show for sale in a Mercedes dealership in Paris 1966, an a trip to Paris, I see it and buy it and hand over my Alfa Romeo Sprint SS, lucky me.

    I sold my Bizzarrini in 1979 since moving to the US, I sold it with a heavy heart and regrets to Marcel Petijean, race car driver and renowned classic car collector from Strasbourg, which change its color to red, which I think was a mistake, he kept the car for 40 years, selling it to the consigning owner in December 2019.

    Also, owning a 1971 Maserati Gibli which I shipped to Washington DC. Having lost track of the Bizzarrini, I am thankful to Mike Gulett / My Car Quest, for getting me in touch with all Bizzarrini related issues, learning about the passing of Giotto Bizzarrini, affected me profoundly, this made me start looking for online all Bizzarrini features.

    Living in Hawaii since 1986 and missing my Bizzarrini so much, I find online the posted auction by RM Sotheby’s Monaco 2022 an ISO GRIFO A 3/C 1965 Color Red, it looks like it was my Bizzarrini, based on the license plate which is 67 the Strasbourg area, the initial car value was at 1,750,000 Euro.

    For all interested in the history of this ISO GRIFO A 3/C 1965 you can go to SILODROME 1965 Iso Grifo A 3/C Monaco 2022 RM Sotheby’s MONACO Grimaldi Forum 14 May 2022

    It is now 2023 and what a amazing story to find my car after so many years, for all to enjoy my amazing experience.

    Mahalo
    Freddy J. Zimmer

    • Mr. Zimmer, it’s nice to see you post here, especially because you were the owner of such a very special Iso Grifo A3/C. The car you saw at RM is indeed your former car. It (B0212) had been kept by Mr. Petijan for many decades and not being sold through a few dealers was sold to a certain person in Monaco (who prefers to be anonymous) and taken in for restoration in Italy in 2022.

      I was surprised to see the car in person when we visited Bresso last year, it was completely dismantled and it seemed in the middle of body work being done. I talked to the restorer and he told me personally that the owner told him to restore it ‘quick” so it could go back on the market again. This meant the alloy body (in bad condition, it obviously had a hard life!) wasn’t going to be taken off the underlying structure and this is NOT good news for Drogo built cars. I restored B0211, the car built before yours, and it proved to do it right they really need to have the body removed after so many decades. Also, B0212 looked like it was actually sand blasted – something not done to an alloy body. So all we can do is hope we can see the finished product soon and pray that this (extremely important!) car will be given the honor of being restored correctly and right.

      I’m going to try to add a picture of it’s condition of last year, I have more detailed pictures so you can always email me for more information. I would love to see if you had any more information or pictures of it before Mr. Petijean parked it in his basement. Thank you and enjoy!

      • I also believe the estimate is low. Thank you Mike for all your info on Iso/Bizzarrini, as your site is a wealth of knowledge that is truly unmatched. Also, thank you Maurice Mentens for all your valuable info as one of the world experts on these fine automobiles. Some of the cars you had stewardship over are what dreams are made of..

        Maurice on a side note please keep me in mind if Grifo 369, or 405 EVER think about coming to market, as I would like to know first if possible. Tomjames0209@gmail.com

        Many thanks!

        • Hello Tom and thank you for your nice words. I feel VERY fortunate that people trust me and my skills enough to get me involved in such unique exotics. And those who know me better know that I feel I’m immersed in one giant playground surrounded by my favorite toys every day, hahaha!

          Both 369 and 405 are in steady hands right now but one never knows. I recently got THE craziest Iso Grifo of all, a fully original car that was sold in 1972, then parked in the UK in 1974 and only unearthed in 2021. Untouched and parked for all these years. And the specs of this car? An original paint fly yellow series 2 CanAm (454 big block), 5-speed, sunroof and air conditioning! I am in the process of reviving it to get it ready for the Pebble Beach preservation class in 2024. Indeed, dreams are made of this…

          And IMO the low estimate is right on unless something strange happens during bidding. But that is just my opinion, we will see in a few days…

  5. They are sexy in any condition (the vehicle).

  6. Mr Mentens,
    Thank you for your response and picture of my ISO GRIFO body in the restoration stage, in one way, i feel sad to seeing it at this stage, but fortunately, this Giotto Bizzarrini amazing artistic creation, will come to life again and bring joy and proud to the future owner of such a beauty, this car was the love of my life and i regret profoundly to have it sold.
    I am really happy meeting you and be much interested staying in contact for further info and pictures, being an artist/sculptor all my life, sensitive to esthetic and beauty, which made me fall in love for such amazing car sculpture.
    Please contact me at fredericzimmer795@gmail.com 808 222 5806 Hawaii fredericzimmer.net for my artistic life achievement.
    Mahalo
    Freddy J. Zimmer

  7. Wes Stewart says

    I realize it’s a rarity but come on. Somebody must have slipped a decimal point. Did the buyer look under the hood? Cracked valve cover leaking oil, rusted hood bolts and exhaust manifolds, Dirty carpet in the cabin and trunk. Trunk latch rusty. And on and on.

    I see more attention to detail in the home-built hot rods at the Saturday morning Cars and Coffee. Flame away.

    • Wes,

      When I first looked at the photos I thought the engine bay had not been restored (if at all) to the same level as the rest of the car.

      I tried to open the hood and the latch did not work so I could not look at the engine in person.

      The crack in the valve cover was done at the Chevy factory when someone dropped the mould, so the valve cover is not really cracked. Many Corvettes from that period have that crack.

      Any problems under the hood are easy and inexpensive to correct for the new owner and I suspect they will do so.

      • Wes Stewart says

        Mike,

        In my youth before going into EE, I worked for my dad who ran the largest automotive machine shop in Tucson. In addition to customers’ engines I built engines for my ’56 Corvette, ’57 Chevy 210, ’57 Chevy 2-dr wagon, my dad’s ’57 Bel Air and my brother’s ’57 Nomad fuelie. It was SOP to put Corvette valve covers on all of these (that didn’t come with them). That’s been a long time ago, but don’t remember any of them having “cracks”; if they did they would have been rejected.

        That said, research indicates that after 1966 (I was in aerospace by then) there was an issue with the mold.

        https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/9-rib-corvette-valve-covers.537902/

        I stand corrected on this point. That doesn’t excuse the rest of the sorry state of the engine bay.

  8. wallace wyss says

    Am I the only one who thought the color was off? It seemed so dark a blue it seemed the front bumper was :floating.” And a Bitz owner who saw it at the auction doubted they offered metalflake back then , something you went to Barris for….Nevertheless, looking back when Ferrari V12 owners scorned the Bitz for having an iron block Chevy it is fun to see it now worth more than a lot of the uglier V12 Ferraris like a 250GTE or 400GT. Those who believed in the Bitz are rewarded with a profit and 10% the engine rebuild charge. There are Chevy small block experts coast to coast. They may have never heard of a Bitz=R=Eini but damn sure they recognize that engine….

  9. You’re not the only one Wally. Earlier this year that exact car (IA3*0323) was sent to my shop for me to do a PPI for a friend of mine who was looking for a Bizzarrini. I had inspected a few but none fit his needs. I know what he wanted because he visited my shop while I was working on early ones. But if this one was good enough he might pull the trigger on it. Asking price was 1.5 Million so I expected to see a gorgeous car dropped off…

    Still on the flatbed it was obvious the paint work was less than dismal with proud areas that should have not been there. Also, the metallic and hue in the paint were not period correct, no matter what I was told before I saw the car. No Bizzarrini was ever painted with such a purple hue, mainly only visible when up close in full sun. Surface finish is close to perfect but paint in “difficult areas was below par to say the least. (Mind you, I still had 1.5Mio in my head)

    After looking at the body overall I took my cardboard templates from other Stradas I have for fabrication purposes and both front fenders seems very off dimensionally, for me signs of prior damage. Which does not surprise me because the first time I saw this car (about 20 years ago) was when I drove by my house with the back end smashed in until almost at the back window. I wasn’t involved in the restoration then but I presume the back part was repaired correct.
    So the outside will look very nice to the general public and make the car attractive. IMO the sides were nice and straight and the current paint work looked like a (motor-in) $7000 job with really nice color sanded finish.

    I know a friend of mine did the interior work very professionally about 35 years ago and was acceptable with great patina. The air conditioning in this car is aftermarket even though all descriptions tell different. I found parts from certain home improvement stores used in the system. 😎 Overall great interior and original glass and hardware.

    When the hood opens everything changes… In short, this car hasn’t seen adequate maintenance in a few decades and it shows. It is rough and worn and will need everything, including all of the suspension redone. Motor runs and drives but the test drive almost killed me (no brakes) so I kept it real short, lol! So Wes is right, total lack of attention to detail except for the visual stuff that an auction buyer will see first. I’m adding one of the 100s of pictures I took to illustrate his comment.

    This is why I set the selling price at 700K but in the end in such auctions emotions get ahold of people and they just WANT the car. I don’t think the new owner will be fatally hurt by what he paid, I imagine the work needed to get everything right at about 300K. This is the second car with that same serial number and Jack de Koobs and me think this car was assembled (for the US) at a later date from left over parts form the factory. It has a rough serial number stamp which I still see as acceptable but items like exhaust system and air conditioning is what someone dreamed up in their fantasy. So obviously I told my friend to skip this one, which he did without hesitation.

    Still, a real Bizzarrini and probably worth what has been paid, I would have just recommended my clients to pay less. In the end, after a correct restoration this will be an extremely desirable Strada with great (California) history.

    PS: And Wally: I think Giotto deserves a greater honor than his gorgeous creations being called a “Bitz” – I’m sure you agree so do him right. 😎

    • Maurice,
      Now I see why you thought the low end of the range was the right price. You are certainly the right guy to do a PPI on these cars.. Perhaps the new buyer will put this car in your stewardship to bring it back to its glory.

      • Tom, I have no horse in the race here and all I wanted to do is make sure my friend didn’t make the mistake to think this would be a turn key car without serious work first. He purchased another one which I had partially restored some years ago.

        I hope the new owner (we don’t know yet where it went) realized what he went into but when I look at the price paid it seems he did.

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