This Bizzarrini P-538 is part of the Van Horneff Collection and is a one-off creation built for competition such as CanAm and LeMans. Production began in 1966 with hopes of contesting LeMans in 1967. Production was later set aside and was not completed until 1967 due to FIA homologation rules for 1967 and 1968.
It is powered by a Lamborghini V12 with six dual Weber carburetors producing 420 horsepower. It has a five-speed manual gearbox and a body constructed from fiberglass. Top speed is achieved at 250 mph, which was accomplished by the legendary Mark Donohue at Bridgehampton. This car is one of six, and carries chassis number 002.
This car was the work of mechanical engineer Giotto Bizzarrini whose automotive pedigree includes developing the legendary 250 GTO Berlinetta for Ferrari. he engineered and created the V12 for Ferruccio Lamborghini, the radical A3C for Iso-Grifo, and finally, his own marque, which includes the Bizzarrini 5300 Strada and the P-538.By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2008
Engineer Giotto Bizzarrini started his working life as a teacher at Pisa University, joining Alfa Romeo in its experimental department and later moving to Ferrari where he helped in the development of the legendary 250. He arrived at Iso designing both the Rivolta and Grifo and later the Lamborghini V-12 engine. After parting ways with Iso in late 1965, he kept producing the competition-bred Iso Grifo A3 under his own name in a small Livorno, Italy, factory. Much like the car he had designed for Iso, he called it the Bizzarrini 5300 Strada. Powered by a front mid-engine 327 cubic-inch Corvette V8 engine offering 350 horsepower, the car boasted a rakish body with radical styling designed by Giorgetto Guigiaro.
Under the Bizzarrini name, there were eight purpose-built P538s constructed for racing - five with Corvette 327 CID V8s and the other three, including this car, with a 3.5-liter 366 horsepower Lamborghini V-12 engine with six Weber 2-barrel carburetors and a five-speed manual transaxle.