Tag Archives: Bizzarrini

Goodwood 74th Members Meeting – Sun 20th Mar 2016 Part 2

The Perils of High Speed Circuits.

As Goodwood circuit is not used all year round due to local noise restrictions – it’s easy to forget that it’s is a very high speed circuit and therein lies the risk to race drivers and to spectators.

At the end of the first lap of the first of Sunday’s races a really scary crash  unfolded right in front of me on the start/finish straight when Richard Wilson’s Lotus Cooper Climax T51 collided with Stephen Bond’s Lotus Climax 18.

Instead of both cars coming to rest on the track or in the tyre wall – the collision caused Bond’s Lotus to go into an end-over-end  cartwheel which lifted it over the wall and hedge of an access road before it plummeted down into a pedestrian tunnel right next to the viewing area for wheelchair users.

Possibly because it was early in the day – the pedestrian tunnel was empty so by a miracle spectator injuries were avoided. Stephen Bond also came out of it with broken ribs but was extremely lucky not to come out worse particularly as fuel was pouring from the car as he hung suspended in his seat belts.

It’s horrible to contemplate but with slightly more forward momentum the cartwheeling car could easily have cleared the pedestrian tunnel and landed on the wheelchair spectator viewing area.

Luck was with  a number of people as it looked like the accident could have shaped up to be a 1955 Le Mans type incident.

I was rooted to the spot watching the accident in slow motion but a few yards further along the viewing platform Tim Quinlan captured this remarkable footage of the accident:-

Continue reading Goodwood 74th Members Meeting – Sun 20th Mar 2016 Part 2

London Classic Car Show – Sat 20th Feb 2016

This year’s London Classic Car Show at the Excel Exhibition Centre in London’s Docklands promised to be bigger and better than last year and thankfully – it was!

Spread over two large halls the show was easier to move around, it offered a more balanced mix of dealers, specialists and car club stands and last but not least it allowed for a much bigger open space in which to parade cars representing the great automotive nations.

Continue reading London Classic Car Show – Sat 20th Feb 2016

A-Z of Car Stuff: G is for Gordon Keeble

A-Z of Car Stuff

This is one in a series of posts on cars, drivers, designers etc. that have interested me over the years. I’ve bored my family and friends with this stuff for years – now it’s your turn!

See A-Z of Car Stuff page for more posts in this series.

So, what’s so special about Gordon Keeble?

1) The name! Let’s face it – if someone asks you what you’re driving these days and you respond by saying with “well actually old chap I’m driving a Gordon Keeble” it’s highly likely to be a conversation stopper. You might as well say – “I’m driving a Milton Keynes”.

2) Beautiful and understated Italian designed GT bodywork. This was a Giorgietto Guigaro design when he was still working for Bertone and it contains some design details which link it to other Guigaro designs for Alfa Romeo in particular. Unusually – the bodywork was executed in fibreglass instead of metal but this doesn’t detract from the overall beauty of the car.

3) Seriously powerful and flexible Chevy Corvette engine, all round disk brakes and De Dion suspension. Depite being manufactured in tiny numbers – there were some great design features on this car and using a race proven engine, Dunlop disk brakes and sophisticated De Dion rear suspension was a master stroke.

4) Its rarity but also it’s influence on cars to follow. Only 100 Gordon Keebles were made of which around 90 are thought to survive. Despite this – certain aspects of Gordon Keeble design had a profound influence on Giotto Bizzarrini in his creation of the Iso Rivolta GT, the Iso Grifo and the Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada/Corsa.

5) Its tortoise badge. This was a more than ironic touch as the car’s power train meant it was definitely no slouch with 70mph achievable in 1st gear and with a 140mph top speed. Continue reading A-Z of Car Stuff: G is for Gordon Keeble

A-Z of Car Stuff: B is for Bizzarrini

A-Z of Car Stuff

This is one in a series of posts on cars, drivers, designers etc. that have interested me over the years. I’ve bored my family and friends with this stuff for years – now it’s your turn!

See A-Z of Car Stuff page for more posts in this series.

So, what’s so special about Bizzarrini?

Well it depends if you’re talking about the designer or the car!

Starting with The Designer:-

1) Giotto Bizzarrini designed/developed some truly iconic sports cars. These included the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, Ferrari 250 GT SWB, Ferrari 250 GTO, Ferrari 250 Drogo Breadvan, Iso Rivolta GT, Iso Grifo and the Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada & Corsa.

2) He created one of the most fantastic and enduring V12 engines. The V12 engine created for Ferruccio Lamborghini was an up-scaled version of Bizzarrini’s design for an unused ATS engine. The Lamborghini V12 remained in production from 1964 (when it initially powered the Lamborghini 350GT) until 2010 (when in much expanded and highly developed form it powered the Lamborghini Murcielago).

3) He was a brilliant hands-on development engineer. Bizzarrini masterfully combined insightful test driving technique with his engineering skills to effectively and directly convert issues into engineering development solutions. This approach was epitomised in his rapid development of the Ferrari 250 GTO and he subsequently applied the same principles to other cars he created and developed.

Moving onto The Car:-

4) The wonderful Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada/Corsa. This Livorno (Bizzarrini’s hometown) manufactured car was built for an all too brief period between 1965 and 1969 resulting in just 133 examples. This beautiful car was a wonderful amalgam of Italian style, inspired engineering and reliable/powerful Chevrolet grunt. Thankfully many survive and some are still enthusiastically raced at historic events.

Continue reading A-Z of Car Stuff: B is for Bizzarrini