This one-off Bizzarrini 1900 GTS Europa was saved from the scrapheap
Designed as an entry-level model to sit below the brutish 5300 GT Strada, the Bizzarrini 1900 GT Europa was doomed from the start. Owing to financial troubles that would ultimately lead to the bankruptcy of the Livorno-based company, it is believed that just 12 examples of the baby Bizza left the production line, before unpaid workers revolted and damaged many of the un-built bodies at the factory. The car you’re looking at was built from one of the aforementioned dormant bodies that was fortunately unscathed.
At the time its owner was just 26 years old, and intended to couple the Europa’s body to Alfa Romeo mechanicals. However, other engagements stunted the progress of the build and the car wasn’t completed until over 40 years later, after countless changes and modifications. Visually, the car is a different animal to the original. The removal of the bumpers and, most obviously, the roof has resulted in a more softly styled appearance, and subtle tweaks such as the integration of the single rear lights into the bodywork add a modern feel. Under the bonnet lurks the 200HP V6 from the ‘Ferrari’ 206 Dino, married to a longitudinal transmission. It’s also got a Girling brake system (the rears are inboard), a limited-slip differential and a bespoke suspension system utilising the original hub castings.
Inevitably many parts were fabricated from scratch, such as the bonnet, the voluptuous enlarged front wheelarches, the frameless side windows and the Alcantara-strewn interior. The latter looks a touch like that found in a track-day special, but that’s a small objection. As a package, the design is sleek and sexy – it looks like the car Bizzarrini would have built, had it resolved its financial issues and continued production of the Europa well into the 1970s. For that, we must commend the car’s determined owner, who saved it from the scrapheap and nurtured and crafted it for a significant portion of his life. Now, in the year that marks fifty years since the company was founded, it’s time for someone to enjoy this one-off 1900 GTS Europa as it was always intended.