1991 Bizzarrini 5300 GTBZ2001 Prototipo
- Year of manufacture1991
- Mileage2 000 km / 1 243 mi
- Car typeConvertible / Roadster
- Number of seats2
- Exterior colourOther
- Fuel typePetrol
One Off Prototype Bizzarrini 2001 , built on the first Ferrari Testarossa vin 001
The prototype included a full carbon fibre body. Various manufactures participated in the project as sponsors and solved many engineering problems throughout the car. Tilton Industries build a very light weight carbon clutch and flywheel package that greatly increased acceleration. Penski Shocks designed an excellent set of shocks. The Alcon brake system was phenomenal and Goodyear was very supportive with their high performance tires. The BZ 2001 featured perhaps the most comfortable auto seats ever made which were modified from an Obus Forme seat cushion that Luis discovered at a SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
Our design studio was opened in 1994 by Luis and me in order to complete the prototype and make tooling to duplicate the project. My agreement with Bizzarrini allowed me to use the name, "Designo di Bizzarrini", therefore, we incorporated under the name, " World Super Cars, Designo di Bizzarrini".
Luis and I spent a great deal of time investigating how we could put the car into production. This is certainly a harsh world and you have no idea how hard it is to put a car into production until you just start looking at the certification, financing and marketing problems. Here is an object that sits on a table seven feet wide by sixteen feet long and has ten times the complications of any real estate projects I have ever done. If you don't believe how hard it is, just count how many small automotive manufacturers have stayed in business in the last century. This fact alone basically makes the arena to secure investor money impossible. Funding was never ever easy for the project. Over three years, my inventory of 28 collector cars was sold to fund the project. In other words, I traded many cars to fund one dream. I feel that no car ever built had a styling advantage over the BZ 2001. Furthermore, with that advantage and the fact that we were in a severe recession in California, it was impossible to sell cars or raise money to build them at that time.
The answer to the question whether I would ever do this again is that I would build the prototype, but I would not waste the energy and resources to try to put it into production unless I had a partner that would fund it. However, I do believe that it is possible to build race cars with the right product.
During 1993, an insider working on the acquisition of Lamborghini from Chrysler Corporation, had introduced us to the Indonesians that eventually bought Lamborghini. They appeared to be very interested in buying the design rights to the BZ 2001 to make a V-10 concept to compete with Ferrari V-8s. There appeared to be a reason to put the elements together of the Lamborghini V-12 motor creator ( Bizzarrini ) and a car of the day with his design input. The Indonesians bought Lamborghini and when the Lotus people were brought in to run Lamborghini, the BZ 2001 / Lambohghini concept died. I believe the reason was completely do to the, "ain't invented here," mentality.
In 1993, Pirelli approached us to be their sponsor display at the Concours Italiana at the Quail Lodge in Carmel, California. There were hundreds of cars on display, including a great lineup from very significant Italian designers from the 1960s. The BZ 2001 received the top award with five out of five judges voting for it, however, the trophy had to be given to another entrant because we were the sponsor's car and were not eligible. Luis and I were heartbroken.
Bizzarrini may be accused of having a difficult personality to work with, but I, and I think history, will remember him as a man of extreme intelligence, a great understanding of vehicle aerodynamics and one of the most significant automotive engineers of Italy.
I will remember Ing. Bizzarrini and the BZ 2001 project as a mystery. I think a small team of California car guys had a dream and made a team to make it happen. This is very similar to what I do in my profession as a real estate developer. Of the thousands of people that saw the BZ 2001, I don't ever remember hearing one person ever say that it wasn't beautiful. Far more often than not, most said in one way or the other that the BZ 2001 was one of the most beautiful cars that they had ever seen.
Mark Vaughn, Senior Editor of AutoWeek, was one of the only media people to drive the BZ 2001. At the time of his brief road venture with the BZ 2001, the car was not finished, nor anywhere near so for anyone to drive. Mark was writing a feature and insisted on driving it. We told him that the hood latches were not installed and many details needed to be completed. Anyway, he drove me around my neighborhood and soon he had to hit the brakes hard to avoid another car. The front hood, with no locking mechanism installed, flew open like a clam-shell and dug into the pavement. It scraped the paint off not to mention a major embarrassment. Of course, his introduction of the article had to mention the debacle.
We went back to my house and parked the car outside of the garage. Mark, Luis and I talked for at least an hour while we were all staring at the rear of the BZ 2001. Mark does get credit, however, for stating the most memorable statement about the car, which is something like this: "I have been to the design studios of Chrysler, General Motors and Ford where many people and millions of dollars are spent on prototypes. None of those companies have ever built a car that makes you feel like this car when you stand in front of it- you built it at your house and only five guys have ever touched it."