Tag Archives: Giotto Bizzarrini

Die-cast: CMC’s 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

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CMC creates Ferrari’s most beautiful, the 250 GTO

The term “icon” is bandied about nearly as much as politicians promise tax cuts, but if you’re a Ferrari lover of a certain age, the 1962 250 GTO is likely the first car you think of when you hear “Ferrari” mentioned.

I know, I raced an HO version on my old Aurora slot car track as a kid and fell in love with Ferrari’s long, lean, muscular GTO immediately. Models and more slots followed, but now CMC does us GTO lovers the favor of re-creating the 1962 model in museum quality die-cast and perfectly sized in 1/18 scale. Oh, Baby!

The History

GTO’s backstory is that Enzo Ferrari was worried in 1961 that Jaguar’s sleek new E-Type was going to eat Ferrari’s lunch. So he set Giotto Bizzarrini to designing the 250 GTO, based on the 250 SWB Competizione’s chassis and using its solid Columbo V12.

But this one would have larger valves and create about 300 horsepower, use a 5-speed gearbox, add a new rear axle and thin aluminum body panels. Plus Bizzarrini would work with the University of Milan’s wind tunnel to improve aerodynamics. It worked, as top speed was 170 mph with a 5.0-second 0-to-60 mph mark.

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CMC creates a stunning interior.

The emotional Ferrari fired Bizzarrini later in 1961 in one of his many firing binges, yet the car proved a success. Top-notch drivers Phil Hill and Oliver Gendebien finished first in class at Sebring and second overall in the car’s first race. The 250 GTO won the GT manufacturer’s title 1962-’64. Overall, just 39 were made. Continue reading Die-cast: CMC’s 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

Chasing Classic Cars: One-of-a-kinds

Rare cars that pop up from time to time

AMC Project IV cars, one of a kind cars, chasing classic carsone-of-a-kind concept cars, chasing classic cars, amc, amxHave you ever seen a car, in person, and it was the only one made? When I was a kid my dad would take me to the Chicago Auto Show. He got the tickets when he worked at American Motors and that was our first stop. There I saw their Project IV cars developed in 1966 for consumer research. Of the four only one still exists, the AMX. It’s an amazing story of how it survived. A factory worker ran into AMC’s then president William Luneburg and simply asked for it. Read this amazing story from Hemmings Classic Car by clicking here.

Richard Teague: Styling Genius

AMX/3, amx, american motors, concept cars amx/3, amx, american motors, concept carsSales of the AMX were not quite what AMC execs were hoping for but one of the legends of automotive styling was busy designing the next generation of the AMX, the AMX/3, Richard Teague. The body mold was sent to Italian GT maker Giotto Bizzarrini, whose Turin facility hand-made drivable mid-engined, steel bodied cars. Built on a 105.3-inch wheelbase, the Bizzarrini prototypes used the AMC 390 cu in V8 and an Italian OTO Melara four-speed transaxle. Road testing went well and test drivers declared the AMX/3’s chassis one of the stiffest and most neutral handling they had ever tested. AMC had originally ordered 30 but only five were built and two know to be in existence. Read more about them here.

What the 1971 AMX could have looked like

1971 amx, amx, american motors, concept carsRichard Teague wanted the two-seat version to continue and received permission to build one-off the redesigned Javelin but it never made it into production. Too bad. I have seen this car. It’s owned by long-time American Motors Owners Association member Mike Spangler. I found this article which gives the whole story.

Alternative fuel before it was in fashion

chrysler-turbineHere’s another one I saw, the Chrysler Turbine, as clear as it was just yesterday, at the intersection of 84th and Bluemound here in Milwaukee. First off, it looked cool, nothing else like it on the road, and sounded cool with the turbine humming. Chrysler build 55 of these cars from 62-64 in what was first and only consumer test ever conducted of gas turbine-powered cars. When the test was done all but a hand full were destroyed. Seems the legal guys get their underwear in a bundle about letting the public keep concept cars. The best-known car guy with tons of recognition is Jay Leno who owns a Chrysler Turbine and drives it. See more here in this Jay’s Garage video

Concept cars have a long history

RM AuctionsNow here’s a really cool one this Lincoln Indianapolis (photo credit: RM Auctions) created in 1955 by Carrozzeria Boano, using the chassis and running gear from the 1955 Lincoln. The only time it was shown to the public as a new concept study was at the 1955 Turin Motor Show.

Last time seen just over a month ago at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it previously appeared back in 2001 and took home the first place for Postwar Custom Coachwork class. It at the 2005 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance in Connecticut, where it just about stole the show at a recent appearance at Pebble, one of its few public outings. Want it? Well, you’re too late because it was sold at auction for 1.5 million bucks.

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The concept car list goes on

I’ve only scratched the surface on these rare cars. This blog entry could go on for a long time. I found some interesting pictures on this Pinterest Board. Cool “What If” cars.