It seems the Italians had a thing for what Detroit was producing in the 1950s and 1960s. There are many cases of one-off carmakers using Chevrolet power to fuel their stylistic dreams.
The 1967 Bizzarrini P538 is another one of those stories.
Giotto Bizzarrini spent his early years with notable Italian automakers, including Alfa Romeo and Ferrari. But his thirst for the ultimate expression in automobile had him leaving both companies and beginning his own.
Bizzarrini began building cars under his name, making close ties with famed Giorgetto Giugiaro. Giugiaro penned the extravagant sheetmetal, while Bizzarrini engineered the entire frame and body. When it came time to source an engine, and with minimal funds at his disposal, Bizzarrini called upon General Motors.
GM sent him their best at the time, the 365 hp Chevrolet V8.
But, like nearly all of these stories, things came tumbling down quickly. With the car prepped and ready, Bizzarrini prepared his creation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Finances became an issue, and Bizzarrini has to withdraw from the race. To make matters worse, FIA regulations switched over to a three-liter displacement limit. The giant V8 had no place in Le Mans.
This 1967 P538 was found in the France in the 1990s, where it exchanged hands only twice. Now, it will be offered up to the public. After the previous owner wanted to further verify its origins, the 1967 P538 was signed off by Bizzarrini himself, who verified he had built the car with his wife’s help.
RM Auctions is expecting the 1967 P538 to fetch up to $900,000 after the car was restored to authenticity, including a time-period correct 5.3-liter Chevrolet V8.