After leaving Ferrari in 1961 Giotto Bizzarrini, who had aided the development and design of the 250 Ferrari series, including the famed GTO, was hired by Renzo Rivolta to develop a GT car.
The initial concept resulted in the Corvette-engined Iso Rivolta, but Giotto had aspirations to make a competitive race car. The outcome was the striking A3C, which achieved immediate track success when launched in 1964. The near perfect weight distribution, sleek aerodynamics and powerful V8 ensured that it was a competitive entrant, netting a second in class at the Nürburgring and 14th overall at Le Mans.
Produced in 1965, chassis number BA4 0106 is distinctive in that, of all the models, it is the only right-hand-drive example produced by the factory. It first competed at the 1000 Kms of Monza in 1966 with Edgar Berney and Antonio Nieri, where it did not finish the race due to a lack of wet weather tyres. Two weeks later it was competing in the Targa Florio where, after some enthusiastic driving, was doing well until a head gasket blew.
In 1966 Bizzarrini sent two cars to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. BA4 0106 was being driven well by Sam Posey and Massimo Natili until, after some hours, it was disqualified for crossing the ‘Pit Wall’ line two laps in a row. At the end of the 1966 season, BA4 0106 was uprated with a seven litre big block engine and returned to Le Mans in 1967 in a slightly different guise, with a front oil-cooler and intricate bonnet scoop. After Bizzarrini’s bankruptcy in 1971, this ex-Le Mans car was sold minus its engine, remaining mothballed for some 34 years.
As Chris Lackner, the Bizzarrini expert who has inspected the car, said ‘One wonders what this car, the last Le Mans Iso Bizzarrini to be discovered, can prove on the historic circuit, especially if fitted with the seven litre big-block torque-monster!’
Fresh from competing at the Goodwood Members meeting with Club members Gregor Fisken and Andrew Hall, the car’s owner, Bob Denson, is delighted to be presenting it in the rotunda. With Bob taking it on the famed Italian Rally—The Modena Cento Ore in a few weeks’ time, this car is set to continue its racing prowess on the circuits.
The car is prepared by Club member, Patrick Blakeney-Edwards and his team at Blakeney Motorsport.
Car displayed courtesy of Bob Denson.