A rare 1968 Bizzarrini 1900 GT Europa – believed to be the original prototype of this model and just one of a reputed twelve that were eventually built – it will be offered without reserve early next month when RM Sotheby’s returns to Rétromobile in Paris for its fifth annual sale at the classic car extravaganza.
The story of this car goes back to the legendary “Palace Revolt’ in 1961 when Bizzarrini left Ferrari and eventually set up on his own in 1966, producing the 5300 Strada and P538 sports racer. However, Bizzarrini also sought to produce a more affordable sports car, resulting in the 1900 GT Europa in 1967.
Unlike the 1900 Europa’s older brother, which was powered by a Chevrolet V8, the smaller Bizzarrini drew its power from the robust 1900cc Opel engine, developing 110 bhp and mounted amidship between the front axle and the driver.
Weighing just 650 kg (thanks to the use of fiberglass for its body) and boasting independent suspension, a limited-slip differential and four-wheel disc brakes, the Europa was a potent prospect. It is believed that just 12 were built.
Sold to Giorgio Giordanengo after the factory closure, the car was fitted with an Alfa Romeo engine and five-speed gearbox in its early life but was later fitted with a proper Opel engine. Giordanengo kept the car for 25 years before selling it to Paul Kawan of Belgium.
Currently with a subsequent Belgian owner, it is offered for sale with a number of invoices, highlighting the ongoing maintenance this car has received in recent years.
Bizzarrinis are rare cars indeed, with the 1900 GT Europa rarer still and RM Sotheby’s estimate that it will fetch between 250,000-300,000 euros when the hammer comes down in Paris on 8 February.
Photos: 1968 Bizzarrini 1900 GT Europa