Bizzarrini's Return Is Proof We Have Too Many Rich People

Bizzarrini is on its way back, and apparently not just for the hell of it, though that would be a perfectly good enough reason on its own. Bizzarrini is on its way back in part because there are enough rich people in this world possibly interested in buying a new Bizzarrini.

Founded by Giotto Bizzarrini in the mid-’60s before going bankrupt then too, Bizzarrini produced a three-digit number of cars — no one can seem to agree on just how many, exactly, though just over 100 5300s still exist — during its initial run. Bizzarrinis have been called “thinking man’s Ferraris,” and they look very nice, but there was no apparent reason offered for Bizzarrini’s rebirth at the time, aside from honoring the heritage.

A new story in Bloomberg gets right to the heart of the matter.

From Bloomberg:

“If Bizzarrini went in the direction where the brand was redeveloped really, truly around racing of some sort and then the new products were developed out of a spirit of racing and technology, that might be enough of a story to tell, to give the brand some legs,” says Chuck Wray, owner of Grand Touring, a Virginia-based restoration shop that specializes in Bizzarrini and similar ilk. “There are just so many wealthy people in the world today that this is not that hard of a business model.”

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It is also interesting that the customer base for new Bizzarrini will apparently be much different than those interested in the old:

“It’s interesting, but it’s a vanity project,” says Steve Serio, the blue-chip car expert who’s sold 12 of the existing 114 original Bizzarrini 5300 road cars. In the past six months, he’s facilitated the private sale and purchase of three of them. “There isn’t a long-time Bizzarrini collector on the planet who would give a crap [about a new Bizzarrini car], because they all bought their cars for about $100,000. I don’t see any of the guys I’ve ever sold Bizzarrini to even considering it.”

That mentality applies even to collectors now paying $1 million-plus for the originals, Serio says.

To recap: We have one guy saying that, oh yeah there are plenty of rich people who would love a new seven-figure Bizzarrini and another guy saying, oh yeah there are plenty of other rich people who already have a Bizzarrini and have no interest in a new one. This implies the existence, of course, of a third group of rich people who have absolutely no interest in Bizzarrini at all.

Any one of these people can buy me a Bizzarrini, I would take it.

News Editor at Jalopnik. 2008 Honda Fit Sport.

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DISCUSSION

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Yes, we have too many rich people. But why can’t we all occasionally indulge the fifteen year-old at heart, posters of beautiful machines on the wall, and appreciate a piece of artisan automotive design if it’s introduced? I don’t see the point in poo-pooing the restoration of a fairly storied marque, just because its cars will be expensive. I don’t begrudge Ferrari for selling expensive cars. 

Look, there are obviously a great number of moral and political contradictions in loving cars and being thoughtful about the environment, inequality, and the like. I know I struggle with them. But a prerequisite to even entering that conversation – at least on a site like this – should be loving cars. Not always convinced of that anymore.