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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Macchinetta, the first Bizzarrini's car creation

Everything in this world always has a beginning, so it is with works in the automotive world. Of course, as an automotive enthusiast you already know the famous Italian automotive designer named Giotto Bizzarrini.

Yes, it is undeniable that some of the creations he made while working in the world's automotive have became legendary car figures. And on this occasion, let's take a brief look at his first automotive work called Macchinetta which is made when he was a student.
1953 Macchinetta built by Giotto Bizzarrini based on the Fiat 500 Topolino, while he was a student of the University of Pisa. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/37sg6wo)
Well, before he managed to design the car that would bear his name, or the V-12 engine would fill the Lamborghini's engine room (in several forms) from 1963 to 2010, or the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO, young Giotto Bizzarrini was a student at the University of Pisa.

In there as part of his graduation project, he overhauled a Fiat 500 Topolino, by upgrading its four-cylinder engine and revising the chassis to make it better handled. Eventually, the project succeeded in earning him an engineering degree in 1953, and later brought him to work as a teacher. However, because of his love for the automotive world was too big, so made him later  left the teaching profession and worked as a chassis engineer at the Alfa Romeo's factory.
1953 Macchinetta built by Giotto Bizzarrini based on the Fiat 500 Topolino, by upgrading its four-cylinder engine and revising the chassis to make it better handled. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/37sg6wo)
Shortly thereafter his career at Alfa Romeo rose to become a test driver. Until one day in 1957, he heard that the Ferrari prancing horse manufacturer was looking for a new test driver, then he drove his  Macchinetta to Maranello. What happened next, not many people know thus giving rise to many stories about it

In one version that Enzo Ferrari was impressed by the technique and design of the small car, so he offered Bizzarrini a job. In another version, Enzo accuses Bizzarrini of "being not too smart, but very brave" for driving the cutie car to Maranello for an interview.
A young Giotto Bizzarrini with his creation, the 1953 Macchinetta. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/37sg6wo)
In short, then he was accepted to work at the Maranello-based car manufacturer, where he would go on to design cars like the 250 Testa Rossa, the 250 GT SWB and the aforementioned 250 GTO, and it’s likely that his Macchinetta creation played a role in his hiring.

If you look at the shape of Macchinetta at a glance, it is similar to the Ferrari Ouvo, the 1950s one-off car made by coachbuilder Carrozzeria Fontana which after completion was sent to Mexico, where the Marzotto brothers intended to participate in the Carrera Panamericana racing event in 1953.
1953 Macchinetta uses a 569cc SOHV four-cylinder engine with the Siata-owned cylinder head, and coupled with a pair of Dell'Orto carburetors. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/37sg6wo)
As previously mentioned that the cutie Macchinetta started life as a Fiat 500 B Topolino which uses a 569cc SOHV four-cylinder engine in standard conditions it only spewed power of 16.5 horsepower. Then Bizzarrini changing its cylinder head with the Siata-owned which allowed it to breathe more freely.

And those engine mated to a pair of Dell'Orto carburetors so that the power-bursted up to 30 horsepower. And to improve the car balance, the engine position is then placed in the backwards, from the top of the front wheels to near the center of the frame.
The most obvious change can be seen in the installation of the aerodynamic coupe body which replaces the original Fiat body. Then, under the aluminum shell, Bizzarrini fabricated a tubular steel frame similar to the construction used by the Ferrari cars of the day, with the application of a teardrop coachwork design that was a direct result of Bizzarrini's knowledge of airflow.

Even though its modest power output, Macchinetta proved capable of reaching a top speed of 95 mph, that's a speed number might proved daunting for passengers in such a small car. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | HEMMINGS ]
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