Bizzarrini finishes first ’65 Le Mans replica, Midwest plans “electric Route 66,” Lucid Air goes dark
57 years after Bizzarrini won Le Mans, it completes first throwback racer
INTAKE: In 1965, Giotto Bizzarrini, a former Ferrari engineer who founded his own car company, took his creation and entered it in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After finishing first in class and ninth overall, Bizzarrini drove the car back home to Northern Italy. That gave the company a shot in the arm, but only for a while. It folded four years later after building about 137 cars. There have been several attempts to reconstitute the company since then, but it seems to be back now with ownership from the Pegasus Brands, backed by Kuwaiti money. Last week, the new Bizzarrini delivered its first recreation of the car that raced at Le Mans. It’s number 1 of 24 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Corsa Revivals that will be built in the British factory. Each of the 24 continuation models is finished in Bizzarrini Rosso Corsa, with white numbered roundels so each client can choose his or her unique number to be hand-applied to their car. This livery, and indeed, the total number of cars being built is an homage to the 5300 GT Corsa chassis #0222, the Le Mans car. Built using the original blueprints and utilizing components from original suppliers with the input of experts originally involved in the 5300 GT project, it is as representative of the original as possible, while conforming to modern safety standards. The hand-built vehicles use a lightweight single piece composite body over a steel frame. Inside, the two seats are protected by a six-point roll cage. Power comes from a “period specific” 5300 cubic centimeter V-8 with Weber 45 DCOE carbs, developing over 400 horsepower to give a power to weight ratio comparable with a “modern-day supercar.”
Exhaust: The revived brand is charging customers almost $2M plus taxes for each of the hand-built cars, which is close to double what you’d have to pay now for an original, albeit less-exclusive, example. Worth it? 24 collectors must think so. — Nik Berg
Jay Leno experiences the hand of God, as engineered by Cadillac
Intake: “It feels like the hand of God pushing the car along,” says Jay Leno, in one of his best Jay Leno’s Garage segments available on YouTube. It’s about the 1930 Cadillac V-16 452A, which is a 452-cubic-inch V-16 with a modest 180 horsepower in a 7000-pound car. But the torque is amazing, Leno says. “The only sensation I can compare it to is getting into a Tesla or some other modern electric car. The sense of torque pushing you along.” The V-16—essentially the marriage of two Buick straight-eights—cost $6500 in 1930, when a new Model T was $240. And this was in the darkness of the Depression. “If you ever get a chance to drive a V-16 Cadillac, please take it. Or just ride in it if you can’t drive it, because it’s a really fascinating experience. It’s amazing how advanced it is over other cars of this era,” Leno says. “It’s when Cadillac truly was the standard of the world.”
Exhaust: One of the prettiest cars of its era, this example, from the Nethercutt Museum in California, is absolutely pristine. The video is 29 minutes long—at least watch until 9 minutes, 30 seconds to see how an engine bay should be designed. Worth noting: This car is technically a 1930, though Leno refers to it some as a 1932, when it officially came out. –Steven Cole Smith
4 states joining forces to build Lake Michigan EV Circuit Tour
Intake: Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced a collaboration with governors from Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin to build a road trip route designed specifically for electric vehicles. The Lake Michigan EV Circuit Tour, nicknamed the electric Route 66, will be a network of electric vehicle chargers spanning over 1100 miles of drivable shoreline around Lake Michigan. The chargers will be installed in key coastal communities at lighthouses, state parks, breweries, vineyards, restaurants, and other small businesses. Many of the network’s chargers are already operable, and the remaining chargers on the planned route are expected to be installed within three years.
Exhaust: Turns out EV chargers are a bit easier—and cheaper—to install than an inductive charging road. The lake-adjacent network is great news for EV owners, who will have peace of mind knowing they can enjoy a long tour in a beautiful area of the country without having to worry about searching for charging stations. In addition, the plan will boost the economy in communities along the route, especially after it gains popularity.
Lucid fulfills Air’s clear need for black trim
Intake: Starting Wednesday, August 10, buyers of Lucid’s sleek, six-figure electric sedan finally have the choice of black, rather than bright, chrome trim. The optional, $6000 “Stealth Look” darkens 35 components on your Air, whether in Touring, Grand Touring, or Grand Touring Performance trim. Stealth Look wheels, fitted with satin-black inserts, do vary in size and look based on trim: 21-inch “Aero Sport Stealth” rims or “Aero Lite Stealth” ones that are an inch smaller. You stealth-ify the mirror caps, lower trim, nose blade, and A-to-C-pillar arc on your Air in conjunction with any of the paint colors offered by Lucid: white, black, silver, grey, and red, but Lucid doesn’t expect to start actually building Stealth-spec Airs until the beginning of 2023.
Exhaust: Black trim isn’t just for “sporty” minivans or plastic-clad off-roaders: Especially in a satin or matte finish, it’s the chic trim of choice for the minimalist, new-money crowd, whether shopping kitchen fixtures, credit cards, or automotive accessories. Lucid is California-based, so it only makes sense that its aesthetic is hip with the trendiest of youths. For our full review of Lucid’s Tesla killer, click here; if you’re nostalgic for the chrome-bedecked, big-finned American sedans of yore, mosey in this direction.