Thursday Trivia

Thirsday Trivia
Welcome to Thursday Trivia where we offer up a historical automotive trivia question and you try and solve it before seeing the answer after the jump. It’s like a history test, with cars!
This week’s question: Who was the engineer that developed both Ferrari’s 250 GTO and Lamborghini’s original V12, and what is the name given to the event that made this possible?
If you think you know the answer, make the jump and see if you’re right.
Bizzarrini_Lamborghini_DallaraThe relationship between Italian supercar makers in the ’60s was truly incestuous. You might think that each unique brand – Ferrari, Lamborghini, ATS, Rivolta, etc – was a self-contained success story, but in fact most all of them had some sort of Kevin Bacon-like connection.
The two most notable super car builders today – Ferrari and Lamborghini – stand apart, but I’m sure everyone’s familiar with the latter’s origin, and how it was made possible by il Commendatore being a dick to tractor magnate Ferruccio Elio Arturo Lamborghini. It apparently was Ferrari’s laconic attitude that sent his top engineer to Lamborghini as well, where he designed the engine that allowed that tractor builder to become one of Ferrari’s biggest competitors. That happened in an event that has gone down in automotive history.
From (emphasis added):

Enzo was the mastermind of Ferrari’s success, but Giotto Bizzarrini was the brains within the company. He only worked at Ferrari for a few years starting in 1957, and eventually made his way up to the chief engineer position. During this time he lead development of the 250 GTO, which is now the most legendary, sought-after sports cars in the world.
In 1961 Bizzarrini and four other engineers left Ferrari a result of some staff reorganization implemented by Enzo. The event was given the typically Italian, overly dramatic name of “the Ferrari night of the long knives.” After a few upstart ventures, Bizzarrini ended up at Lamborghini where he designed the Bizzarrini V12 — the architecture of which was used in Lamborghinis from 1964 until the Murcielago ceased production in 2010!

In addition to working on the Lamborghini V12, Bizzarrini worked for a short time for Automobili Truismo e Sport (ATS), as well as for Renzo Rivolta on the Iso Gordon project. He eventually formed his own company – Societa Prototipi Bizzarrini (Bizzarrini S.p. A) – which produced a series of Chevy-powered supercars and racers, cars that are coveted today for their beauty and engineering.
Image: Wikipedia

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  1. jim Avatar

    Never heard of “the Ferrari night of the long knives”, it’s usually referred to as “the Palace Revolt”. And Mr Lamborghini first name was Ferruccio, not Giotto.

  2. dukeisduke Avatar

    Iso Gordon – do you mean Iso Grifo?

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      Renzo Rivolta hired him as consultant to the Iso Gordon GT project which became the Iso Rivolta GT.
      The Gordon comes from the Gordon-Keeble, which I’ve never heard of but evidently it’s British and goes something like this…

      1. dr zero Avatar
        dr zero

        And have a totally awesome turtle as a badge:

        1. Batshitbox Avatar

          Yep! I think that was the answer to a Hooniverse quiz question many moons ago.