Bonhams : 1952 Lazzarino Sports Racer Chassis no. 0004 Engine no. M17144
1952 Lazzarino Sports Racer  Chassis no. 0004 Engine no. M17144

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Lot 361
1952 Lazzarino Sports Racer
Chassis no. 0004 Engine no. M17144

Sold for US$ 130,200 inc. premium
1952 Lazzarino Sports Racer
Chassis no. 0004
Engine no. M17144
Carrozzeria Lazzarino rings no bells even with those deeply immersed in coachbuilt Italian cars, but had history been slightly different, Bautista, his father Juan and brother Miguel would have been spoken of in the same breath as Pininfarina, Ghia, Frua, Zagato, Vignale, Bertone and the other Turinese greats. And indeed, Bautista Lazzarino started out in that city of master metal shapers, but fortune delivered him to Buenos Aires, where his fame has largely remained.

Carrocería Lazzarino did indeed garner fame and acclaim and stayed successfully in business for many decades, building cars for discerning Argentines, as well as experiments of their own such as the P.B.T. microcar and masterful Hispano-Argentina. Those were also the years of a thriving racing scene in Buenos Aires, from the Grand Prix exploits of the immortal Fangio to the road races held every weekend throughout the area. And once the Fifties arrived Ferrari was the one to beat, so it was a Ferrari 212 that the president of Ford of Argentina was after. But there were none to be had at any price, so he turned to "Tino" Lazzarrino, who in recent years had been making aerodynamic front ends for endurance racers.

With access to Ford mechanicals, Carroz' Lazzarino built a lightweight roadster on the Ferrari pattern. The power was from an Argentine-built Ford Flathead V-8, mounted in a welded tubular steel frame, with a steel body over superleggera-style square tubing. For lightness, the hood is aluminum, as is the entire hand-cut, hand riveted interior. It didn't weigh much over 2,000 pounds when built and according to legend it was brutally fast—too fast, as it almost killed the buyer's son. After that, and probably after a period of disuse, the V-8 drivetrain was removed and replaced with the 180hp Argentine-built Chrysler Slant Six it uses today (the original V-8 is in Europe, but it does not come with the car and is in unsalvageable condition). A spectacular and unique pair of Offenhauser intakes and Holley Argelite carburetors is a topic of conversation wherever cognoscenti gather, and as a bonus, access is excellent thanks to the front-pivoting hood. The all-synchro four-speed transmission is also of Argentine make and appears to be a derivation of the Chrysler A-833; the rear axle appears to be Chrysler-derived as well. These highly effective and well-proven units have the benefit of being largely compatible with their American equivalents, greatly simplifying maintenance.

While the Lazz is inscribed with Chassis # 004, no one in the US or Argentina has uncovered any evidence of there being comparable earlier cars; likely, numbers 001-003 were something unrelated, if they indeed existed at all. # 004 remained in Argentina until purchased by the consignor in 2004, who intercepted it on its way to a dealer in Belgium and had it delivered to the United States. After thorough refurbishment, it was used for long-distance events, the consignor personally racing it many thousands of miles in competitions such as the Great Race from Philadelphia to San Francisco. It has been maintained exclusively by specialists Georgica Services during that time, and in preparation for the sale has undergone all necessary work to bring it into top operating and cosmetic condition. There is a comprehensive file of documentation, including Argentine export documents.

In contrast to many vintage cars, the Lazz is as fast as it looks, easily capable of sub-eight second 0-60 times, and the top speed is somewhere north of 100 MPH. For a fraction of the million-plus dollars for a Ferrari 212, the Lazz is just as fast, has all the provenance and is far more comfortable and useable (the consignor at over six feet tall and 200 pounds fits comfortably for a 12-hour stint at the wheel). Unlike one of the dozens of Ferrari 212s, though, there is only one Lazzarino.
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1952 Lazzarino Sports Racer  Chassis no. 0004 Engine no. M17144
1952 Lazzarino Sports Racer  Chassis no. 0004 Engine no. M17144
1952 Lazzarino Sports Racer  Chassis no. 0004 Engine no. M17144
1952 Lazzarino Sports Racer  Chassis no. 0004 Engine no. M17144
1952 Lazzarino Sports Racer  Chassis no. 0004 Engine no. M17144
1952 Lazzarino Sports Racer  Chassis no. 0004 Engine no. M17144
1952 Lazzarino Sports Racer  Chassis no. 0004 Engine no. M17144
1952 Lazzarino Sports Racer  Chassis no. 0004 Engine no. M17144
1952 Lazzarino Sports Racer  Chassis no. 0004 Engine no. M17144
1952 Lazzarino Sports Racer  Chassis no. 0004 Engine no. M17144
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