Have you ever wondered what the godfather of synth music would drive if he could create his own vehicle? Look no further than this beast. The godfather is Giorgio Moroder and the car is the Cizeta.
If you think this looks a lot like a Lamborghini Diablo, it's no coincidence. When Lamorghini was readying to replace the aging Countach towards the end of the 80s, Marcello Gandini, creator of the original, offered a wild new design. But Chrysler had a controlling interest in Lamborghini since 1987 and softened the edges of what Gandini submitted. Gandini took it as an insult, so he and a band of employees quit and joined forces with Claudio Zampolli to create a new brand and execute his original, pure, undiluted vision of an all-out supercar.
Gandini's vision features harder corners, crisper lines and geometric shaped. There are no circles, except for the wheels. The rear tapers dramatically down to the nose, pulling the side windows with it. The front features four (!) pop up headlights in stacks of two, smoked turn indicators, and four fog lights below that. In a slight misstep, the cheese-grater side intakes are too similar to the Ferrari Testarossa, but later versions would have more creative vertical slots.
The seller provides one dark and blurry photo of the interior. It's all-business and no-nonsense, swathed in dark plastics and leather.
In the rear is the stuff of fantasy. The Cizeta is powered by a two transversely mounted 90-degree flat plane V8 engines in one 5,995cc block. That's right. This monster has 16-cylinders working to move it from 0-60 mph in 4 seconds!
The Cizeta was launched with a glittery presentation at the 1988 Los Angeles Auto Show, beating the Diablo by two years. The press was excited, and the idea of having synth maestro Moroder's involved upped the glamour and coolness factor by an infinite degree. The car was priced at $300,000. It made quite an impression, but this was out of reach for all but a select few. The economy was slowing down, and tastes were changing. As such, just a mere 8 were made until the company dissolved in 1994. It was also never made street legal for North America, and a red example was famously (and shamefully) confiscated by the U.S. government in 2009, with a local agent snootily claiming it posed a threat to "public safety and health". What a load of sh*t. Don't they have anything better to do than steal private property? Bill Clinton's infamous Show & Display law (to help pal Bill Gates nab a Porsche 959) still lets people import non-street-legal cars, but just not for use on public roads. So what gives?
It's not exactly clear what has happened to Cizeta in successive years. And although Moroder invested in the car and original press releases bore his name, it never actually appeared on the car except on the prototype. Sources say Moroder pulled out in 1990, and the original Italy-based Cizeta company went bankrupt in 1994, but a website is up and running and accepting orders of the vehicle at a build-on-demand basis. Zampolli was last heard moving to California and founding Cizeta Automobili USA. Did he own the red car that was confiscated? Is Cizeta still alive? Will they ever be road legal here?
Fortunately, this example is somewhere in Europe, where it must be legal to drive. The seller states it is one of 3 built in right-hand drive, and the only one in blue. They don't list an odometer reading, but say it is in excellent condition. I'm betting it's been barely touched.
This thing has enormous history, super-low production volume, and tons of style and power. The fact that it's such a naughty car to have here only makes it more seductive and elusive. I love it.
Find the dealer listing here in the Czech Republic, and a classic car site ad here, where they say the price has been reduced to $500,000.