Between 1948 and 1985, Ilario Bandini of Forli, Italy, produced a number of small displacement racecars at his Alfa Romeo dealership. Many were successful in the Italian National Classes, and even more were successful during the heyday of the 750cc H Modified class in Sports Car Club of America. He also produced a beautiful 1100cc Formula Junior.
Bandini was noted for his unique oval shaped ladder chassis, the modified Crosley engine with a Bandini DOHC aluminum head, and the attractive bodies made for the chassis, both in "barchetta" form (with clamshell removeable fenders) and "saponetta" (little bar of soap) or envelope body.
In the late 1950s, Bandini decided to create a small displacement Grand Touring car, using a 1000cc and 750cc version of the Crosley Bandini engine. Corna was responsible for the 1000cc Berlinetta, and the 750 cc chassis was given to Zagato in 1957 to design and construct a coupe based on the same lines as the famous Abarth 750 GT. Longer, a little larger and with a front engine and wire wheels, the Bandini Zagato was even more attractive than the Abarth Zagato. Only one car was built. Some sources say the car's chassis dates back to 1955, but the car was finished for sure in 1957 when it was awarded first prize in the Concours d'Elegance of Rimini. It was imported to the U.S. for the Racemasters USA team in 1959 and was raced a.o. at Daytona and Sebring by Victor Lukens and Fred Haynes. Many years later the Bandini Zagato was rescued by VSCCA member Jerry Greaves. It was eventually returned to Italy under the care of Bandini's nephew Dino.
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