You should absolutely buy this Cizeta V16T at auction

By topgear, 08 January 2021

Pop-up headlights are the greatest, aren’t they? So why settle for the usual two, when you could have four… like the Cizeta V16T has. You actually can have these four pop-up headlights, too, because this particular V16T is heading up for auction at the RM Sotheby’s Arizona sale later this month. Break out the cheque book.

The guide price is between US$600,000 and US$750,000 (approx. RM2,425,500 and RM3,031,875), but then this thing is properly rare. Let’s go through its story… after one last look at those lights.

And we’re back in the room. What a fantastically bonkers looking thing. The Cizeta (unfortunately pronounced ‘cheese-eater’, or so we’re told) was the brainchild of Claudio Zampolli, an ex-Lamborghini engineer who had moved to Los Angeles and set up a business servicing supercars. 

In the late 1980s, Zampolli decided that it was time to build something of his own, so he teamed up with music producer Giorgio Moroder, who had just written the song Take My Breath Away for the 1986 film Top Gun. Of course he had.

To one-up the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini, an all-aluminium, single-block 6.0-litre V16 engine was developed and connected to a five-speed manual gearbox. Power stood at 540bhp and was sent to the rear wheels alone. Spiky. 

As you might have guessed, the brilliant bodywork was styled by Marcelo Gandini and although Moroder left the project after the first prototype, Zampolli managed to get nine (or 11 – it’s disputed) examples built.


Three of those cars were ordered new by the Royal Family of Brunei, because one V16-engined supercar would clearly not suffice. Two black examples were later modified by Pininfarina and fitted with Ferrari flat-12 engines (boo) but this blue one was shipped to Hong Seh Motors in Singapore on the Royal Family’s behalf – although not before being shown at the 1993 Geneva Motor Show. 

Strangely, it never left Singapore and sat at Hong Seh for over 25 years before being saved and restored by its current owner. There’s fewer than 620 miles (998km) on its clock though, most of which will have been accrued during testing – what a crying shame.

Still, it’s now in full working order, so whoever buys this thing has absolutely no excuse for not driving it. Well, maybe wait until the snow stops first…

Images: RM Sotheby’s