Picture this: it’s December 1988, you’re at a ritzy party in Los Angeles funded by Giorgio “Father of Disco” Moroder and hosted by Jay Leno. The lights go down, a song that could have been ripped from the soundtrack of any ‘80s blockbuster starts up, a blue laser draws a logo reminiscent of the ThunderCats symbol on a curtain, and then it’s pulled back to reveal the star of the night: a brand-new Italian supercar.
The vehicle in question is called the Cizeta-Moroder V16T, and the exact car that was unveiled that night is headed to auction this January via RM Sotheby’s. (Someone has uploaded video of the event to YouTube, in case you need proof of a party that feels like the result of an ’80s-themed Mad Lib.) A model of that decade’s excess, this prototype was eventually followed up by nine production cars; but while a handmade, 1-of-10 supercar with a 16-cylinder engine is certainly special enough for any collector, what we’re really dealing with here is a 1-of-1 rarity you actually can (and should) drive.
First off, it’s the only car in the world badged as a Cizeta-Moroder. The name comes from mashing up the Italian pronunciation of the initials of Claudio Zampolli, the man behind the build who started his career as a Lamborghini test driver and engineer, with the last name of Italian music producer and composer Giorgio Moroder, who largely funded the project.
The prototype up for sale is being offered by Moroder himself, who has been the sole owner of the car. As RM Sotheby’s writes, the Oscar and Grammy winner ended his partnership with Zampolli after building this first car “due to frustrations over delays,” which is why the following production vehicles were all simply badged as Cizetas.
As for the car itself, there are a few points that make the design particularly special. The transverse-mounted 6.0-liter V16 engine (laid out in a T-shape, thus the name) was created by Zampolli for this car, 16 cylinders being a rarity even among supercars at the time. The bodywork was designed by Marcello Gandini, the Italian automotive designer behind such icons as the Lamborghini Miura, Countach and Diablo (you can easily see some of the latter two in the Cizeta-Moroder). And as Brendan McAleer explained in a story for Hagerty back in 2018, the build quality and driving experience actually lived up to all that hype. This is no garage queen.
As for how the design differs from the rest of the V16Ts, RM Sotheby’s explains you’ll find deviations inside and out.
“Some of the exterior differences include significantly larger side air intakes with more strakes, a diagonal crease in the lower bodywork tying into the rear bumper design, different turn signals and fog lamps, and different side mirrors,” the listing states. “Chassis 001 also has a completely unique interior, with the dashboard, central tunnel, steering wheel, door panels, and seats all different from those of the production V16T.”
If you’re interested in snapping up the one-of-a-kind supercar, it will be sold at RM Sotheby’s 23rd annual Arizona sale on January 27 at the Arizona Biltmore & Spa in Phoenix. The estimated hammer price is between $900,000 and $1,200,000.
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