Long after Giotto Bizzarrini was done coming up with Ferrari's best race cars, Lamborghini's legendary V12 or his own American V8-powered machinery, a team led by California car designer Barry Watkins approached him with the concept for a new supercar wearing a Bizzarrini badge.
In 1994, Watkins and his business partner Luis Romo formed a company called World Super Cars to produce a prototype, based on a Ferrari Testarossa with a new body designed by Bizzarrini. It was made entirely of carbon fiber, with a lightweight carbon clutch by Tilton Industries, Penske shocks, an Alcon brake system and Goodyear's latest rubber.
The Bizzarrini BZ-2001 joined such royalty on the list of Testarossa-based one-offs as Pininfarina's gift to the the boss of bosses—Gianni Agnelli—the Testarossa Spider; the also Pininfarina-made ; the ; or Luigi Colani's insane Bonneville record holder, the . Last but not least, who could forget Zagato's Testarossa interpretation, the FZ93?
As for the most 1990s Testarossa of them all, the Bizzarrini BZ 2001, remained a prototype, partly due to what Watkins claims was a failed deal with Lamborghini's suitor at the time, Malaysian carmaker Proton. :
During 1993, an insider working on the acquisition of Lamborghini from Chrysler Corporation, had introduced us to the Indonesians that eventually bought Lamborghini. They appeared to be very interested in buying the design rights to the BZ 2001 to make a V10 concept to compete with Ferrari V8s. There appeared to be a reason to put the elements together of the Lamborghini V12 motor creator (Bizzarrini) and a car of the day with his design input. The Indonesians bought Lamborghini and when the Lotus people were brought in to run Lamborghini, the BZ 2001 / Lamborghini concept died.
While the prototype was doing its rounds with the media, Watkins begin building the production version on a custom steel spaceframe chassis, using a seven-liter four-cam aluminum V8 of their own design. This car never came to be, leaving us with yet another prototype that failed to put Bizzarrini back on the automotive map.