You Should Buy the Sultan of Brunei’s Wild Cizeta V16T for the Four Pop-Up Headlights Alone


The Sultan of Brunei’s car collection may be infamous for slowly rotting in a humid garage, but one of his most incredible cars escaped that fate and will soon be up for sale. This 1993 Cizeta V16T is, as its name implies, a V16 supercar that’s so rad that it came with four pop-up headlights. 

That’s right: four pop-ups. Electronic music pioneer Giorgio Moroder was also involved in the Cizeta’s early years such that the car was initially called the Cizeta-Moroder V16T, but Moroder departed from the project and was dropped from the name shortly after its debut. Just try to name a more nineties sports car than this. You can’t. 


Miami-based vintage supercar dealership Curated purchased this ex-Sultan of Brunei V16T, Chassis No. 101, about six months ago and plans to put it up for sale soon. This car was one of only nine ever made is the world’s only blue-on-blue example.

The car’s best feature—even more so than its wild looks—is its 6.0-liter rear-mid-mounted V16 engine, which made a claimed 540 brake horsepower at 8,000 RPM and 400 lb-ft of torque. The Oliviero Pedrazzi-engineered behemoth features 64 valves, eight camshafts, four cylinder heads, two fuel injection systems and two timing chains. While that’s got to be a total joy to work on, something tells me that its next owner will let a professional mechanic handle all of that. There’s a 37-gallon fuel tank to feed it. 


A five-speed ZF transaxle sends all that power to the car’s 17-inch rear wheels. The car itself is no slouch, either, featuring a tubular spaceframe chassis with a double-wishbone suspension design inspired by the race cars of the time. 

As for those wild looks, the V16T was designed by Claudio Zampolli, who played an integral part in the development of the Lamborghini Miura and the establishment of Lamborghini dealerships in the United States. That isn’t the only Lambo connection, however. Marcelo Gandini, who designed the Lamborghini Miura, Countach and the final version of the Diablo, penned the V16T’s original design. 

The final car was three inches wider than a Ferrari Testarossa and certainly bears some similarities to the Lambos of the era, but those four pop-ups make it just a bit more special. 


The Cizeta Automobili company was even named after Zampolli’s initials: CZ. The V16T itself was handbuilt mostly by former Ferrari and Lamborghini engineers at Cizeta’s facility in Modena, Italy. Bruno Paratelli, who did most of Lamborghini’s interiors at the time, finished out this V16T’s interior. 

The car was shown off at the Geneva Motor Show and used in many Cizeta press images, but was ordered new from Singapore-based dealership Hong Seh Motors on behalf of the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah. It was the sixth car Cizeta ever delivered from the factory, and featured horizontal strakes on the intakes as opposed to the vertical strakes that came standard. The exhaust on this car also appears to be modified, per the dealership’s notes. 


Before anyone gets too enamored with the sultan’s fantastic taste in cars, it’s worth noting that he’s a truly garbage authoritarian dictator who rules Brunei with a wanton disregard for human rights. On top of that, the collection in question is more like an automotive episode of “Hoarders,” with priceless exotics being left to rot. The sultan and his brother Jefri Bolkiah bought an estimated 2,500 or so cars when times were good for the tiny petrostate, but when Brunei’s economy tanked, most of that collection—which has been kept mostly secret over the years with the Bolkiahs rarely willing to sell—was left to rot. 

A few were sold off over the years, however, and it’s remarkable to find any of those cars out of the country, much less for sale. Bolkiah never even registered this Cizeta, keeping it in Singpore instead of bringing it to Brunei with the others. Hong Seh Motors shipped it to Curated in Miami in July. 

According to Curated, Zampolli himself claimed that Chassis No. 101 was his favorite V16T. This V16T has barely been used, with less than 600 miles on the odometer. The sale price is yet to be announced, but do budget for new tires if you plan on actually driving it, as they still show a date code of 1993. 

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