Registration No: GBD 442C Chassis No: BO 215 Chassis B0215 is the only right-hand drive A3/C with period competition history and a riveted aluminium body by Drogo. This magnificent car is powered by a Pete Knight 5.3L Chevrolet engine fitted with a Holley and currently producing 520bhp on the dyno and a top speed of circa 176mph. Beautifully prepared by Stanton Motorsports for an owner with a cavalier disregard for expense the car specs include De Dion rear suspension, BPA LSD, correct Dunlop brakes and a full leather interior. The car is offered with HTP & FIA papers and with a significant history file. It is road registered and has an additional engine and some running spares. This well-known car has been a regular entrant at all the most prestigious events including Le Mans & Spa. It makes a noise like the wrath of God and your mother is not going to like it. 18.05.2014 HSCC Silverstone International Circuit Northamptonshire England. GT and Sports Car Cup #77 Alex Bell and Peter Bradfield Iso Grifo A3 and C
The story of Iso Automobili begins with “Isothermos”, a refrigerator manufacturer in Genoa, Italy. In 1942, a motor-mad industrialist and engineer named Renzo Rivolta took over the business, renamed it Iso Autoveicoli and moved the whole works to Bresso, just outside of Milan. Under Rivolta’s guidance, Iso gradually moved away from refrigeration and began building motorcycle around 1948. Iso motorcycles were very expensive, but also very desirable thanks to robust engineering and exquisite build quality. In the early years after World War II, Italy was struggling to recover from the pummeling it received by both Allied and Axis forces. Motorcycles were popular, providing cheap transportation to get the nation back on wheels. But people also needed something more practical and usable on a daily basis. Iso unveiled the Isetta bubble car in 1953 – a three (later four) wheeled car powered by a motorbike engine and with room for two adults and a bag or two of groceries. The cheeky little Isetta proved popular enough to inspire Renzo Rivolta to sell the rights to produce his car to other manufacturers. Most notably, it is the car that helped BMW survive the post-war years and put Germany back on wheels. Selling the rights afforded Rivolta a generous pile of cash which he in turn used to develop a rather more luxurious machine compared to the tiny Isetta. In the early 1960’s Renzo Rivolta teamed up with Giotto Bizzarrini and Giorgetto Giugiaro on GT car that was more suited to the rapidly recovering global market. The new car, named Rivolta, is one of the first examples of the “hybrid” sports car to come out of Europe in the 1960’s. Italian designed and built, the car was constructed with a pressed sheet steel frame and fitted with a proven, reliable and affordable Chevrolet 327 V8 lifted from the Corvette. The suspension was comprised of wishbones up front and a proven DeDion rear axle with limited slip Salisbury diff – a tough and reliable unit used by Jaguar for years. Also courtesy of the Brits were the Dunlop four-wheel disc brakes. The Iso Rivolta was rounded out with luxurious and comfortable four-seat cabin, delightfully described in period literature as having “Efficient functioning united to sober elegance”. Performance was strong thanks to a minimum of 300hp from the Corvette engine in the IR 300, and 350hp from the IR 340. The literature also proclaimed the Iso Rivolta was “Silent from 40-240 (kph) in top gear!” That was enough to convince 792 lucky buyers over a 7 year span to shell out their hard earned Lire for a chance to own one of these stylish and elegant GT cars. This 1969 Iso Rivolta IR 340 is one of the very last Rivolta’s made. The car was completed on March 5, 1969, and delivered new to Sig. Oglihri in Italy, and was equipped with the 350 hp motor, 4 speed transmission, 3.31 rear end, Borrani wheels, air conditioning, and quick steering. It is a very pretty and well restored example that has benefited from proper care while in the hands of a marque enthusiast, and is one of only 167 produced with the higher horsepower motor. The paint quality is very good, the older restoration having been done to a high standard. Panel fit is excellent the gaps are consistent, and the body lines crisp and well defined. The red paint is very attractive, accented with good quality chrome and polished brightwork. The aforementioned Borrani wheels are painted in the proper shade of silver/gray, lending an understated and classic look to the Giugiaro-penned lines. The wheels wear new Vredestein tires that offer the proper period look combined with modern performance. The Rivolta was an expensive and luxurious GT car for its day, with a beautifully finished cabin and plenty of standard equipment. Our fine example doesn’t disappoint when you climb aboard. Occupants are treated to tan leather covering the four seats, door panels and dash. The interior was retrimmed some time ago but remains in excellent condition, showing little wear, exhibiting a pleasingly broken-in quality. Brown carpets complement the tan leather very nicely and present in fine condition. This car wears original air conditioning, power windows, original shift knob and steering wheel. The wood instrument panel is in excellent condition, fitted with an array of original European-specification gauges. This fabulous example retains its original matching numbers matching 350 hp Corvette-sourcedengine, and as such returns excellent performance and reliability. It is also very easily serviced by any competent classic car specialist, making it an ideal choice for Italian car enthusiasts who prefer to drive their cars on a regular basis without worrisome service bills. Few examples of the handsome Iso Rivolta are as correct and well presented, and thanks to regular care it is very healthy and ready for Grand Touring in classic Italian style.
Going back through the history of the Automobile, we quite often find manufacturers that get into the car business either by accident or thanks to the passionate efforts of a singular individual. Companies like Pierce-Arrow (bicycles and bird cages), Lamborghini (farm tractors) and Studebaker (wagons and carriages) had successfully made the transition to automobiles while Pegaso (heavy trucks) and Vespa (motor scooters) were mere blips on the radar screen. Somewhere in the middle of success and obscurity lies Iso, a firm that started life as Isothermos, a refrigerator manufacturer in Genoa, Italy. In 1942, a motor-mad industrialist and engineer named Renzo Rivolta took over the business, renamed it Iso Autoveicoli and moved it to Bresso, just outside of Milan. Rivolta moved away from refrigeration and started building motorcycles in 1948. His motorcycles were expensive, but very desirable thanks to robust engineering and superior build quality. Immediately after World War II, Italy struggled to recover from the massive devastation it suffered. Motorcycles proved popular but they were not for everyone and people needed more practical transportation. In 1953, Renzo Revolta unveiled the Iso Isetta bubble car; a three (later four) -wheeled car powered by a motorbike engine with room for two adults and a bag or two of groceries. The cheeky little Isetta proved popular enough to inspire Renzo Rivolta to sell the rights to produce his car to other manufacturers, most notably, BMW. Selling the rights afforded Rivolta a fair bit of cash to take a significant leap into the luxury and performance car market he dreamed of. Flush with cash, he developed the Rivolta GT car, various versions of the Grifo sports car. After Renzo’s untimely death, his son Piero took over the helm and oversaw development of the four-seat Lele and a luxurious, high performance sedan called the Fidia. The Fidia was launched in 1968 to be sold alongside the Grifo and Lele. It featured a traditional tubular chassis with deDion rear suspension and disc brakes. Power was courtesy of a Chevrolet Small Block V8, though contract disputes later led Iso to switch to Ford power later on. The body was penned by Giugiaro and built by Ghia, and it featured an aggressive nose not unlike the DeTomaso Mangusta, and a distinct sloping tail. The large four-seat super sedan was dubbed “The Fastest Four Seats in the World”. The luxurious Fidia cost more than a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow and went head-to-head with Maserati’s Quattroporte, competing for a share of an admittedly tiny market. The Fidia outsold the Quattroporte on occasion, in spite of the fact that just 192 were built between 1968 and 1974, with the likes of John Lennon, Sonny Bono and Pete Townshend all having a Fidia in their stable at one time. Our featured Iso Fidia sedan is surely one of the finest examples we have ever seen. It presents beautifully in rich black paint with a gorgeous, freshly restored tan leather cabin. A tremendous amount of money spent on a high quality restoration to make this a stunning and thoroughly usable machine. The comprehensive restoration work, carried out by the experts at Autosport Designs of Huntington, New York, has been executed to a very high standard and includes a freshened drivetrain, excellent brightwork and all new rubber weatherstripping. The paint and panel fit is exquisite and the big Bertone body is arrow straight. This being a classic 1960’s luxury express, the cabin is a of course the center piece and this example has been restored to a fabulous standard. Beautiful tan leather is highlighted by show quality woodwork and detailing. A high end audio system has been installed and artfully integrated into the cabin, with speakers hidden behind leather kick panels. Of course, niceties such as power windows and air conditioning are standard fare. The long, low Fidia rides on a set of fantastic original Campagnolo alloy wheels on proper blackwall radials. It puts its thumping American horsepower to the ground through an automatic transmission, which only serves to make this an outstanding continental cruiser. It has been wisely upgraded with an aluminium radiator to ensure trouble-free running on hot days. The sale includes restoration records and an original owner’s manual. Restored to show standards but built to be driven and enjoyed, this rare, magnificent and imposing Fidia is an exquisite example of the other great Italian super-sedan.