This is the last set of pics from the show. Only 412 Iso Grifos were made from 1965-1974. The body was designed by Bertone in Italy, but the cars were powered by Corvette 327/300 HP small blocks and Muncie M-21 4-speed transmissions. Suspension was from the larger Jaguar cars of the period. Top speed on the small block cars was 160 MPH.
The owner has had this car for 20 years and a full restoration was done on the car from 1995-1998. The body is hand-formed steel, although there was another competition variant marketed with an aluminum body.
There was also a 7 Litri version that used a Corvette 427 engine. The brand new engines were shipped to Italy where they were butt and blueprinted to Iso's specs. A hood scoop was added to accommodate the larger engine. Here is a pic of a 427 car:
When I was young I had one of those Viewmaster deals that you could look at slides with. I had a slide set from the movie "The Love Bug" and used to look at the cars in it all the time. I mentioned this to the owner and he knew exactly what I was talking about. I don't have a copy of the movie but I think there was one or more of these cars in it. I spotted the side profile of the car and the memory started bubbling up. I think there were 3 in the movie: silver, gold, and a red one the villains drove.
So I blew off work Monday researching the car and found some pretty interesting stuff.
The Iso company was originally named Isothermos and made refrigeration units before WWII. After the war the company began manufacturing scooters and motorcycles
. At some point they decided to make cars and produced one named the Isetta:
Easy to see the refrigerator/scooter influence on this one.
Back to the Grifo. The A3/L prototype for this car debuted at the 1963 Turin Auto Show, officially named Salone dell'automobile di Torino
. Also known as the Torino Show.
The original 1963 prototype
is currently on display in Las Vegas.
The hood scoop on the prototype that resembles the one on our cars never made it to production. The side louvers on the Grifo also stand out to me.
The front clip was changed in 1970 to include partially hidden headlights.
Iso's business relationship with Chevrolet eventually soured and in 1971 Boss 351C engines and ZF 5-speed manual transmissions were installed in the cars until the company's demise in 1974. The new Ford-powered model was designated IR8. The sketchy documentation I have found says the IR8 models have a more aggressive scoop, if that's possible.
Here is an article about an English owner's restoration of his Grifo. Hit Cancel on the Autoprint thing that pops up.http://www.butt.com/uk/magazine/popup_print.asp?print=true&lPageID=3200&id=13141
What I find interesting about this article is how the Grifo has an identity issue with Ferraris the way Torinos have with others sometimes.