Tag Archives: Chevrolet

1967 Iso Grifo 7.0

Renzo Rivolta, the engineer behind Iso, got his start by manufacturing refrigerators in 1939. Hence the name Iso, deriving from the name "Isothermos." Eventually the company moved onto motorcycle and scooter production, followed by microcars such as the Isetta, which was licensed by BMW. With the help from Giotto Bizzarrini, Rivolta went about creating his first attempt at a sports cars, powered by a 327 cubic inch V8 from the Chevrolet Corvette. Called the Rivolta, this car was achingly beautiful, having been designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro during his stint at Bertone.

The follow on to the Rivolta was the Grifo, built on a modified Rivolta chassis and powered by the same small block Chevrolet engine. Later on in the production run, the small block engine gave way to the big block Chevrolet 454 engine. With a fastback body and engine pushed rearward into the cabin, this car has a much more hunkered down versus the Rivolta, which was more of a luxury coupe. For sale in New York, this Grifo comes with an interesting history and a few modern updates.

1967 Iso Grifo 7.0

Ruby Red with Tan leather interior, 5 miles since restorations, ZF 5-speed transmission and air conditioning. This 7.0 Liter Grifo, “The Ennezeta” is believed to be the last Grifo remaining on the assembly line when the factory closed in 1974. It is well known in Iso Owner’s Club circles. It was completed sometime thereafter by a well known fabrication firm, Ennezeta, established by several former Iso employees. The car was VIN number (223225). Beyond the unique history, the car incorporates several distinct characteristics from other Grifos, these include a lower profile hood than big-block Grifo’s and lower valance panels including rear brake cooling ducts. Combined with the vibrant color set off by the brushed aluminum trim, the car has tremendous presence. The car was honored most recently as part of Quail Lodge’s 50 Anniversary commemoration of Iso automobiles.

The car is well known to Autosport Designs where the car was purchased in 2003 by its present owner. The present owner undertook a number of upgrades completed by Autosport Designs to make it well suited for long distance touring. These included the addition of a stereo and trunk-mounted CD changer with the controller discretely placed in the ashtray and rear speakers placed in leather trimmed enclosures beneath the rear parcel shelf, electronic ignition and a Richmond six speed transmission. The original ZF 5-speed is included with the car. Price: $265,000.

This Grifo is in good shape, but I'm not exactly certain why the seller has this advertised as a 1967. This car is being described as one of the last Grifos to emerge from the factory, in addition to having the later big block engine. I'm guessing this is probably a 1974 model, given that was the last year of Grifo production. However, with the earlier front end styling, it could be an earlier production model with later updates. Whatever this car might be, there are questions that need to be answered.

The market for Grifos ranges roughly from $150,000 to $250,000. Given the unique history of this car, I'm surprised the owner made so many modifications, even if it makes the car more drivable. At least the original ZF transmission is included. It's not surprising the asking price is well over $200,000, but whether an exotic with an obscure badge will command the asking price remains to be seen.

-Paul

1963 Iso Rivolta GT

We normally don't feature fixer-uppers here on CICFS, but the Iso Rivolta is such a rare, beautiful piece that in any state, it deserves a bit of respect. The brainchild of Renzo Rivolta, this car combined a Chevrolet 327 cubic inch V8 with Giugiaro styling to produce what was one of the most handsome Italo-American collaborations. This Rivolta for sale in Texas looks fairly complete and has had some work done already, but needs a bit more effort to bring it back to its former glory.

1963 Iso Rivolta GT

1968 Iso Rivolta GT #51. This car was built in 1963, but not titled until 1968. It has been in Dallas for over 30 years by the same owner. It is a running, driving project. Recently rebuilt 350, Muncie 4-speed. New brakes and clutch. Has factory trunk A/C. Power steering now converted to rack and pinion. New correct front floors. Rear floors are a little weak. New headliner and windshield rubber. Lots of extra parts to include. Euro gauges, six Campagnolo knockoffs, two rear ends and a correct 327 block. Driver door window not working.

I've never seen a Rivolta in blue. Whether this color is original remains to be debated, but I'd almost be inclined to keep it this color, especially if this was how it was manufactured. Clean Iso Rivoltas can fetch somewhere between $40,000 to $75,000 on average. Given this car's current, half restored state, you're probably looking at a car worth somewhere around $25,000 to $30,000. The mechanicals on this car would be easy enough to sort, but if any of the trim items are missing, this could be a maddening project. Given this is one of my favorite designs from the 1960s, for me, it would be worth it.

-Paul

1964 Iso Rivolta GT300

American engines combined with European chassis have made for some of the most interesting vehicles over the course of automotive history. The Jensen Interceptor we featured last month was an amazing combination of American muscle, British engineering and most importantly, Italian styling. The AC Ace and Sunbeam Alpine were transformed into automotive monsters when Carroll Shelby worked his magic on them with Ford’s V8 engines. A lesser known example of American and European collaboration was the Iso Rivolta. Developed by Italian engineer Renzo Rivolta, who was famous for bringing the Isetta microcar to market, this grand touring coupe combined the 327 cubic inch V8 from the Chevrolet Corvette and two door body shell designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro during his stint at Bertone. This was a stately machine, with a presence which rivaled Maseratis of the day. Over eight years, nearly 800 were sold and are sought after today by collectors seeking something just a bit more special than your “average” Ferrari or Maserati.

1964 Iso Rivolta GT300

With maniacal care, restored perfectly. 44,308 km (~ 27,500 mi).

While no price is listed, if I had to take a stab, I’d say a car like this, fully restored, could bring anywhere between $40,000 to $70,000 in today’s market. These are not well known stateside, but those who know this car recognize it for being one of the most subtle and desirable combinations of American power and Italian coach building to emerge from the 1960s.

-Paul