Tag Archives: Iso

1968 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada – REVISIT

Considered by many to be one of the prettiest GT cars ever made, the Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada I wrote up in April is back up on eBay. With bidding at $200,000 but the reserve still on, there's a long way to go until this car hits market value. That market value is still substantially below what equivalent Ferraris and Lamborghinis cost these days though, so this could be one of the more reasonable classic Italian top tier GT cars you can buy. Of course, you have to win the auction first....

CLICK FOR DETAILS:1968 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada on Ebay

The below post appeared on our site originally on April 2, 2014:

The other day, I wrote up an Iso A3C; a neat and fairly rare race car from the mid 1960s that marked a period where Iso and ex-Ferrari designer Bizzarrini worked together to create the beautiful and fast race car; however, shortly after the Grifo-based A3C launched its race career, Bizzarrini and Renzo Rivolta parted ways. The result was that Bizzarrini continued to build road-going versions of the A3C, now dubbed the Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada, for a few years. While more plentiful than the A3C, they're certainly not a car you come by every day - which is why it's an extra-special treat to see one pop up on Ebay:

Year: 1968
Model: 5300GT Strada
Engine: 5.4 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: Not Listed
Price: No Reserve Auction

Bizzarrini 5300 Strada, 1968
restored by Salvatore Diomante, the factory manager who never stop taking care of the Iso and Bizzarrini
350 CV, documented, alloy body
The cars who have won awards at Pebble Beach are Diomante restorations
0 km since restoration
Contact me if real interest

I have to say, it takes a large set of attachments to post such a car - likely worth close to seven figures - for sale as a no reserve auction on Ebay; my guess, though, is that if bidding doesn't go the way of the seller it will get ended early. Fully restored, this car appears to be lovely and is somewhat unusual in silver color, but there aren't many photos to document the current condition. Despite that, it's a rare car to see at all so it's certainly worth taking a look at. While probably out of the price range of anyone reading this, these cars are pretty well priced considering their history and especially when compared to similar vintage Ferraris. They're arguably as beautiful as some of their creator's other creations for the prancing horse!


1965 Iso A3C

When it comes to classic sports cars from the 1960s, there are plenty to choose from. From England, big Grand Tourers like the Jaguar E-Type and Aston Martin DBs established a trend of luxurious inline-6 motors. From Germany, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL was still a classic though it was an older design. But the Italians had many to choose from; Fiat, Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini were all producing memorable GT cars. There were also boutique designers and producers such as Iso and Bizzarrini, who combined forces to produce one of the greatest GT racing cars of all time; the A3C. While the Ferrari 250 is arguably the best recognized, most successful and most valuable in its many configurations, the few Iso A3Cs that were produced are no slouches:

Year: 1965
Model: A3C
Engine: 5.4 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: "63" mi
Price: Not Listed


Iso A3C

1965 Competition, completely restored , absolute top condition.

Not much information is offered, but then if you're in this market you likely know what you're looking at. While a top condition Bizzarrini 5300GT would bring around $700,000 these days, the A3C is a more expensive beast entirely. The combination of ex-Ferrari styling and American muscle proved very successful at Le Mans, with the A3Cs winning its class in 1964 and 1965. Drop dead gorgeous looks and that history mean this is a truly valuable car - likely well in excess of a million dollars in current condition. That's well shy of Ferrari 250 prices, but this car is easily as special as those Ferraris and represents a rare opportunity to own one of the most unique pieces of Italian GT racing history.


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.


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.


1970 Iso Rivolta

We've all drooled over cars like the Ferrari Daytona, Lamborghini Miura and Maserati Ghibli, but some of the most beautiful designs in Italian automotive history come from manufacturers you may have never heard of. Iso was a company that, before World War II, produced refrigeration units and then moved into motorcycles and scooters after the war. In the 1950s, they were responsible for the Isetta bubble car that was licensed to several manufacturers, including BMW. Then, at the Torino Motor Show in 1962, they dropped the curtain on the Rivolta, an sleek 2+2 coupe with the heart of a Chevrolet, in this case, a 5.4 liter V8. Designed with help by famed engineer Giotto Bizzarini, these cars were impossibly fast for their day, being able to cruise comfortably at speeds over 120 mph on the motorway.

From 1963 through 1970, approximately 800 of these coupes were produced. This example for sale in St. Louis, Missouri is a very late production model that is in original condition, save for an older respray.

1970 Iso Rivolta

1970 Iso Rivolta. For those of you not familiar with the Iso story, in the early 1960s, Renzo Rivolta, an Italian engineer and successful appliance manufacturer, put together some of the best minds in the Italian auto industry, including Ferrari 250GTO designer Giotto Bizzarrini, and a young Giorgetto Giugiaro, then with Bertone. This car was a part of the Sports Car market magazine and was a personal driver of Publisher Keith Martin two or three years ago. This particular car was delivered new in Belgium, but quickly found its way to Southern California where it lived the majority of its life. As a result, the car escaped the fate of most of the 799 Rivoltas built. Most ISOs suffer from terminal rust and this car has very minimal rust (have many pictures upon request).

Very rare and hard to find car with original floor panels that are in good shape. The exterior of the car has a older re-spray (deep metallic maroon) that has still a great shine and is very presentable. The sides are straight and the panel gaps quite good. There are a few minor dings and some minor scratches. The rear bumper is a bit tweaked. The “horseshoe emblem" that was on the grill is missing. But overall the car is all there. The leather seats (brown), headliner, dash, and wood is in very good, original condition. A few of the seams on the drivers seat that have separated. The floor mats are in the trunk. and the power windows also work very well.

Under the hood, everything appears to be original with numbers matching per the chassis plate, and the original Iso air cleaner with its Iso numbers stamped on it. The motor is the original 327/300 hp Chevrolet V8. It runs extremely well and cool with excellent power, no smoke or funny noises, includes smog pump and hoses connected to the engine. The ISO goes down the road and stops straight. Recently rebuilt steering box and feels very tight. The car comes with four new gas shocks. The De Dion rear axle was rebuilt and bearings replaced Also the Hurst shift linkage comes with the car so is the jack and the spare. Also has chrome hub caps. The car is a great highway cruiser. With its 2.99 rear end, it is incredibly long-legged. These cars were built to go 140mph and this one is capable of 60mph in first gear. Showing 38,420 km turned over once = 138,420 (86,010 miles) on the odometer and believed to be original.

The car comes with reams of documents, receipts, club literature, and rare factory brochures and manuals. All irreplaceable stuff. This Iso is a VERY SOLID and is in above average drivers quality condition. I would not hesitate to drive this Iso on a 2,000 mile road trip!

Given the relative obscurity of the Iso name amongst collectors, one can imagine values on this grand touring coupe are cheaper than the comparable Ferraris, Lancias and Lamborghinis of the day. Solid runners can command anywhere between $30,000 to $50,000 these days. Given this car's originality and documentation, I'd suspect the reserve is set at least in the mid $40,000 range, with the seller hoping to gain an extra $10,000 to $20,000 over that.


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.