- Exceedingly rare and desirable Iso Grifo configuration
- Retained by the same family from new until 2018; fascinating history on two continents
- Powered by a 7.0-liter Chevrolet engine and five-speed ZF manual transmission
- The 3rd of only four Series II examples fitted with the 7-liter engine
- Presently indicates fewer than 47,000 km (~29,205 mi)
The Iso Grifo debuted in two contrasting packages, both revealed at the 1963 Turin Motor Show. The A3/L was positioned as the opulent GT form, while the A3/C was a finely tuned race car developed by Giotto Bizzarrini, who is notable as a leading engineer in the creation of Ferrari’s famous 250 GTO. The Iso Grifo A3/C was twice victorious in its class at Le Mans, in 1964 and 1965, and both the race and roadgoing versions of the car soon earned a glowing reputation thanks to their attractive styling by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Bertone and powerful V-8 powertrains. The Grifo was produced in two series between 1965 and 1974, with most examples powered by Chevrolet’s venerable 327-cubic-inch V-8 engine.
With this standard 350 horsepower powerplant, the Grifo was already a potent offering for the performance enthusiast. However, for those individuals supremely focused on ultimate performance, the Grifo could also be ordered with an uprated 427-cubic-inch Chevrolet powerplant pushing 390 horsepower. Importantly, this was the same engine which had been made famous powering Corvette race cars around the most storied racing circuits in the world. Though limited in production, these so-called “7-Litri” cars were highly desirable in the period and remain so to this day.
47 YEARS IN SWITZERLAND
The car offered here is a truly exceptional example of a truly exceptional Grifo. According to the Iso Registry, chassis 335 is the third of only four Series II Grifos with the 7.0-liter engine. Differentiated from the Series I cars by the presence of highly attractive pop-up headlights, the first Series II was chassis number 332, which was equipped with the 7.0-liter V-8. The next car, chassis number 333, also got a 7.0-liter engine, but the next car, chassis number 334, received the smaller 5.7-liter V-8. The following car, the example offered here, received the 7.0-liter engine. The fourth and final 7.0-liter car was chassis number 355. The first two were still produced in 1970, and the last two in 1971. Therefore, chassis number 335 is one of just two 1971 7.0-liters built.
As if this was not enough to ensure the car’s place as a highly important example, incredibly, the car resided in the ownership of the same family from new until 2018. The patriarch of the family visited the Geneva Motor Show in 1970 and ordered a new Iso Grifo 7-Litri with optional five-speed ZF transmission and air conditioning, directly from the Iso stand.
The car which he ordered subsequently entered production and was completed on 13 January 1971. The Grifo was picked up on 1 February 1971 at the Central Garage L.C. Roggero, the Iso dealer in Sihlfeldstrasse 10, Zurich. For 47 years the car remained with its original family, having only been driven on special occasions. During this Swiss family’s careful custodianship of this notable Iso, the car traveled just 1,000 kilometers per year. It would be fair to say that it was treated like a member of their family; deeply cared for and properly maintained with regular exercise and servicing. The car’s condition proved so dear to them that the original leather seats were removed in 1991 with the intention to preserve them from an upcoming extended vacation away from the family homestead.
Immediately afterwards, the car was exported to the United States and remained there for the next decade while the original owner’s son worked for Gerald Wiegert at Vector Aeromotive. As it turns out, the family’s extreme caution turned out to be overblown, as the car (and their son) returned to Switzerland no worse for wear. After another 17 years of care, this remarkable Iso was thusly acquired in wonderfully preserved condition by the consignor.
THE 7-LITRI TODAY
Since entering the consignor’s collection, this 7-Litri has continued its lifelong regimen of regular exercise and maintenance. The car’s most recent notable servicing on file included a carburetor rebuild.
This 1971 Grifo 7-Litri Series II is accompanied today by its original manual, tools, spare tire, keys, and aftermarket seats. This highly significant piece of Italian motoring history belongs in the stewardship of someone who will continue to provide the car with the care it deserves. It will make a truly stunning and unique addition to any of the world’s finest sports car collections.