Monterey | Lot 269
1966 Iso Grifo GL Series I by Bertone
$375,000 - $475,000 USD | Not Sold
| Monterey, California
13 August 2021
- One of only 413 Iso Grifos built
- Single-family ownership for the last 42 years
- Beneficiary of a stunning restoration completed in 2021
- 327 cu. in. V-8 engine; four-speed manual transmission with Hurst shifter
- Beautiful Italian styling and muscular American performance
By war’s end, as Italy re-tooled for peace, Rivolta turned to the manufacture of motorcycles, scooters, and tricycles. Amongst these were the Furetto, the Isoscooter, and the Isocarro. By the 1960s, Rivolta embarked on performance car manufacture bringing in some of Italy’s top talent to create a car. Giotto Bizzarrini was brought on board for his engineering prowess. At the time, he was best known for having served as Ferrari’s Chief Engineer and was a part of the development of the renowned 250 GTO. He would later work with Lamborghini developing the V-12 heart of the Miura, an engine that would remain in production in some form for over four decades. Giorgetto Giugiaro was brought on to design the car, with prior experience having worked for design houses Ghia and Bertone, the latter of which would be contracted to build the car’s coachwork. Together, this powerhouse of Italian automotive talent created the Iso Rivolta, which was introduced at the 1962 Torino Auto Show.
As a follow up, the Bizzarrini-Giugiaro-Bertone team came up with the Iso Grifo in 1963. The Grifo A3/L utilized Chevrolet power components and was considerably more streamlined than the Rivolta. It would later be joined by an A3/C competition version. The cars were driven by the Borg-Warner “top-loader” four-speed, also as used in the Corvette, although a five-speed ZF gearbox was offered late in the series. Production of the Iso Grifo continued into the late 1970s, by which time larger Ford V-8s became available. The cars featured a De Dion rear axle with inboard brakes, a design that reduced the unsprung weight compared to a traditional live axle and is considered an excellent alternative to an independent rear suspension. In total, just 413 Iso Grifos of all configurations were built.
This 1966 Iso Grifo GL Series I has remained under single-family ownership for the last 42 years. The car has benefitted from a stunning restoration that was completed in 2021. Bodywork was addressed on a rotisserie; mechanical work addressed by Don Ashmore; and paint, interior, and electrical completed by Of Wire and Metal in Temecula, California. It is finished in a deep shade of red accented nicely by chrome trim and bumpers. It rides on knock-off wheels wrapped in Pirelli tires. This Series I example is powered by a Chevrolet 327 cu. in. V-8 engine backed by a four-speed manual transmission with Hurst shifter. The interior is completed in tan leather with bucket seats and leather-wrapped center console. It features a wood-grain dashboard which houses Veglia Borletti instrumentation, clock, and a modern radio unit. The original radio is included with car. A wood-rimmed steering wheel with Iso center cap completes the beautifully trimmed interior. Amenities include power windows, and power brakes. This unique blend of sleek Italian design and unrestrained American power make the Iso Grifo an attractive proposition.