My Car Quest

October 23, 2014

Strale Daytona What’s In A Name? – A Custom Exotic Italian Classic Car – Part 2

by Mike –

I wrote an article a few days ago about the 1965 Strale Daytona 6000GT Prototype (Iso Daytona) after I found several of my unpublished photos of this unique car in my files.

Strale Daytona 6000GT

1965 Strale Daytona 6000GT In 2006

After reading this article Jack Koobs de Hartog wrote to me and reminded me about his article in the Griffon several years ago, ironically published about the same time that I photographed this car the first time.

It is amazing how the mind works. I have every issue of the Griffon and I am sure that I read this article – but it was six years ago and I had completely forgotten about it.

I wrote what I knew about the car and published my photos that had not been seen by anyone else before.

All of you who are interested in what I wrote will be very interested in Jack’s research – so here it is.

Strale Daytona What’s In A Name? by Jack Koobs de Hartog

Over the years much has been speculated about the so called Iso Daytona but is there any reason to call it an Iso at all?

I found six period publications on this car as follows:

* 1966, August, in Road & Track, Pete Coltrin called the car a “Nembo II – Corvette by Neri & Bonacini with a chassis derived from the original Bizzarrini Nembo designs”;

* 1966, September 22, Auto Italiana featured the car they spotted in Monza and simply called it a “Daytona”;

1965 Strale Daytona 6000GT Prototype (Iso Daytona)

1965 Strale Daytona 6000GT Prototype (Iso Daytona)

* 1966, October, the prototype, with Chevy 327 engine and transmission, was launched at the Torino Motor Show as a “Strale”. Marketed by the Strale company, Corso Francia 50, Collegno, Torino;

* 1967, The car, with Chrysler V8 engine, was featured in a Japaneese car magazine as “Strale Daytona”;

* 1967, in Annuario dell’auto of the ACI the car was called “Strale 6000 GT Daytona”. (no copy) 1967, World Car Catalogue called it a “Strale Daytona 6000 GT”.

These reports are appended to this article. In none of these publications is the make Iso mentioned. So we can assume this car was never an Iso, nor was never intended to be an Iso.

The only ties with Iso are that on the prototype some Iso chassis parts and a Chevy engine were used. The track (55-in) and wheelbase (96-in) matched that of the earlier Bizzarrini Nembo. The Alloy wheels are identical to the early style Campagnolos used on Isos and Bizzarrinis.

Bizzarrini NEMBO

Bizzarrini Nembo

The Bizzarrini Nembo, chassis No. B*0219 with a Ford Holman & Moody prepared 7-litre engine, was built for “an American industrialist” and has never been seen since.

Nembo II

The Nembo II, or Daytona, was built by Neri and Bonacini in commission of Mr. Carlo Bernasconi from Como, Italy, who planned with “American Groups” to build a small series of Daytona’s with a Chrysler 6.3-litre engine.

I can imagine that he commissioned Nembo to build a batch of some (2-3?) bodies at once. But it was a project that failed, nothing less and nothing more.

The moment it became clear the project was a failure Bernasconi may have sold the remaining bodies and parts. And maybe someone built other “Daytona’s” from that.
The problem is that one needs a homologation to register the car in Italy, a common trick is to use documents and parts of, in this case, an Iso Rivolta GT to do so.

Nothing is wrong with that. It still can be a beautiful car and a good drive. But as a Strale project it was just a nice try but a failure. Now you know that officially an “Iso Daytona” never existed!

Nowadays there is a problem. Several owners are claiming they have an original “Iso Daytona”.

So, what “Daytona’s” do we know of now?

Continued tomorrow …

~~~

Jack Koobs de Hartog is the author of several books about Bizzarrini cars and can be reached by email at: koobsdehartog@skynet.be.

This article was originally published in the Winter 2006/2007 issue of the Griffon, the magazine of the Iso & Bizzarrini Owner’s Club.

Let us know what you think about this classic car in the Comments.


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