by Mike –
Mike Clarke, a long time member of the Iso & Bizzarrini Owner’s Club, recently sold his series 2 Iso Grifo, a few months ago he sold an Iso Fidia, he has owned an Iso Rivolta GT in the past and he just bought an Iso Lele.
So, with that background I thought he was the perfect person to tell us what is going on with the Iso Lele and Iso Fidia market especially since a Lele just sold for what is believed to be a record price.
Text by Mike Clarke
For years most car collectors only knew about two cars from the Iso Rivolta line, the beautiful two seat Iso Grifo and the grand touring sedan known as the Rivolta GT. Recently classic car collectors have discovered that Iso made other very interesting and collectable models.
The Iso Fidia was the Rivolta company’s four seater, it rivaled the well known Maserati Quattroporte. The Fidia proved to be every bit as fast as the Quattroporte being powered by a 350 cid high output Chevrolet power plant and was equally luxurious inside with a full leather interior.
The Fidia’s ride is balanced, smooth and gives the driver confidence at high speed. Fidias sport Campagnolo rims, a DeDion rear suspension with inboard disc brakes and coil over shocks. These features help make the Giugiaro designed Fidia one of the finest four seat grand touring cars of it’s era.
This brings us to one of the best kept secrets in the Iso Rivolta line up, the Iso Lele. The Iso Lele was a replacement for the aging Rivolta GT. To help achieve this Piero Rivolta, CEO of Iso, hired Marcello Gandini to design a modern sleek bodied GT for their new line up.
The early Leles sported Chevrolet’s 327 cid engines then the 350 cid engine and later the Ford 351 cid Cleveland’s. These power plants came with an automatic or a ZF 5-speed transmission. Lele’s use the standard Iso Rivolta platform DeDion rear suspension coil over shocks and large disc brakes all the way around.
This proven chassis combined with Gandini’s new design gave the Iso Rivolta company a beautifully designed and balanced european muscle car that could rival other top European sports cars or American muscle cars. But wait there’s more, the Rivolta company bettered this package by further developing the car to what is known as the Lele Sport. This package reduced the cars weight increased the horse power and thus further increasing the performance!
Recently Lele chassis number 0087 was sold for a record price of $53,000 US. This car had been restored in the 80′s and owned by a long time Iso & Bizzarrini Owner’s Club president. It’s most recent owner spent a little over a year detailing it and doing some minor repairs making it very presentable.
Lele No. 0087 has a very nice combination of features which includes the Chevrolet 350 HO engine combined with the ZF 5-speed transmission, it sports the early dash layout and seats with adjustable head rests. Living near the former owner I was able to drive this car a few times and it’s performance is top notch.
The higher prices that the Fidia and Lele are demanding show that car enthusiasts now better understand how good the Iso Lele and Fidia are and it’s nice to see both models finding their place in the sun.
Photos by Mike Clarke and Mike Gulett
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