by Mike –
Great news from the Coys auction in Essen, Germany on Saturday. Coys found and sold the Grifo prototype #001 for 220,000 Euros (plus buyers commission a total of 242,000 Euros; $332,810; 200,024 pounds sterling).
This is amazing because I have seen the Grifo prototype #001 before and it lives just a few miles from my home in California and it looks nothing like the car Coys sold!
Judge for yourself in the photos below
You can see why this is confusing – the Coys car looks like a regular series 1 Grifo and nothing like the car that everyone else in the world believes to be the #001 prototype.
I wrote about this Coys Grifo recently as one of the strange cars at auction in Europe. I did not know just how strange it would be. I pointed out the problem with the chassis number and I sent an email to Coys with no response. I know other Iso club members did the same thing with no response either.
The Coys description of this Grifo did not mention that it was the #001 prototype. This is an important piece of information that should not have been overlooked on the Coys web site but remember they did not spell Grifo correctly either.
A written account from someone who attended the auction
The information below was supplied to me by Chris Lackner the Secretary of the Iso/Bizzarrini Club UK.
His source, who attended the auction, said,
I told Coys this Grifo was possibly a problem, but they ignored me. The German Iso guys told them it was stolen, so Douglas Jamieson of Coys got a copy of the chassis list from Winston Goodfellow’s book, stuck it on the windscreen and got a highlight pen and underlined Grifo chassis 001 – the A3L.
When it came up at the auction Douglas Jamieson said, “there has been a lot of conjecture about the chassis number on this car, but we have verified with the owners club that it is chassis 001, the Grifo prototype, and therefore a very important and rare car”.
I looked at the car on Thursday. The Iso chassis plate has been ground off, then it was stamped B740001 on side of upright. Then an alloy Iso plate was riveted over the grind spot.
My German Iso friends say it is one of two cars that were stolen in Italy many years ago possibly either #119 or #124. It was brought into Germany on B740001 so it has German TUV document.
Mr. Jamieson said “we have verified with the owners club that it is chassis 001”.
I am the marketing and media director for the Iso & Bizzarrini Owner’s Club and I am not aware that any member “verified” this car. Chris Lackner said he told Coys there was a problem with this Grifo just as I did in an email and I suspect many others did too.
The very important chassis number stamp
The Iso Grifo chassis number is stamped on a metal plate that is welded to the right side vertical frame member in the engine compartment. The format of the stamping is consistent for all true Grifos. The first two images below were provided by Chris Lackner and show a correct Iso Grifo chassis number stamp.
Our eye witness at the auction said,
The Iso chassis plate has been ground off, then it was stamped B740001 on side of upright. Then an alloy Iso plate was riveted over the grind spot.
This appears to be a clumsy attempt to hide the true chassis number of this Grifo.
If anyone knows of a Grifo stolen in Italy a few years ago and never recovered, possibly either #119 or #124, let me know. Send an email to: michael (dot) gulett (at) gmail (dot) com.