My Car Quest

August 21, 2019

The Iso Grifo – A Legend – Part One

by Mike –

The Iso Grifo A3/L was based on a shortened Iso Rivolta GT chassis and was introduced at the 1963 show in Turin. The “L” stands for lusso, or luxury.

The Grifo is a beautiful, timeless handmade design that still looks fresh and modern today, styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Bertone. The motoring press loved the Grifo as much as the public did.

Iso Grifo A3/L Prototype painting by Giugiaro

Iso Grifo A3/L Prototype Painting by Giugiaro

The Iso Grifo was the fastest production car one could buy in 1966. The series 1 Iso Grifo used the same 327 cid Corvette engine as the Iso Rivolta GT. Years later a few series 2 Grifos were powered by the Ford 351 cid Cleveland engine.
 

Iso Grifo: The First, The Last And The One After That

 

The First Iso Grifo

The 1963 Iso Grifo A3/L Prototype was the first Grifo and you can see the many Giugiaro design features that did not make it into the production cars.

This Grifo is owned by The Blackhawk Collection.

Iso Grifo A3/L Prototype

Iso Grifo A3/L Prototype

The hood scoop, the crease down the middle of the hood and louvers are noticeable but so are the door handles which remind me of the series one door handles on my Bizzarrini GT 5300.

Iso Grifo A3/L Prototype Door Handles

Iso Grifo A3/L Prototype Door Handles

Iso Grifo A3/L Prototype

Iso Grifo A3/L Prototype

In 1968 Piero Rivolta, now the president of Iso, decided to produce a more powerful Iso Grifo and installed a Corvette 427 cid (7 liter) engine into a Grifo. The engine did not fit in a compartment intended for the 327 cid, so Iso designed a different type of hood scoop to accommodate the larger engine. It is probably the most unusual engine hood scoop ever made.

The Iso Grifo series two, introduced in 1970, was basically the same car as the series one Grifo with the headlights partially covered.

Iso Grifo Brochure

Iso Grifo Brochure

 

The Last Iso Grifo

In 1972 Iso started using the Ford 351 cid Cleveland engine and these Grifo IR8 models can be recognized by a slightly taller hood scoop than the 7-Liter model.

The last Iso Grifo made by the Iso factory before they closed, chassis No. 412, is this beautiful blue Grifo owned by Mike Hart. This Iso Grifo is for sale here on My Car Quest.

1974 Iso Grifo

1974 Iso Grifo No. 412

1974 Iso Grifo No. 412

1974 Iso Grifo No. 412

1974 Iso Grifo Interior

1974 Iso Grifo No. 412 Interior

Iso Grifo Brochure

Iso Grifo Brochure

Iso Grifo Brochure
 

The One After That

This Iso Grifo was left unfinished when the factory closed. It was completed in 1977-78 by a company called Ennezeta (Roberto Negri).

1967 Iso Grifo 7 Liter

“1967” Iso Grifo “7-Liter”

Rivolta Style Hood Scoop

Rivolta Style Hood Scoop

Lamborghini Miura Style Side Scoops 2

Lamborghini Miura Style Side Scoops

Roberto Negri sold this Grifo to Salvatore Diomante who restored it and changed the chassis number to 223, which comes from the year 1967. Diomante converted this car to a 7-Liter with a Rivolta GT style hood scoop and Lamborghini Miura style sill-cover scoops in front of the rear wheels. He also changed the front end to a series 1 style instead of the original series 2 style. The interior was heavily modified as well.

This is why the Grifo made many years after the last Grifo made by the Iso factory in 1974 carries a 1967 model year. It was auctioned at Amelia Island earlier this year for $440,000 US.

Iso Grifo No. 413

Iso Grifo No. 413 – Original Configuration, Photo From 1983

 

Sell your classic car on My Car Quest – click here.

More photos are in the slide show below.


 

Tomorrow – Part Two – The Iso Grifo A3/C.


 

Iso Grifo A3/L

Iso Grifo A3/L Drawing by Giugiaro

Iso Grifo logo

Summary
The Iso Grifo - A Legend - Part One
Article Name
The Iso Grifo - A Legend - Part One
Description
Iso Grifo: The First, The Last And The One After That
Author

Comments

  1. Dieter Perner says

    Hello
    The red Grifo in the sales brochure is not an IR8 as shown. From the configuration :Red -Black Leather -Aircondition -Year 71 I think the Pictures shows my IR9 “Can Am” FIN: 345 which I restore at this time.
    Regards Dieter

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