My Car Quest

April 20, 2024

The Iso Grifo Can Am Model Is Very Rare Indeed

by Mike –

Any Iso Grifo is rare with only about 402 examples made of all versions combined. The Iso Grifo IR 9 Can Am is one of the rarest of all the Grifo models. It is even more rare than the 7-Liter model.

There were twenty-four Can Ams made compared to sixty-five 7-Liters, thirteen Series 1 Targas and four Series 2 Targas. There also was one Super model made which has virtually the same specs as a 7-Liter except it has three Holly carburetors instead of the one Rochester carburetor on the 7-Liter.

The IR 9 Can Am is a Series 2 with either a Chevrolet 427 cid or a Chevrolet 454 cid engine.

Iso Grifo Can Am

The car featured here is a IR 9 Can Am, chassis number 343, with the 454 cid engine, a ZF 5-speed transmission and the Salisbury limited slip differential. It has an axel ratio of 2.88:1.

It also has factory air conditioning as can be seen in the photos.

Iso Grifo Can Am Engine

Iso Grifo Can Am Interior

It is owned by Oliver in Munich, Germany who supplied the photos and the description. This Can Am was built on April 13, 1971 and was originally delivered to Belgium. It was later sold to the Netherlands and frequently used until 1992, after that it was in storage and seldom driven.

In 1990 there was a report of this Grifo in the Magazine “Automobiel” issue #121. In 2004 it was sold to Germany but it was not regularly registered in Germany and was seldom driven.

Oliver bought the car in March 2012 and he says it is honest, original and unrestored with a very nice patina.

It was repainted in the late 1980s and Oliver put it back on the road in the Spring of 2012 and drives it regularly.

Iso Grifo Can Am

The images below are from an Iso sales brochure

Iso Sales Brochure

Iso Sales Brochure

The Iso sales brochure labeled this car above an IR 8 but it can be seen that it is really an IR 9 Can Am. Maybe Iso could not find an IR 8 on the day of the photo shoot?

Let us know what you think about this Iso Grifo in the Comments.

Iso Grifo Logo

The Iso Grifo Can Am Model Is Very Rare Indeed
Article Name
The Iso Grifo Can Am Model Is Very Rare Indeed
There were only 24 Iso Grifo IR 9 Can Am examples made.


  1. Chris Lackner says

    You mention “one Super Grifo” by which I assume you are referring to #201, the prototype, which was fitted with a 427 engine fitted with the Tri-Power carb setup, and which came out of Piero Rivolta’s power boat. In fact, the early 7 Litre Grifo was sometimes referred to as the “Super Grifo” in the motoring press around the time of launch. My own car, #226/D was the second production 7 Litre built, and bears an original “Super” script (actually from a contemporary Alfa Romeo!) on the trunk lid, along with the usual Iso Grifo script and also a Griffon emblem. This badging can clearly be seen in photos taken at the 1968 Earls Court show. It’s quite possible this car was originally planned to be the first production car, as most stamped numbers found are 225, and most stamps on the actual #225 are 226! Perhaps my RHD car took a bit longer to complete than the factory first thought it would…

  2. Chris Lackner says

    Forgot to mention that Can Am #343 featured above was the first big-block car that my 7 Litre ever “met”, as its then Dutch owner, Peter Vroklage brought it over to London around 1989/90 before I started the restoration. I can pass a photo on to Oliver if he would like it.

  3. Mark C Williamson says

    Hello. I’m curious about what you’re referring to with your comment ” factory air conditioning as can be seen in the photos”? I can’t see a compressor, condenser or hoses in the engine compartment, or any extra vents, grills or ductwork in the passenger compartment. What am I missing?
    A beautiful car.

    • The easiest clue to spot are the vents in the center of the dash board, above the gear shifter, and the five toggle switches to the left of the steering wheel. On a non-AC car these toggle switches are located in the center of the dash board where the vents are located on this car.

  4. Darren Frank says

    Mike, great write-up on Oli’s car, truly a very special Iso Grifo!!!

    BTW, there were other 7Litris that had the 3 x 2 barrel Holley carb set-up other than #201.

    I know of another Grifo that came from the factory with the 7L engine, hydraulic lifters, and the 3×2 carb set-up.

    Iso never kept records of which carb set-ups were on which cars, so it’s definitely possible there are more.


  5. Darren Frank says

    I wonder if there are any 7L or Can Am Grifos that were built with the solid lifter engine, the 3 x 2 carb set-up, and the five speed ZF? That would be an incredibly fast car!!!

  6. Beautiful car and love the sixties model!

  7. Ron Ciardella says

    Hi Mike. Your comment about the center a/c vents and toggle switches left of the steering wheel only applies to early Grifos. Somewhere around Grifo 225-250 Iso standardized this arrangement on all Grifos. The center vents were used for air venting for outside air or heat on the non a/c cars. On the console faceplate the a/c cars had one switch got the heater solenoid, and two knob controls for the a/c. The non a/c cars had only one knob, for the fan speed.

    • So, Ron – do you think this Grifo came with a factory AC?

      • Ron Ciardella says

        No. The a/c compressor would be visible in the engine compartment, and the switch on the right side of the console panel would be a knob for the a/c temperature.

    • My Grifo was Factory equipped with ac. The compressor is removed and i haven’t installed back yet.

      The switches on the Center Console are blower- ac- heater ( the ac switch can hardly be seen on the picture due to the steering wheel).

      • Ron Ciardella says

        Hi Oliver. That is a great option to have. I have a copy of the Goodfellow/Eckstein list at my office and I will confirm that tomorrow. On the a/c cars the factory placed the heater solenoid toggle switch between the two control knobs for the blower motor (on the left) and the Temperature control on the right. Maybe someone put the toggle switch on your car in the wrong location at some point of time. This is actually a common mistake I have seen over the years. You have a spectacular car, and I am sure you will enjoy it for many years.

  8. IsoBizzaGrifo says

    Here is the listing on my copy of Chris’s Grifo chassis list:

    343 CAm 13.04.71 Belgium CZU 5 2.88 a/c r/c Camps S2 Automobiel #121 NL>GER – Oliver Hengster 12
    ex Vroklage, Jürgen Niederstadt, Dr Mandel
    5 = transmission speeds
    2,88 = gearing
    a/c =air conditioning
    r/c =reinforced chassis
    Camps = Campagnolo rims
    S2 = Series Two concealed headlights

  9. Hi.Seems to be the “Twin” of my car which I restore at this time.
    345 CanAm 26.4.71 Italy 454 engine- 5 speed-2.88- a/c- r/c -Camps-S2-Red/Black Leather-also it has the 2Lamps
    under the rear bumper-the correct red colour-the chrome part for the rear number plate-the front number plate at the
    left side-everything is simular to the Grifo shown in the Sales-brochure.So I thing they took 345 for the Fotos.
    The number plate PROVA is from the Factory.
    Does anyone knows how many Can Am still exists?

  10. Eric Johnson says

    The 7 liter ISO that was in 1990 there was a report of this Grifo in the Magazine “Automobiel” issue #121. In 2004 it was sold to Germany, but it was not regularly registered in Germany and was seldom driven.
    Well that ISO was owned by my uncle in Germany and it was kept in his workshop in the corner with covers over it and even some parts in boxes on it and one day he finally sold it to a guy from holland and in the magazine article it had all the ISOs listed by serial numbers with their previous owners except that one it just said it was located in Germany because it was just sitting in the corner of his workshop and eventually he wanted to restore it but never did instead he sold to the guy in Holland and that was the last we heard of the car except that the guy wanted to restore it and eventually drive it.
    I remember the car well as it would sit there for many years, and I would sometimes look inside of it since the driver’s window was partially open.
    What a great car

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