My Car Quest

June 24, 2024

An Iso Rivolta Restomod

by Wallace Wyss –

Now I don’t go to the SEMA show because I don’t like all that walking. And now during the pandemic maybe it’s not being held. But back in 2019 they had the show of specialty automotive equipment and as part of the show some restomod cars were displayed.

Iso Rivolta Restomod

Lamborghini like wheels

Restomods, if you’re new to the word, means “restored” but there’s a catch–anything that is a newer version of what was original can be used to replace it. Now if it was a Grifo or Iso A3/C or Bizzarrini, I’d say “Why did they ruin that?” but I think Rivoltas are not as prized as the two seaters by the same firm (nearly 800 were made after all) and can still be used for daily transportation with some updates.

Iso Rivolta Restomod

What’s up with the taillights?

Actually if you read the press release you find this one has the frame replaced by a newly fabricated one, so rest easy, purists maybe that original frame can be rebuilt (or used for a Bizzarrini, which used shortened Rivolta frames). Here’s the builder’s list of updates, see if you agree with what was done…

Iso Rivolta Restomod

Iso Rivolta Restomod

Iso Rivolta Restomod

1967 Iso Rivolta Restomod
Venue: Battle of The Builders
Entrant: J&L Fabricating
Commissioned by Richard Griot, Griot’s Garage Inc.

“Ever the automotive enthusiast and SEMA participant, Richard Griot, of the esteemed car care manufacturing company, Griot’s Garage, set out to take advantage of everything he had seen and studied at SEMA over the last 30 years to create a 1967 Iso Rivolta restomod. Just about everything of importance on the car can be purchased by SEMA vendors except for the time and energy of “Battle of the Builders” entrant Louie Shefchik, of J&L Fabricating, who was called upon to turn Richard’s vision into reality.

Most people have never seen an Iso Rivolta, much less know that it was developed in the early 60’s. It was a combination of American power with an Iso Italian chassis and Bertone bodywork to deliver a glimpse of what the exotic 1960’s was all about. In its day, the svelte Italian Gran Turismo bodied car, coupled with Corvette’s 340 horsepower 327 V8, literately outran every 4-seat passenger car in existence cresting 150 mph. Back in 1963, when the first Iso Rivolta rolled off the assembly line, this was quite an accomplishment.

In keeping with the original engine platform of Corvette power, the decision was made to spec the powerplant with a modern LS7 and 6 speed Tremec Magnum manual gearbox straight out of GM’s Connect and Cruise program. Since the original chassis was too rusted to save, Richard commissioned long time SEMA participant Art Morrison Enterprises to start working on a frame to support the dry sump LS7. Power is laid down by a modern Camaro diff and uprights with a Morrison subframe and control arms. Braking was just as important and the decision was made to increase the wheel diameter a subtle 2” in custom machined 17” EVOD wheels to clear the increased 13” rotors of the Wilwood Brake system. Steering was enhanced by a Woodward Power Rack and the exhaust was handled by a pair of Borla resonators.

Iso Rivolta Restomod

Iso Rivolta Restomod

The 1967 Iso Rivolta project was the collaboration of someone who loves the very essence of the automobile, built by one of the most humble and understated builders in the US with parts sourced from vendors that will be on display the week of SEMA 2019. A drop dead gorgeous restomod that definitely embodies what SEMA is all about.”

Other Notable SEMA Vendors supplying parts for this car:

Vintage Air – Air conditioning
Penske Shocks
Alpine iLX-107 Stereo System
JL Audio Sub Woofers
Ron Francis Wiring System with iStart, Fuse Panels and Relay Panels
Mito Corporation Rear View Mirror
TKO Industries: Engine Clamps
E-Stopp: Push Button Emergency Brake
K&N Air Filters

Below is a video from the creators of this Iso Rivolta Restomod.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is co-host of Autotalk, a car show broadcast from KUCR FM Riverside each Thursday.

Iso Rivolta Restomod

Iso Rivolta GT Logo

An Iso Rivolta Restomod
Article Name
An Iso Rivolta Restomod
What do you think about an Iso Rivolta GT restomod?


  1. To me, those tail-lights look like up-side-down early BMW ’02, e.g. 1602 or 2002.


    Totally inspirational. What a truly contemporary and remarkable restoration project.

    Wish I could afford to do that with my 1978 2 seater Nissan 260 Z sadly in need of some urgent TLC.

    Thank you for sharing this Iso Restomod masterpiece.

  3. Stunning car combined with real craftsmanship which now gives that car a second lease on life. This is truly another excellent example of the resto mod movement where cars can be classic and still driven often.
    Lets just hope this car does not end up being a trailer queen or glass case show car in someones collection for the mere purpose of an investment.

  4. The lovely part of this is likely a very sad condition Rivolta has found new life in a very satisfying restomod… love the Lamborghini wheels and even the BMW tail lights, the interior is stunning… Kudo’s on an excellent build… I love it…

  5. Cecilia Sullivan-Grant says

    Call me old fashioned but I really don’t like to see rare cars rodded or restomoded. By all means a mass produced unit or copy the original – they are beautiful no question there and I have always enjoyed the art.

  6. Every car company has a story behind their badge and this is one of the best. Renzo Rivolta wanted their cars powerful, easy to get parts and affordable. The “Griffin” is a mystical bird of pray who’s main stay was the horse like his rival’s Ferrari.

  7. What a magnificent build! If that car goes up for sale I’m throwing my hat in!

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