My Car Quest

July 18, 2024

The Iso Grifo – Transcending Cool

From the My Car Quest Wayback Machine all the way back to October 2015 and one of my favorite subjects – the very cool Iso Grifo.

Mike Gulett, Editor

by Mike Gulett –

More and more car connoisseurs have recognized the Iso Grifo as a very cool Gran Turismo (GT) that compares more favorably to period GTs from Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini and all other GT manufacturers.

The Grifo is cool partially because of its exclusivity, only “insiders” know about it. It is a beautiful timeless Giugiaro design that performs with the best. It is difficult to define why something is cool but the Iso Grifo is there.

This helps explain a dramatic increase in the value of the Iso Grifo over the last few years, which has kept pace with, or exceeded, the market appreciation for collectable cars. I expect this to continue for the Iso Grifo.

Cool is valuable – just ask a collector of Andy Warhol art. Giorgetto Giugiaro ranks with Warhol in the cool art department with Giugiaro’s canvas being steel and aluminum car bodies.

In August 2015 we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the magnificently cool Iso Grifo at Concorso Italiano during Monterey Car Week.

Below are the three Grifos chosen to drive across the stage as part of the celebration.

The first Grifo made – the prototype, No. 001, owned by The Blackhawk Collection

The first Grifo made - the prototype, No. 001

The first Grifo made – the prototype, No. 001

The first Grifo made - the prototype, No. 001

The first Grifo made – the prototype, No. 001

The last Grifo to leave the Iso factory – No. 412, owned by Michael Hart

The last Grifo to leave the Iso factory - No. 412

The last Grifo to leave the Iso factory – No. 412

The last Grifo to leave the Iso factory - No. 412

The last Grifo to leave the Iso factory – No. 412

One made in the middle – No. 101, owned by Mike Gulett

One made in the middle - No. 101

One made in the middle – No. 101

One made in the middle - No. 101

One made in the middle – No. 101

On the stage were Keith Martin, the master of ceremonies and the publisher of Sports Car Market Magazine, Darren Frank who provided his in depth expertise on all things Iso (he is a very rare second generation Grifo owner) and Piero Rivolta former president of Iso S.p.A. Automotoveicoli and the son of the company founder. How many car companies presidents from the 1960s are still with us? It just doesn’t get any cooler than this for an Iso lover.

Darren Frank, Piero Rivolta and Keith Martin

Darren Frank, Piero Rivolta and Keith Martin – How Cool is That?

More photos of Iso Grifo No. 001 are in the slide show below.

More photos of Iso Grifo No. 412 are in the slide show below.

More photos of Iso Grifo No. 101 are in the slide show below.

The people on stage.

All people photos above by Dave Tomaro of Sports Car Market Magazine (my thanks to Darren Frank).

Bianca Beltran

Bianca Beltran

I mentioned to Keith Martin, while he was interviewing me, that I live locally and that I drove my Grifo to the event.

This prompted a local TV reporter, the lovely Bianca Beltran, who was covering Monterey Car Week to follow me from the stage, with her cameraman, and she requested an interview. Naturally I agreed.

I tell you gentlemen if you drive an Iso Grifo the ladies will believe you are very cool and will want to meet you.

Mike Gulett with Bianca Beltran on KSBW TV

Mike Gulett with Bianca Beltran on KSBW TV (photo by Mike Clarke)

Mike Gulett with Bianca Beltran on KSBW TV

“Top Story” Mike Gulett with Bianca Beltran on KSBW TV (screenshot)

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Read more about the history of the Iso Grifo at this link.

The New Cool

Bruce Caron and Mike Gulett in Iso Grifo

Bruce Caron and Mike Gulett – Grifo Cool

Iso Grifo Logo

Iso Grifo Logo

Summary
The Iso Grifo - Transcending Cool
Article Name
The Iso Grifo - Transcending Cool
Description
The Iso Grifo is a beloved classic and a very cool GT.
Author

Comments

  1. lennox McNeely says

    Loved mine. –owned in early eighties –bought and sold for $14,000 Canadian in Toronto–big regrets of course–think it ended up restored in Italy–would love to own another–Lennox Mcneely

  2. Rob Krantz says

    Mike, I still remember your Grifo from years ago at the Blackhawk Museum Cars and Coffee when we first met. Such a beautiful car. I still have my Matchbox toy Grifo from when I was a kid! I missed the boat on buying one years ago but perhaps some day.

  3. Peter Wolfers says

    Mike,
    #101 is absolutely gorgeous, with a great restoration by the Negris in Clusone, Italy. It is similar to my Grifo #049/D which is the same color.

  4. Iso Grifo? Must be Italian! I know I heard the name somewhere before…

  5. Mike: Well done! The Grifo is beautiful and many times more reliable than the “other” exotics from Italy.

    Just a note on your comment about 1960s company presidents still being with us: We still have Milt Brown, designer and builder of the Apollo GT. Still spry and witty in his late 80s, Milt is still playing with another Apollo.

    But we are losing a heritage of great automotive men fast. It is not the same today.

    Robb

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