The Iso Grifo is one of those “larger than life” cars from an era when everything was still possible. The combination of Giotto Bizzarrini’s engineering with Giorgetto Giugiaro’s bold styling for Bertone, powered by the large and mighty Chevrolet V8’s resulted in what is possibly the most typical example of Italian charm coupled to American muscle.
While many classic car enthousiasts prefer the lines of the 1st series Iso Grifo, it’s only with the introduction of the Chevrolet “Big Block” 7L V8 engine that the Iso Grifo evolved to become the supercar that could easily jump over the top speed of contemporary Ferraris or Lamborghinis. With just one carburettor, the Big Block engine developed 400hp, bringing the Iso Grifo to a peak of 300km/h!
Unfortunately, the Big Block engine came with an inconvenience: an inelegant and maybe even awkward hood scoop that interfered with the Iso Grifo’s pure line.
So what if we told you that “the best of both worlds” exists? And that we have it in our showroom right now?
Sold new in Rome in 1973 with the desirable (optional) ZF 5-speed manual gearbox, this Iso Grifo was sold via a second owner in Turin to the third owner in Monaco at the end of the ’80s. This Monegasque gentleman had the excellent idea of asking Salvatore Diomante, Bizzarrini’s business partner in the ’70s, to rebuild the cars mechanics, uprate the brakes and install a rebuilt 7L V8 “Big Block” engine, thereby creating the perfect Iso Grifo combination.
After fifteen years in Monaco, this elegant and powerful GT was acquired by a Dutch collector, who undertook a complete engine and body restoration, during which the car received its very suiting grey livery. The last owner, a high profile Belgian collector, replaced the original Campagnolo wheels (which are still with the car) with the same type of Borrani wheels that were originally fitted to production Iso Grifo’s.
Today, the car is simply in concours condition: while the engine and body are restored to perfection, the original and unrestored black leather interior presents a wonderful patina. The original Becker radio and all instruments and accessories work as expected. No wonder this alluring and captivating classic has won Best of Show at the Coppa Classic Concours (BE) and 2nd in class at Concours Paleis Het Loo (NL).
If you’re mesmerized by Giugiaro’s sleek lines and by the mouth-watering 400hp performance of the Big Block V8, then this Iso Grifo is a sure bet!