The Iso Rivolta A3/L „Grifo“ 7 Litri

The Iso Rivolta A3/L is a sports car from the Italian car manufacturer Rivolta and is the successor to the IR 300. It was designed as a 2-seater Gran Turismo coupé for wealthy gentlemen drivers. It was built from 1964 to 1974 and became an iconic automobile as Iso Grifo.

The Iso Rivolta A3/L „Grifo“ 7 Litri

The engineer Giotto Bizzarrini, a former Ferrari employee who had left the Ferrari factory in a dispute with the Commendatore Enzo Ferrari, played a key role in the development of the Iso Grifo. In 1963 he had established his own design office in Livorno.

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Bizzarrini designed a platform frame with box girders, which largely corresponded to that of the IR 300, except for the significantly shorter wheelbase. American engines were intended as the favorite power source. It was initially a 5.4 liter engine from the Chevrolet Corvette, later for a sportier variant, from 1968 the 7 liter Turbo-Fire engine was used. With 400 hp it could accelerate the Grifo up to 300 km/h. But a top speed of 275 km/h is more realistic. With the introduction of the 7 liter engine the engine cover had to be changed and this idiosyncratic three tier air intake emerged. The heat generated by the large engine and its aggregates became an issue and it often led to engine damages.

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Bertone contributed to the design of the Iso Grifo, the young Giorgio Giugiaro, recently appointed head of design at Bertone, designed this iconic Italian sports car with the striking lines.

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In my opinion, the Iso Rivolta A3/L Grifo looks a bit clumsy and angular. The design is spectacular and harmonious. In terms of style, it looks a bit American, not the typical Italian elegance but brutal power and a muscular appearance.

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The 7 liter engine and the archaic cooling openings on the bonnet are a recognition value of this fantastic car. The dark red color is pairing very well with the chrome strips.

Despite its beefy exterior, the Iso Grifo looks very sporty and fast. I think when you see this car in the rear-view mirror, you quickly make room for the Grifo to overtake.

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The prototype of the A3/L (Lusso) was presented to the public for the first time at the Turin Motor Show in late 1963. Its lines corresponded very closely to the later series model, only the front headlights were designed differently.

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The A3/L version was intended for use on public roads, the A3/C (Competizione) was designed for the racetrack, but differed significantly in the shape of the body. Later, the A3/C also achieved special recognition under the name Bizzarrini GT 5300.

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In the course of the relatively long production period, the Grifo experienced some minor facelifts. The Iso Grifo was mostly sold as a 2-seater hatchback coupé. Some copies were delivered with a steel sunroof, some with a fabric folding roof. Even before the series production of the coupé began, Bertone developed an open-top version and presented it in January 1964. However, this version remained a one-off that still exists today.

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For me as a photographer, there are many details to discover and admire on this stylish and at the same time powerful vehicle. The fantastically curved huge rear window is particularly impressive. But the idiosyncratic 7 liter lettering on the B-pillar with the horizontal cooling fins and the elegant door handles are also very photogenic. All in all, the Iso Grifo is a beautiful car with an extremely unique design and a high recognition value. And as shown here in the pictures in the iconic dark red paint with the many chrome-colored applications, the Iso Grifo is also an Italian beauty. Watch and enjoy the pictures of this classic icon. Find out more about our photographer Ralph Lüker.

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MODEL Iso A3/L – Grifo 7 Litri
TYPE 2-seater sports car coupé
NUMBER OF BUILD CARS total of 417 – 70 items of the 7-liter version
ENGINE longitudinally front-mounted V8 90˚ GM engine type 426 ci
BORE AND STROKE 108 mm x 101,6 mm
VALVE TRAIN OHC, 2 Valve per cylinder
ENGINE ASPIRATION Naturally aspirated engine
TRANSMISSION 4- or 5-speed + 1 reverse manual / 3-speed GM automatic
DRIVE WHEEL Rear wheel drive
HORSEPOWER 400 bhp at 5400 rpm
TORQUE 621 Nm at 3600 rpm
FUEL FEED three double carburetors
CHASSIS semi-monocoque
BRAKES discs all around
SUSPENSION FRONT double wishbones, coil springs
SUSPENSION REAR De Dion axle, coil springs
LENGHT 4430 mm
WIDTH 1770 mm
HEIGHT 1200 mm
TRACK FRONT / REAR 1410 mm / 1440 mm
ACCELERATION 0 – 100 km/h 6 sec.
PRICE 66.211 DM (1972)

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