One of 78 and Cherry Red: 1971 Iso Grifo Series II

In the late 1960’s there were a few European auto manufacturers that were using their European chassis and body designs and dropping an American power plant into their cars. Of all of these types of cars the Iso Grifo’s are among the best, produced from 1965 – 1974, and having owned a big block 427 Iso with a 5 speed ZF gearbox, we can tell you that they are really fantastic cars and will eat any corvette for breakfast. The story of Iso itself is pretty interesting as in a way it was born out of Ferrari. After leaving Ferrari, in 1961 Giotto Bizzarrini set up “Prototipi Bizzarrini” in Livorno, Tuscany where he designed and consulted for marques like ATS, Lamborghini and Iso. In 1963, he designed the Iso Grifo A3/L (L for Lusso {Italian for Luxury}) for Renzo Rivolta, who was looking for a follow-up to his Iso Rivolta IR 300. Bertone designed the bodies making a very handsome car and they used Chevrolet 327’s and 427’s for their power plants. The best part about these series II cars is they came with 5 speed ZF gearboxes which really make the driving experience fantastic. Many of them did come with automatics, but thankfully the subject car did not.

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This particular car is a Series II with hide away headlights, which is good, but it is also a small block which is not as exciting as a big block. According to the owner the car has been treated to a 5 year total restoration including a bare metal repaint “using high quality PPG paint.” There is no mention to whether or not the engine is original to the car, but it was completely rebuilt by a reputable engine builder and the suspension was completely rebuilt as well. One thing that we can say is the car is certainly a very nice one, considering all of the work that has been done to it, but the custom Cherry red color does not help the car. Original is always better. Since there was so much work done to the car, the seller should really add a lot more photos to show off the restoration, especially of the undercarriage and under the hood. But overall, very nice car. It can be found here on eBay with a current high bid of $250,100 with the reserve not met. We think that trying to sell a car of this price range on eBay is a bit of a stretch, but if it does sell it should fetch around $300,000 – $325,000 dollars maybe a bit more if the Chevy engine really means that much to you. The seller does mention that a Chevrolet powered Iso Grifo Series II did sell at the Gooding and Company Pebble Beach sale in 2016 for $511,000 

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but we believe that to be a fluke. One sale doesn’t make a market. Gooding also sold a Ford 351 powered Iso Grifo in Silver with red interior series II at their Amelia Island sale in 2016 for $396,000  and that car was the Torino Motor Show car for 1972!

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Let us know what you think.

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