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Car Review, Figures and Specs for the Iso Grifo 7 Litre - [1968]

Iso Grifo - Review


The Improved GTO



After leaving Ferrari, in 1961 Giotto Bizzarrini set up “Prototipi Bizzarrini” where he designed and consulted for marques like Lamborghini and Iso Rivolta. In 1963 he designed the Iso Grifo A3/L for Renzo Rivolta,. The body was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Bertone, while Bizzarrini concentrated on the oily bits. Bizzarrini also developed a racing version in the name of the A3/C which he later dubbed it his “Improved GTO", after his time working on the famous Ferrari 250 GTO. The car developed 390 hp (290 kW) in its production form and could reach 110 km/h (68 mph) in first gear. Renzo Rivolta also showed a one-off Grifo A3/L Spyder at the Geneva auto show. The production of Iso Grifo GL started in 1965. In October 1966 the very first Grifo with a Targa Top was shown at Turin. This was one of only 13 Series I Targas ever built and subsequently only four series II Targas were built.

Iso



American Brute Force with Italian Panache


In 1968 the Grifo 7 Litre was introduced with a version of the Chevrolet 427 big-block. The massive block required changes to the car to fit including a hood scoop. The engine was also moved back about 40 centimetres (16 in), making the A3/C one of the first front-mid-engined cars ever built. The 7 litre chevy engine produced 435 hp (324 kW) at 5800 rpm and a claimed top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph). The Iso Grifo GL however, donned the Chevrolet Corvette’s 327 5.4L V8 engine either in 300 or 350 hp guise. These engines were shipped in from the United States and completely stripped down and blueprinted before being promptly squeezed into the Grifo. Tensions arose between Rivolta and Giotto as while Renzo Rivolta focused on the A3/L, Giotto tried to promote the A3/C. This meant that the Grifo GL was being produced at Bresso and the A3/C at Piero Drogo’s Sports Cars of Modena.


Stylistic Changes and Hens Teeth.


In 1964 the prototype Grifo A3/C raced at Le Mans finishing in 14th place. 22 examples of the Bizzarrini Grifo A3/C were constructed before a disagreement between Renzo and Bizzarrini ended the collaboration. In 1965 Giotto Bizzarrini and Renzo Rivolta parted company which resulted in separate production of the street Grifo GL and the competition Bizzarrini A3/C. From 1970 onwards there were a number of changes to the Grifo, these included a sleeker front end such as hide-away headlights. In this new Series II, four Targas were built, whilst the IR-9 "Can Am" version sported the 454 engine. Production stopped in 1972. The final year of the Iso Grifo, 1972, the Grifos’ final incarnation began to use the Ford Boss 351 engines, these Ford powred Grifos can be identified easily by their taller bonnet scoop. In total, only 413 Grifos were built, 322 Series I and 78 Series II cars 90 of which were the 7 Litri. The rarest are the Series II 5-speeds (23 units) and rarer then hens teeth are the Series II Targa of which only 4 were manufactured.


Summary


Positive  American Muscle and Italian Styling.

Negatives  Iso Who?


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