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Snapshot, 1964: Anything Ferrari does Bizzarrini can do better

It’s February 1964 in Modena, and the accomplished Italian engineer Giotto Bizzarrini – famously a member of the great ‘Palace Revolt’ at Ferrari in 1961 – has finally come good on his vow to build an improved 250 GTO and is presenting the Iso Grifo A3/C to the world…

The spectacular new Grand Tourer, which was designed by the great Giorgetto Giugiaro and coach-built locally by Piero Drogo’s Carrozzeria Sports Cars, is particularly close to its ‘father’ Giotto Bizzarrini’s heart. Having famously walked away from Ferrari, where he was responsible for the design of such heavyweights as the 250 GT ‘Short Wheelbase’ and 250 Testa Rossa, Bizzarrini teamed up with Renzo Rivolta, whose ambitious Iso marque was in its infancy. Using his powers of persuasion, he convinced Rivolta to produce a sports car capable of writing the company’s name into motorsport’s history books. The result was the A3 – and while Rivolta has focused on the road-biased Lusso version, Bizzarrini has championed a full-fat Competizione variant. The division in interests will prove a sticking point for Rivolta and Bizzarrini and the latter will eventually depart to produce the Chevrolet V8-powered coupé by himself. Still, in claiming two class victories at Le Mans, the ‘250 GTO’s second coming’ will manage exactly what Bizzarrini set out to achieve. 

Photo: Klemantaski Collection via Getty Images ©