Year of manufacture1969
- Rare Series I example with a factory conversion to a Series II nose in period
- Believed to be one of 90 Iso Grifos powered by a 7-Litri engine
- Equipped with a Tremec five-speed manual gearbox
- Completely restored in 1989, presents beautifully today
- Finished in the beautiful shade of Bordeaux over Saddle leather
- Rides on rare Magnesium knock-off wheels; equipped with air conditioning
Early on in production, Iso hit on a highly successful formula: shoehorning powerful American V-8 engines into small, lightweight, Italian coachwork penned by some of the best designers in history. Their first offering, a four-seater called the Rivolta, was powered by a 300-brake horsepower Corvette engine. The profits from this project enabled Iso to develop a companion two-seater known as the Grifo.
Designed by Bertone with the assistance of noted designer Giorgio Giugiaro, the Grifo was powered initially by Chevrolet’s venerable 327-cubic-inch V-8. By 1970, however, Grifos like the car offered here were powered by the iconic Chevrolet 427-cubic-inch V-8, or the 7-Litri as it was referred to by Iso. The same Chevrolet motor had gained notoriety by powering Corvette race cars around the most storied racing circuits in the world. In period, Iso claimed their 7-liter Grifos were capable of achieving186 mph, a very impressive feat. Though limited in production, these 7-Litris were highly desirable when new and remain so to this day.
This example was completed on 6 June 1969 and delivered new to its first owner in Italy. It left the factory equipped with the aforementioned 7-liter engine, believed to be one of 90 such cars so equipped from the factory. The car was later factory-converted with a Series II nose in period, giving the car a more modern Grifo appearance with the sleek hide-away headlights. The original four-speed manual transmission has been upgraded to a more usable Tremec five-speed manual gearbox.
Completely restored in 1989, this Grifo still presents nicely, finished in a wonderful shade of Bordeaux. Exterior features include push-button door handles, “7-Litri” badging on both b-pillars, and the large, raised hood scoop, appropriately nicknamed the Penthouse, making it possible for the hood to close over the 7-liter engine. Completing the look of the exterior are the knock-off Campagnolo magnesium wheels which are shod in Pirelli tires. A full-size spare can be found in the trunk.
The interior is completed in Saddle leather with bucket seats and leather-wrapped center console. It features a woodgrain dashboard housing Veglia Borletti instrumentation which are easily visible through a three-spoke wood-rimmed steering wheel with Griffin center cap. Additional interior amenities include highly desirable air conditioning, a dash clock, and Becker Europa II AM/FM radio, and power windows. The magnificent tones of the 7-liter engine can be heard through a quad-tip Ansa exhaust.
With its stunning Bertone design, formidable Corvette-derived powerplant, and luxurious interior, it comes as no surprise why 7-Litri ownership has remained a sought-after experience.
To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/az21.