1970’s Iso Grifo
The Iso Grifo was a limited production grand tourer manufactured by Italian automobile manufacturer Iso Autoveicoli S.p.A. between 1965 and 1974. It was intended to compete with Grand Touring offerings from Ferrari and Maserati. What differentiated it though was the use of American powertrains and components supplied by Chevrolet and Ford. The first production models appeared in 1965 and utilized Chevrolet small-block 327 (5.4-litre) V8 engines fitted to American supplied Borg-Warner 4-speed manual transmissions. Later Grifo’s utilized big-block Chevrolet 454 V8 (7.4-litre) engines. And finally in 1972 a small-block Ford Boss 351 engine (5.8-litre) for the final evolution. Styling was done by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Bertone while the mechanicals were the work of Giotto Bizzarrini.
I will admit that this one isn’t to modified as they are pretty cool in original form. Envision it with a modern Chevrolet LT4 engine and T56 6-speed manual gearbox and few other updated internal mechanicals along with VintageAir cooling. Body modifications are minimal as why mess with Giugiaro’s work? (and I combined bits of Series I and II into this version) And a soft metallic color is my choice as many of the bright primary colors these were painted originally are just too garish and scream “please look at me”.
I had the chance to buy a slightly tatty 1970 Iso Grifo about seventeen years ago and I passed as all I could envision was “Italian Corvette”. Today I wish I had bought it and it was sitting in my garage (with driveline updates) for weekend touring in the mountains or across the desert to Los Angeles to visit friends.