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Coachwork by Bertone
The Iso Grifo Series II presented here, chassis 350410, is one of only 16 examples built during 1973, the last full year of production. According to a copy of the original Automobile Club d’Italia registration records, the certificate of origin for this Ford-powered Iso Grifo was issued on November 23, 1973, and the car was first sold through Iso S.p.A. to Augusto Dona of Bressanone, Italy.
On October 7, 1975, the Iso Grifo was sold to its second owner Oscar Amadio of Trevesio, Italy. Impressively, Sig. Amadio retained the Iso Grifo until 2012, when it was sold through a Belgian broker to a car enthusiast in California. In August 2012, the Iso Grifo made its only concours outing when it was displayed at the exclusive Quail Motorsports Gathering in Carmel Valley, California, as part of a special class celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Iso Automobili.
Having benefitted from the care of just one owner for much of its existence, this exceptionally rare, late-production Iso Grifo remains in largely original condition and displayed just 49,275 km (approximately 30,600 miles) at the time of cataloguing.
Finished in an attractive dark metallic blue livery, this Series II Grifo still wears its Italian registration while its desirable center-lock Campagnolo alloy wheels and Pirelli Cinturato HS tires contribute to a period-correct stance. A testament to its impressive originality, the proper VIS and Sekurit glass, Vitalioni mirrors, and Carello accessories are present.
The engine bay is similarly untouched, with the proper Iso Rivolta valve covers, Ford intake manifold, Fiamm horns and a large capacity Firsat radiator. The brake booster is stamped with a June 29, 1973, date code, and the original Ford Power Products sticker is affixed to the valve cover.
Inside, the stylish cabin retains its original medium blue leather upholstery and carpeting as well as the original headliner distinguished by its unique perforation pattern. Outfitted with Veglia Borletti instruments, Klippan seat belts, a Voxson Quadrophonic stereo and a Nardi steering wheel, the Grifo represents the very essence of early 1970s Italian motoring. Its rare options, including air-conditioning and an automatic transmission, make it ideal for comfortable long-distance touring events.
For the collector in search of a particularly rare and original example of the quintessential coachbuilt Italian-American GT, this is an exciting opportunity indeed.
The Iso Grifo
Originally introduced in 1965, the exotic Iso Grifo was regularly updated throughout its production run to keep pace with evolving performance and styling trends. In 1970, at the behest of Renzo Rivolta, Bertone’s head designer Marcello Gandini penned a new front-end treatment for the Iso Grifo, distinguished by the use of pop-up eyelids over the headlights. The updated Iso Grifo, referred to as the “Series II” model, was unveiled at the Turin Auto Show in October 1970 and garnered a favorable response from buyers and journalists alike.
Two years later, Iso began talks with Ford, whose new 351 Cleveland engine would eventually take the place of Chevrolet’s small- block V-8. Following extensive testing and engineering revisions, the first Ford-powered Iso Grifo left the factory on April 18, 1972. Available with a ZF five-speed or a Ford Cruise- O-Matic transmission, the Ford-powered Iso Grifos featured a variation of the famous “Penthouse” hood scoop giving the tall 351 Cleveland V-8 ample clearance.
In total, just 34 examples were equipped with Ford’s robust 351 Cleveland engine, accounting for a small fraction of the 402 Iso Grifos built.