Iso Grifo Series I 7 litre by Bertone

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Grifo Series I 7 litre by Bertone





Iso was initially named 'Isothermos and manufactured refrigeration units before World War II. The company was originally founded in Genoa in 1939, but was transferred to Bresso in 1942 by Renzo Rivolta, an engineer and the heir of industrialists. The business was refounded as Iso Autoveicoli S.p.A. in 1953 to reflect the production of motorized transport. Renzo Rivolta died in 1966, and his son, Piero, took over as managing director. At the start of 1973 the Rivolta family ceded the business to an Italian American financier named Ivo Pera who promised to bring American management know-how to the firm: the business was again renamed to Iso Motors, just before fading rapidly into obscurity.

The Iso Grifo is an Italian grand tourer automobile manufactured by Iso Autoveicoli S.p.A. between 1965 and 1974. Intended to compete with Ferrari and Maserati GTs, it used a series of American engines to simplify production, lower cost, and maximize reliability. Styling was by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Bertone, and mechanicals the work of Giotto Bizzarrini.

The first production GL models appeared in 1965 and were sold with modified Chevrolet Corvette small-block 327 (5.4 L) V8s fitted to Borg-Warner 4-speed manual transmissions. With over 400 horsepower (300 kW) and a vehicle weight of less than 2,200 pounds (1,000 kg), the Grifo was able to reach speeds over 275 km/h (171 mph).

In 1970 the Grifo Series II appeared, with sleeker styling and hide-away headlights and big-block Chevrolet 454 V8. It was replaced in 1972 with the Grifo IR-8, which used a small-block Ford Boss 351 engine. This was the last Iso of any type, as the manufacturer shut down in 1974.

In 1968 the Grifo 7 Litri was introduced with a Chevrolet L71 big-block engine, a Tri-Power version of the 427 engine. This seven-liter power plant required changes to the car to fit, and a hood scoop was needed because of the engine's height. It produced 435 hp (324 kW) at 5800 rpm and the factory claimed it could reach a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph). Total 90 cars produced.

In 1970 a styling change was made to the nose section of the car for the Grifo Series II. It got a sleeker look and hide-away headlights. In this new Series II, four Targas were built, and for the IR-9 "Can Am" version the engine was switched from the 427 engines to the newer 454 engine. Production stopped in 1972.

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