Grifo GL Series I
- Multi-year, 3,000-hour restoration completed in 2019 from a highly original “barn find” example
- Finished in factory-correct Azzuro Metallizzato (Steel Blue - 106A32) over a cream and black leather interior
- Numbers-matching 327 cu-in small block Chevrolet V8 engine upgraded to 350 horsepower specification as part of the restoration
- Upgraded with a Tremec five-speed manual transmission, Girling disc brakes, and wider seven inch Campagnolo wheels ideal for long-distance touring
- Accompanied by original numbers-matching BorgWarner four-speed manual transmission, original set of six inch wide Campagnolo wheels, a digital copy of its original build sheet, and numerous restoration invoices
Italian industrialist and refrigerator manufacturer Renzo Rivolta changed the name of his company from Iso Thermos to Iso Autoveicoli S.p.A. after WWII to reflect its production of scooters, motorcycles, and microcars. Grand Touring cars came next, with the public presentation of the sleek Bertone-designed, Chevrolet-powered Iso Rivolta IR 300 at the 1962 Turin Motor Show. Giotto Bizzarrini, ex-Ferrari engineer and architect of the Lamborghini V12, was responsible for the IR 300’s sumptuous, long-distance touring chassis, and once again teamed up with Rivolta and Bertone’s Giorgetto Giugiaro to follow it up with the Iso Griffo A3/L (Luxury) and A3/C (Corsa) prototypes in 1963. The production Grifo GL debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1965 with subtle design changes and a 327 cu-in small block Chevrolet V8 under the long, artful hood, remaining in its original “Series I” form until 1970.
This 1966 Iso Grifo GL hails from the second year of production and is one of approximately 34 Series I examples produced in right-hand drive specification wearing Giugario’s original streamlined, muscular design. Previous research indicates that chassis number GL 640064/D was completed on 19 July 1966 and arrived in England on 3 August via importer Trojan Ltd. On 9 January 1967, the Grifo was delivered to its first owner, Mr. Kubicki of Manchester, through Mangoletsi Ltd. in Knutsford, England. A digital copy of the original build sheet paints a picture of the Grifo’s original configuration at the time of delivery, finished in Argento Indianapolis (Silver) over a Pelle Bleu (Blue) leather interior. The car was equipped with a standard 327 cu-in V8 mated to a BorgWarner “top-loader” four-speed manual transmission, Campagnolo wheels with central locking, Koni shock absorbers, Dunlop tires, and a 2.88 rear axle ratio as a European-delivery example.
First registered a day after delivery on 10 January 1967, the Grifo remained with Mr. Kubicki until December 1979 when it passed to a Mr. Gill of Norwich, England. Gill is understood to have painted the car yellow and installed a Webasto glass sunroof. In the mid-1980s, the Grifo would pass to a third English owner before entering the long-term stewardship of Michael Jardine-Paterson of Lockerbie, Scotland in February 1986. Paterson registered the car later that year and enjoyed driving it for a short time before entrusting the car to a restoration shop with plans for a comprehensive restoration. But circumstances at the time meant that the car remained intact for a decade before Paterson relocated it to his garage in Lockerbie, where it sat for a further two decades. In 2016, Grifo 064/D emerged from storage for the first time in over 30 years in highly original, but neglected condition in need of a complete restoration, at which time it was acquired by the consignor.
Enlisting the help of several Iso Grifo restoration specialists, the consignor set about returning Grifo 064/D to its former glory, starting by carefully disassembling, cataloging, and reconditioning as many original components as possible. The body and frame were separated and sandblasted with the body receiving a cathodic dip coating to prevent any future rust before being completely rebuilt, including the production of a new roof area to replace the former sunroof. Once reconstructed, the body was renewed in factory-correct Azzuro Metallizzato (Steel Blue – 106A32), and the interior re-trimmed in cream and black leather courtesy of Cardeko in Essen, Germany. A complete rebuild of the numbers-matching V8 engine was entrusted to the engine specialists at Motorencenter Heyd in Bamberg, Germany, who rebuilt the engine to 350 horsepower specification with correct add-on components used in period at the Iso Rivolta factory including an upgraded camshaft, pistons, cylinder head, intake manifold with Holley carburetor, larger valves, and a higher compression ratio. With daily usability in mind, the BorgWarner four-speed transmission was exchanged for a Tremec TKO 600 five-speed manual, with the numbers-matching original transmission being rebuilt by Hermann Oberlack in Neuss, Germany (included in the sale). Additional improvements included a conversion from right-hand to left-hand drive, upgraded Girling disc brakes which appeared on later Grifos, an EZ electric power steering system, a new set of Campagnolo 7-inch wheels replacing the 6-inch originals (included in the sale), and a change of the rear axle gear ratio to 3.07.
Completed in August 2019, the result is undoubtedly one of the finest ground-up restorations of a Series I Grifo extant, with a recent vehicle valuation report conducted by Classic Data GmbH in June 2022 concluding that chassis 064/D is in Grade 1 overall condition: “Immaculate condition… like new (or better).” The over 3,000 hours invested into renewing and improving this highly original Grifo make it the ideal way to experience the most legendary Italian-American Gran Turismo in its purest, Series I form.
We offer this vehicle for our partner company Collectors Garage from Michigan, USA. Collectors Garage is a subsidiary of the Broad Arrow Group.
The car can be viewed at our premises in Germany, 33415 Verl at any time by arrangement. A lifting platform is available for this purpose.
Please contact us if you are interested in further information.
We prepare our descriptions and advertisements very conscientiously and carefully. Nevertheless, we ask for your understanding that the details given here are non-binding descriptions which do not represent guaranteed properties. We are not liable for errors, input errors and data transmission errors and reserve the right to make changes prior sale.
In this case, the sale is carried out on consignment without display of the sales tax and without warranty.