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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Here's the almost forgotten Iso's unique GT car

Nice Blends Before the 2nd World War, Renzo Rivolta already had a successful fridge manufacturing business named Isothermos. And in the 1940s, the company's business sector turned to the production of scooters under the Iso brand. In the motorized vehicles production then developed into the production of the small-engined bubble car called Isetta in between 1953 and 1955 (although the production under licensed in other countries continued until 1964).
The Iso Grifo 90 was appeared with a sleek body lines and intended to mark the Iso's brand reviving in the 1991. (Picture from: OldCarConcept)
Although there is a delay in the production of the next car. It seems that the company has been steady in a four-wheeled vehicle production sector which at that time was producing very different cars named Iso Rivolta, which appeared as a rear-wheel drive salon, two-doors, four seats, is powered by the Chevrolet-owned V8 OHV engine with a capacity of 5,359 cc. The car was designed by Giotto Bizzarrini with a bodywork carried out by Carrozzeria Bertone and had been set to be a trend for the future of the ISO brand.
The Iso Grifo 90 is designed by Marcello Gandini with the chassis and powertrain developed by Gian Paolo Dellara. (Picture from: OldCarConcept)
Not long after, the company's factory based in Milan made the Grifo model, then the Fidia appeared in 1967. The last production car from Iso was the Lele. In 1966 Renzo Rivolta, the man behind the company passed away and his son Piero took the company's control.😭
The Iso Grifo 90 has certain changes to the interior so that the potential customers would feel like they were sitting in a very special car. (Picture from: OldCarConcept)
Entering the 1970s, the company made a bad move, when deciding to race in the Formula One with Frank Williams, it was an improper decision because carried out when the company's financial condition was not good due to the global situation at the time was in the middle of the oil crisis. The combination of these events caused the fall of the Iso brand in 1975.
The Iso Grifo 90 prototype is based on the Corvette C5 Z06 with the aluminium body was fitted to a tubular steel chassis frame, so it weighs only 1,200 kg. (Picture from: OldCarConcept)
In the late 80s, Piero Rivolta and Piero Sala thought the time was right to introduce the brand back into the market with a new GT. He contacted Gian Paolo Dallara to develop its chassis and powertrain and Marcello Gandini to design its outline, which clearly showed all the styling cues of the 90s. The model was named Iso Grifo 90. The prototype was presented to the press in 1991 and it was meant to be produced in a limited series starting from 1994.
The Iso Grifo 90 prototype is powered by a front mounted turbocharged 5.7-litre Chevrolet V8 engine (tuned by Callaway). (Picture from: OldCarConcept)
What was actually presented, though, only just a prototype, with neither an engine nor a normal interior. Not even the wheels on the car could spin. However, a lack of funds forced the automaker to suspend project development. 

Since then the car model hasn't been seen the daylight until in 2007, when the mock-up for the original model is found by Federico Bonomelli, the owner of the "Mako-Shark" multi material producer which also known as the Iso Rivolta collector and decided to produce the car. Together with his brother, he redesigned the car and got approval from Piero Rivolta to produce 12 units of the Iso Grifo 90.
Federico Bonomelli posed along with one of the classic and rare cars of his owned, the Iso Grifo 7Litri. (Picture from: AutoClassMagazine)
The new prototype is based on the Corvette C5 Z06 with the aluminium body was fitted to a tubular steel chassis frame, so it weighs only 1,200 kg. It powered by a front mounted turbocharged 5.7-litre Chevrolet V8 engine (tuned by Callaway) with 490 hp driving the rear wheels through a six-speed gearbox coupled with the Brembo's brake system and differential locking. The car was predicted to exceed 300 kph and need a mere 4.5 seconds to reach 100 kph.
The rolling prototype of the Iso Grifo 90 was completed in 2010. However, the economic crisis hit at the time, made the initial enthusiasm for the project had waned, so Federico Bonomelli decided not to build 12 cars of the rest. It seems that the Iso's modern GT car model is very unlucky, and had biggest problem is the unsuitable time.😐 *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | CARTYPE | OLDCONCEPTCARS | AUTOCLASSMAGAZINE | CURVES-MAGAZIN | CALLAWAY | DYLER ]
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