Auctions

1967 Iso Grifo GL: 2016 RM Sotheby’s London Sale Feature Car

Lot 108, S/N GL640064/D, sold at $172,592

Yellow over black leather interior. 327-ci, 300-hp, OHV V-8. Four-speed manual transmission. One of about 34 right-hand-drive examples manufactured. In barn-find condition with original, non-running engine. Pretty much as rusty as a car can be before it becomes one with the dirt, this is a most ambitious restoration project. There were a few ounces of rust lost on the floor under this car between the preview day and the sale day. It appears that everything is there, but this is still a daunting project.

What do this car, the BMW Isetta and an Italian refrigerator have in common? No, that’s not a setup for a joke. In fact, Iso is an Italian company that made refrigerators before it developed the “bubble car” Isetta that was licensed to BMW and others. Before the Grifo, Iso made a four passenger GT car called the Rivolta. Powered by a Chevrolet V-8 engine, the Rivolta was a left-field competitor to the Aston Martin DB4, the Ferrari 250 GTE and the Maserati 3500 GT. The Grifo, designed by Giorgetto Guigiaro while employed by Bertone, was a two-passenger car that also was initially Chevrolet powered. Records indicate that somewhere near 400 Grifos were made with production ending in 1974. Fast-forward a few decades and the Grifo has become among the most desirable of Italian cars even though Iso was a company a fraction the size of Ferrari, Maserati or Lamborghini.

A great Iso Grifo might sell for $450,000 or so and with that in mind, there just may be enough financial room given the purchase price to unscramble this egg. One can assume there will be quite a few large checks written and many manhours spent before this Grifo cruises the road again instead of disintegrating all over it.

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