Iso Grifo 5.7 Litre IR 8, 1973
Iso Grifo 5.7 Litre IR 8, year 1973. Colour grey metallic with a blue leather interior. This fabulous Iso Grifo was sold new in Italy. The automobile has known only one owner from 1975 until the year 2012! From new the car has driven only 49.295 kilometres! The IR 8 is the last Iso Grifo road car ever built. The IR 8 features the 5.7 Litre Ford Cleveland V8 engine. Only 34 IR 8 cars were built, it is the rarest of the species. The car sports a 3-speed Ford Cruise-O-Matic automatic gearbox. The Iso Grifo is a truly stunning Bizzarini designed sports car, a fantastic car to own and to drive and a sound investment.
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The Any car enthusiast will remember the BMW Isetta from the ’50 and ’60. This low priced three or four wheel car only had one big door in the front. In total more than 160.000 Isetta’s were made under license of Iso. It is less known that Iso has built two great sports cars in the ’60 and ’70 designed by Bertone with fabulous driving capabilities constructed by the former Ferrari engineer Bizzarini. We are talking about the Iso Rivolta and the Iso Grifo.
The Iso Rivolta derived it’s road-holding mainly to the De Dion rear axle construction, a system Lancia was famous for in the ’50 and used in it’s Aurelia and Flaminia.
The Iso Grifo took over the good road-holding on a shorter wheelbase and added more power to it. In those days it had to compete with Ferrari and Maserati. As for road-holding the Iso was the better car, but the engine had to be something special. Therefore Iso built in the most powerful V8 engines of Chevrolet and later on Ford.
Giorgio Giugiaro of Bertone has designed the beautiful body, which looks elegant and brutal at the same time. The first Grifo’s had a Corvette engine of 5.3 or 7.0 litre but the later IR8 model got the Ford Cleveland 5,7 litre engine with a maximum power of 325 HP and a top speed of 257 km/h. In total only 412 Grifo’s were produced, of which ninety 7-Litri models and only thirty-four IR 8 models. This is probably why so few people really have seen an Iso Grifo on the road.
Ford Cleveland 351 cui V8 "big block" engine
Carburettor: Holley "four barrel"
Capacity: 5726 cc, 351 cubic inches
Max. power: 325 SAE bhp at 5800 rpm.
Max. torque: 349 lbs. at 3800 rpm.
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Brakes: disc brakes all round
Top speed: approx. 250 km/h.
Weight: approx. 1450 kg.