Tatra87’s superb look at the Italian “assembler” Iso, with its use of Chevrolet V8 engines clothed in superb Italian suits, included the Grifo. Intended to compete more directly with Ferrari’s GT cars, the Grifo used a shortened chassis, a higher-output 350 hp 327, and a superb new body designed by Maestro Giorgetto Giugiario. Car and Driver subjected one to its road test regime.
This was an Italian Corvette, no more, no less. You could choose tailored steel by Bill Mitchell or Giorgietto Giugiario. Tough call!
Tailored glassfibre in the case of the Corvette!
There had to have been a significant price difference. I’m a fan of the early chrome bumper C3s so I’ll skip the custom Italian tailoring and go for the Sears’ Best version.
I still have the Matchbox version in deep, metallic navy blue.
I would imagine that Iso got its exemption? Senator Birch Byah of Indiana was probably involved because of the Avanti company in Indiana, another extremely low volume Chevrolet-powered car.
Sometime in the late 60’s, in my dad’s Popular Mechanics magazine, a small piece about Iso was published. They included an address to write to for more information.
I’m sure I hand-printed a request on lined paper (I was 11 or 12).
In return, I got a very nice typewritten letter thanking me for my interest, and a beautiful full-color catalog printed in several languages.
I wish I still had the catalog, but it was thrown out sometime in the course of several moves.
geeber, I had that one also and wish I still did. It would be nice to have the catalog as well, Dan. The test results don’t make the ISO seem like anything special vis-a-vis its competitors but it is a very handsome car.
I had never seen an Iso Grifo as a kid (still never have seen one), but this one was by far my favorite Matchbox. I went on lots of imaginary “road trips” with it.
Mine was red with black doors (weird combination) and it was my very first Matchbox. Unfortunately I lost it.