The ISO Rivolta Fidia was designed with a body by Giorgetto Giugiaro then still working for Ghia, to compete with the Maserati Quattroporte first seen in 1963, and was first shown to the public at in 1967 at the Frankfurt Motor Show where it carried the S4 name.
By the time of the 1969 press launch in Athens the S4 had been renamed Fidia after the artist “Phidias” who was responsible for the friezes that decorated the Parthenon that Lord Elgin controversially sent to England in 1802.
The choice of Athens for the press launch was not the wisest as the local petrol was not of sufficiently high octane to prevent “pinking” which where the peak of the combustion process no longer occurs at the optimum moment for the four-stroke cycle.
At the time of the press launch, with the strap line “The Fastest Four Seats In The World” today’s featured car the second built and first with right hand drive, had already been built and delivered to it’s owner John Lennon for a price in excess of a comparable Rolls Royce.
Until General Motors demanded payment in advance of shipping the Fidia was powered by the 5.4 litre / 327 cui small block Chevrolet motor which gave the car an impressive rest to 60 mph time of 7 seconds.
From 1973 on the Fidia was powered by Fords 5.8 litre / 352 cui V8 with either a 5 speed manual ZF transmission or Fords Cruise-o-matic automatic transmission.
Despite John Lennon buying three Fidia’s, with 192 built between 1967 and 1975 the Fidia never reached the production levels of the Quattroporte of which 776 had been built when production came to a stop in 1969.
Thanks for joining me on this “Fastest Four Seats” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at an Australian built Land Crab. Don’t forget to come back now !