Tag Archives: Rivolta

Bella Bella – Auto Italia Brooklands

Last Saturday I was privileged to find my self at Brooklands for the Auto Italia Italian Car Day where a substantial group of enthusiasts gathered to celebrate all things Italian except perhaps the weather and the food.

AC Zagato 378 GT, Auto Italia Brooklands

Focused under the new Chairmanship of former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Europe General Sir Jeremy Mackenzie, GCB, OBE, DL, AC Cars launched the AC Zagato 378 GT at Geneva in March with plans to build the car in factory where Noble cars used to be built and for them to be sold initially in Europe. After the 1950’s AC Ace Bristol Zagato and 1960’s AC Fura the 434 hp Chevy powered 378 GT, seen above, becomes AC’s third collaboration with Zagato.

ALFA Romeo 8C Competizione, Auto Italia Brooklands

Despite having first been seen in Frankfurt a decade ago the ALFA Romeo 8C Competizione looks as fresh to day as it did then, this is only the second of the 500 Coupés built I have ever seen.

Ferrari 250 GT Lusso, Auto Italia Brooklands

I featured a Ferrari 250 GT Lusso a couple weeks ago seeing one in red on Saturday convinced me this is the colour to go for.

FIAT 128 Rallye, Auto Italia, Brooklands

There were many interesting FIAT’s on display the first of two to really grab my attention was this FIAT 128 Rallye, my first very first car was a slightly lesser FIAT 128 1100.

FIAT Coupé Pick Up, Auto Italia Brooklands

The second FIAT to really grab my attention was this FIAT Coupé Pickup, which the lads sitting in the back had spent all week converting just in time for the show ! While not the absolute fastest Pickup on the planet the 20V Turbo motor powering it should easily make this a 150 mph vehicle.

Iso Rivolta IR 300

Smoking it’s tyres, courtesy of it’s Chevy V8, all the way to the 1 in 4 gradient of the famous Brooklands Hill was this 1960’s Bertone designed Iso Rivolta IR 300. First time I recall seeing such a car.

Lamborghini Jarama S, Auto Italia Brooklands

Cool as cucumber I’d never seen a Lamborghini Jarama S before either given that only 152 of them had ever been built perhaps this was not surprising, what was surprising is that the covers that partially conceal the headlights do not pop up but fold down to reveal the head lights when required, the proud owner has just finished fixing the electric motors that make this possible.

Lancia Beta, Auto Italia Brooklands

During the course of the morning many of the cars present were driven at a moderate pace for demonstration laps on the adjacent Mercedes Benz world test track which was lined four or more deep along the accessible half of the circuit. Above a 40 year old Lancia Beta is put through it’s paces.

Maserati 50/T2/SS, Auto Italia Brooklands

A ‘you could have knocked me down with a feather’ moment came when I saw the badge on this 50cc mottoette, Maserati who the expletive puts Maserati badges on the petrol / gas tank of a moped I asked myself, Wiki informs me that the heir to part of the Orsi family fortune Ida Orsi who inherited the electrical components manufacturing division of Fabbrica Candele Accumulatori Maserati S.p.A. and promptly bought the Italmoto company of Bologna and moved it lock stock and barrel and began manufacturing motorcylces in 1956 the company which sold it’s motorcycles with the Maserati brand name and trident trade mark developed a 50 cc / 3 cui range of mopeds which included one aimed at the male market another at the female market and a third like the 1959 50/T2/SS seen above for sports enthusiasts. These 2.3 hp trident branded novelties sell for UK £ 5,000 at auction.

Monteverdi 375L, Auto Italia Brooklands

Above is probably only the second Montiverdi I have ever seen this 1972 High Speed 375L is powered by a 7.2 litre 440 cui 400 hp Chrysler Magnum motor much like the contemporary Jenson Interceptor and Bristol 412. The 375L was originally designed and the body manufactured by Fura but after a dispute in 1969 design and production of the bodies moved to Carozzeria Fissore in Italy with the chassis construction and final assembly taking place in Basel, Switzerland.

Nissan Autech Stelvio Zagato, Auto Italia Brooklands

I’d never heard of a Nissan Zagato Autech Stelvio much less the Nissan F31 Leopard upon which it is based, power comes from a twin turbo V6 which was found in the ZX300, this hand made car, the bulges in the bonnet / hood house the rear view mirrors. By all accounts 200 of these ¥ 18,000,000 (Japanese ¥en Eighteen Million) / £ 139,0000 / US$ 225,000 machines were built in 1989.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Bella Bella’ edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow, when I’ll be reviewing last Sundays racing at Castle Combe. Don’t forget to come back now !


Big Block Pagoda – Iso Grifo Super 7 Litri Series I

Iso Rivolta was the brainchild of Italian Engineer Renzo Rivolta who had been responsible for Isothermos refrigeration units prior to World War 2.

Iso Griffo Super 7, Silverstone Classic

Wishing to move into motorised transport markets Rivolta developed a range of expensive but well built durable motorcycles from 1948 to 1961.

Iso Griffo Super 7, Silverstone Classic

In 1950’s Renzo developed his best known vehicle the Isetta Bubble Car that was manufactured by Iso in Italy and under licence by Velam in France, Romi in Brazil and most successfully by BMW in Germany.

Iso Griffo Super 7, Silverstone Classic

After leaving Ferrari in 1961, where he had been responsible for the fabled Ferrari 250 GTO, Giotto Bizzarrini set up his own design studio and in 1963 designed the mechanical architecture of the Iso Griffo A3/L. The Grifo,launched in 1963, featured a blueprinted, a process of disassembling a motor then rebuilding it with all the engine parts matching the exact original engine blueprint design specifications for optimal performance, 400 horsepower small block Chevrolet motor.

Iso Griffo Super 7, Silverstone Classic

In 1968 the Grifo was made available with a 435 hp Chevrolet 427 big block motor, requiring the pagoda like air scoop on the bonnet to accommodate the extra height of the larger engine,

Iso Griffo Super 7, Silverstone Classic

along with extra ventilation in the front wings to keep the motor cool, seen on this vehicle which was built in 1969.

Iso Griffo Super 7, Silverstone Classic

The Grifo 7 Litri was said to be capable of 186 mph.

Iso Griffo Super 7, Silverstone Classic

It would appear that just 67 of the 7 Litri Series I vehicles were produced from 1968 to 1970 when the rarer Series II Grifo’s with pop up head light covers were introduced.

Iso Griffo Super 7, Silverstone Classic

The combination of rarity, Bertone styled beauty and mechanical simplicity, a result of using many proprietary parts including the engine and gearbox, makes the Grifo a relatively easy to maintain collectible car.

Thanks for joining me on this 7 Litri edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t for get to come back now !