First shown to the public at the 1962 Torino Motor Show, the Iso Rivolta IR 300 was a beautiful 2 door Coupe and GT that emerged from the collaboration between chief engineer Giotto Bizzarrini and designer Giorgetto Giugiaro.
Following the doctrine established by DeTomaso, who sourced V8 engines from Ford, Iso sourced their powerplants from GM, Bizzarrini chosing the Chev Corvette 5.4 liter "Turbofire" small-block V8 engine, along with the transmission. Much of the suspension was sourced from Jaguar, including the de Dion axles and 4 wheel disc brake set-up.
Where the car really shone was with it's brilliant chassis. Rivolta proposed the use of a platform chassis to allow easier and more cost effective mass production, the challenge was for Bizzarrini to produce something that was cost effective yet maintained rigidity. His answer was the design of a pressed-steel and welded panel chassis designed to flex up and down, which would be countered by the body that was designed to flex forward and backward.
The chassis was a revelation, proving to be exceptionally rigid and what many believed to be the most sophisticated and accomplished chassis
used in a GT of that era. The Rivolta was perfectly placed to take sales away from the high end Italian marques such as Ferrari and Lamborghini, and the Iso factory was considered the most advanced in the country.
Things got off to a great start in 1963, with 171 cars being sold. That same year Bizzarrini designed the Grifo A3/L (L for Lusso), the new model quickly becoming the focus for the company. Then in 1965 Bizzarrini and Rivolta parted company, Bizzarrini going on to develop the A3/C.
The following year Renzo Rivolta would die suddenly, his son Piero assuming control of the company. With the Grifo receiving rave reviews, and given the relatively small output the factory was capable of, having two models competing with each other didn't make economic sence. Even though the Rivolta was a brilliant car, there was little doubt that, if having decide between the two, the Grifo would be chosen.
Iso Press Release
Iso is a new concept of high-performance motoring. It is a principle so logical you'll wonder why it wasn't done before. Iso combines, in a single luxurious package, a powerful, reliable American engine with coachwork by the renowned Bertone of Italy. And it goes a step beyond this, for Iso is the first car of its class to carry four adults in comfort. The engine is the 300-hp Chevrolet built Corvette Turbofire V-8 (More powerful engines are available as extra-cost options).
It can be serviced readily at any of more than 6,000 convenient establishments throughout North America. Iso offers the skilled motorist a rewarding experience as soon as he sits behind the wheel. Responsive almost beyond belief, few cars in the world can match Iso's brilliant acceleration. Nor do they possess its well-mannered handling, its sensitive steering, its silence, its sheer comfort and luxury. Within a few short months of its introduction as a new name in motordom, Iso established itself as a member of the elite company of fine, high-performance motorcars. It plans to stay...
Perfect weight distribution and an extremely advanced suspension design work together to give Iso unique road-holding ability. It is a car that can be driven safely at high speeds, and possesses the uncanny quality of rewarding the average driver, as well as the expert, with a sense of achievement. Safety has been a prime consideration in the design of Iso. The massive box-type chassis supports a body of electrically welded steel panels. Great strength results, yet a damaged section can be quickly and easily replaced with a new panel by any competent craftsman.
Iso Sales Brochure
Sure footed Iso suspension, designed by Giotto Bizzarrini, utilizes unequal-length arms in front, with inclined coil springs; Coil springs plus rubber are used in the rear to reinforce the advantages of a true DeDion rear axle. Special aircraft shock absorbers were designed for both front and rear of Iso. An exciting new car from Italy, Iso.
Combining European styling with high perf. US-power plant is an idea that has intrigued designers and builders on both sides of the Atlantic for many years. Most of such products were and are for racing, like Allard, Lola, AC Cobra. Newest entry from Italy is Iso, a four seater whose elegance disguises the power within. Its name is Iso, and its pedigree is impressive: body by Bertone, suspension and chassis by Bizzarrini, engine by GM Corvette. It looks like a GT and acts like one. 0 to 60 in 6.2 seconds, acceleration from standing start to 130mph in 29sec!
The enthusiast who believes that the high performance car ought to be stark as long as it is spirited may find the Iso not to his taste. The driver and front passenger have reclining seats, and the entire interior is finished in Connolly leather
. What the English call the"squabs"of the front seats are cut away in the back to allow more than ample knee room for those sitting in the rear. Quite possible there isn't a better, more beautiful, instrument panel on any car anywhere. The car is obviously built for the man who wants to know what is going on under the hood, and there's a gauge for everything, including oil temperature.