1969 Iso Grifo S Targa

Manufactured from 1965 to 1974, the ‘standard’ Grifo primarily utilized the small-block Chevrolet Corvette V8 engine, except for its final iteration, which featured a Ford power plant. Even the mildest Grifo boasted 350bhp, reaching speeds of approximately 160mph. For enthusiasts seeking extraordinary speed, there existed the exclusive 427ci (7.0-liter) ‘big block’ model.

Unveiled in 1968, the 7.0-liter Grifo underwent significant mechanical modifications to accommodate its larger, more potent engine. Distinguished by a notable bonnet scoop known as the ‘Penthouse’ due to its shape, this variant surpassed the regular Grifo in both appearance and performance. The factory asserted a top speed of 186mph for the long-legged 7.0-liter Grifo, outpacing a Ferrari Daytona.

Iso also presented the more potent 7.4-liter ‘Can Am’ iteration of the engine, boasting a claimed 390bhp at 4,800rpm and 500lb/ft of torque at 3,600 revs. Additionally, a racing version named the A3/C Corsa was part of the Grifo lineup. Despite early successes, Rivolta and Bizzarrini eventually went their separate ways. Bizzarrini later reintroduced a modified version of the A3/C under his own name in 1965. In the production span from 1965 to 1974, Iso manufactured around 412 Grifos, including a limited number of Targa coupés.

The Targa, first unveiled in 1966 by Carrozzeria Pavesi of Milan, featured a central pillar, a two-piece roof that could be stored in the trunk, and a ‘soft’ rear window with a zipper. Referred to as the ‘S’ project by the factory, production Targas were equipped with a reinforced chassis, a model-specific windscreen, and a glass rear window, all constructed at Iso’s facility in Bresso near Milan. Production of Targas concluded in 1971 after only 13 cars were assembled in Bresso, while an unspecified number were completed by Pavesi.

Source: Bonhams Cars