I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Friday, 15 July 2016

MECUM MONTEREY #6 - This 1965 Iso Grifo A3/C Bizzarrini Competizione has been exquisitely restored.

  • Giotto Bizzarrini built 20 Iso Grifo A3/C race cars with the rare Drogo riveted alloy body
  • Lightweight aluminum Drogo riveted body designed and built by Carrozzeria Sport Auto Drogo
  • Sold new to race car driver Pierre de Sibenthal in 1966
  • Sold to a new owner in the late 1969s in Switzerland
  • Car remained in Switzerland for approximately 20 years before being sold to a new owner in Italy
  • Kept in storage for another 20 years
  • 5.3L engine with 400 HP
  • 4-speed transmission
  • Monococque chassis
  • Backed by Swiss import papers and customs documentation
  • Titled as a 1966 model as it was first sold in 1966
This 1965 Iso Grifo A3/C Bizzarrini Competizione has been exquisitely restored by marque specialist Salvatore Diomante and is one of just twenty produced with the rare Drogo riveted aluminum body. The A3/C is the brainchild of Giotto Bizzarrini, regarded as one of the most prolific automotive racing designers of his era. 
He came into international prominence while working for Ferrari from 1957-1961 as their Chief Development Engineer on both the Sports Racing and GT cars. His body of work included the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa and the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO. 
He left Ferrari in 1961 as part of the famous “palace walk out” – the mass mutiny of eight key members of the Ferrari brain trust in an act of both defiance and solidarity against the draconian management style of Enzo Ferrari. He would later collaborate with industrialist Renzo Rivolta to produce the “Iso Grifo A3/C Bizzarrini.” 

The basic lay-out was of front engine design, however, the engine was placed far behind the center line of the front wheels making it truly an amidships car with perfect 50-50 weight distribution. The clever design also called for side mounted gas tanks which maintained the overall balance of the car regardless of fuel load. 
The suspension was independent double wishbones in front and an independent DeDion axle arrangement in the rear. Clothed with an aluminum body penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro of the Bertone Design Studio was low drag coupe standing only 43-inches high. 
The lightweight aluminum bodies were built by Piero Drogo at Carrozzeria Sports Cars in Modena. There were only twenty five Iso Grifo A3/C Bizzarrini cars completed at the time of Renzo Rivolta’s death in 1965, twenty of which were of Drogo built riveted aluminum body construction. After Rivolta’s death, Bizzarrini would continue on with production of the car with two minor changes: the name and badging would be changed from “Iso Grifo A3/C Bizzarrini” to “Bizzarrini 5300 GT” and the bodies would be constructed by Carrozzeria BBM in lieu of Drogo.
The engine selected for the Iso Grifo A3/C Bizzarrini was the Chevrolet 327 cubic inch V-8. This engine had been used in a previous Renzo Rivolta built automobile, the Iso Rivolta. Bizzarrini was enamored with the high winding small block Chevrolet power-plant for its horsepower, dependability and low cost.  
When asked about the Chevrolet engine, Bizzarrini replied “It was superior to the Ferrari’s engines, having the same power but with more immediate throttle response.” The car was a brilliant design that clearly demonstrated speed, reliability and effective aerodynamic design. 
Unfortunately, due to its low production number it was unfairly penalized by the homologation rules to race in the “prototype” class, a field dominated by big bore sports racers like the Ford GT40. The racing records simply do not reflect the genius of design and execution of the Iso Grifo A3/C Bizzarrini.   
Offered here is one of the original 20 Iso Grifo A3Cs with the rare Carrozzeria Sport Auto Drogo body that has its trademark exposed rivets covering the entire body. Iso A3C number B-0219 was sold new in 1966 to the famous Pierre de Siebenthal, the factory Bizzarrini driver. 
The car was sold without engine and we can suppose that the car was destined to be raced. De Siebenthal then sold the car to his client in Switzerland and car was registered in 1969 with a 5.3 liter V-8 Engine. 
The car spent the next 20 years in Switzerland before relocating to Italy where it spent an additional two decades in storage. Don’t miss this opportunity to own one of the finest Italian GT race cars of its era: The Iso Grifo A3/C Bizzarrini Competizione.