The ISO Rivolta Chronicles

Iso Rivolta Engine

Once I talked with an old classic cars restorer who mostly worked on Alfa and Porsche,  he told me “I’ve worked only once on a Grifo, but I remember it as the best car I’ve ever worked on”.

Whoever is interested in the small production GT Car built in Italy in the golden era –  the sixties – must see this Youtube series. Made by the same directors of this great video, this series is focused on ISO Rivolta, a brand mostly obscure even among many italian classic cars enthusiasts, which built few of the best GT cars ever made. Not only interviews to the owners, but also to Roberto Negri in his shop in the middle of the mountains near Bergamo, Italy, probably the most skilled man in the world on these superb cars.

Enjoy the show.


5 thoughts on “The ISO Rivolta Chronicles

  1. There are few cars that I have worked on or driven that evoke a joy just to sit in and the Grifo is one of those cars. When you think of the concept of putting a Chevy Corvette engine in a lightweight car with a 5-speed gearbox, one can ole possibilities of a car’s potential.
    In the 1980’s I worked as a mechanic for a trio of men who imported cars from Europe. One day that asked me to do some work on a silver Grifo with some very unusual looking wheels. You can imagine the smile on my face driving the car home to my shop. It was light, it was fast and that 5 speed was pure joy. I can see that car sitting in my driveway to this day.There was a silver lion on the badges so it must have meant it was a fierce car.
    Later the car was sold to a retired Alfa Romeo mechanic Howard Jackson. Howard wanted to take the latest technology at the time from B&M in Los Angeles to make it go faster. Howard installed the B&M injection and a supercharger. When he got it all sorted out, we took it out on a back road where we opened it up. I got the car up to 140 and decided that was fast enough for me. Howard later told me that he took it to 180. I would call that fast living! The car was later sold to someone in Holland.
    A week ago at the Best of France and Italy car show in Los Angeles was a gold colored low mileage Grifo on display and all of those memories came flooding back. There was a welling up of water in my eyes remembering those times with Howard and the thrill of runnign one of these great cars at its true potential.
    I subscribed to the video’s as I want to see more.
    On a closing note I sawa Blue Rivolta on display at the Cars & Coffee in Scottsdale last month that was all original. What a joy. I put that on my bucket list to own one of these great cars.


  2. this whole series is fantastic. it’s a shame the episodes dont have more views. the episode on the Iso Grifo 90 is one of the coolest car stories i’ve ever heard!


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