Like many of history’s most prolific automotive designers, Renzo Rivolta’s prominent influence can be attributed to the beginning, and end, of WWII. Before the war had started, he spent his life building Isothermos refrigerators, but after the war had ended, he recognized Italy’s succinct need for transportation, as well as the designers who specialized in it. Eventually, he would create Iso Grifo, a lauded automotive firm that served as a proving ground for designers like Giotto Bizzarrini and Giorgetto Giugiaro, two of the industry’s finest.
After Rivolta’s early Isetta bubble car was taken on by the German automotive giant, BMW, Renzo used his earnings to create his very own GT platform. Originally, he introduced the Iso Rivolta, a Bertone-styled four-seat coupe that would eventually slim down into the less-refined, but intrinsically fun, two-seat Grifo. The Iso Grifo wasn’t your typical Italian sports car; it fostered a lightweight Corvette engine and drivetrain and departed from the industry’s stereotypical design principles with a sleek, low-slung chassis to give it a look all its own. In 1970, Rivolta went out of its way to update the Grifo into the Series II, which came standard with a powerful Cleveland 351 V8 and automatic transmission, a premium leather interior, and a highly-sought-after driving aid for the era, power steering. This specific example is exceptionally well-kept and will be sold off at RM Sotheby’s London auction for an estimated $233,000+.
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