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Presented in June 1991 near Modena, the Grifo 90 was an attempt to revive the Iso marque by Piero Rivolta and Piero Sala.
Powered by a front mounted turbocharged 5.7-litre Chevrolet V8 (tuned by Callaway) with 440bhp driving the rear wheels through a six-speed gearbox only one (non-functioning) example was ever built. The aluminium body was fitted to a tubular steel chassis frame. Double wishbones and disc brakes were fitted all round.
Both Gandini and Dallara were involved in the design of the car, which was predicted to exceed 300km/h and need a mere 4.5 seconds to reach 100km/h.
Before the second world war, Renzo Rivolta had built up a succssful company, Isothermos, building refrigerators. The 1940s saw him turn his hand to scooters, keeping the well known Iso name. From this they progressed to the Isetta, a 236cc bike engine powered bubble car. This was built from 1953 to 55 (although licence production in other countries continued until 1964).
There was a delay before the next car arrived, and when it did it was a very different beast. The Rivolta was a two door, four seat rear-wheel drive saloon, powered by a 5359cc Chevrolet V8 ohv engine. This set the trend for future Iso's, with a chassis design by Bizzarrini, bodywork design by Bertone and the big Chevrolet engine.
Shortly afterwards the Grifo emerged from Iso's Milan factory. This used a similar engine and chassis to the Rivolta in a new two seat coupe body. The Fidia, which was introduced in 1967, was a four door, four seat saloon, still based on a similar combination of chassis and engine. The last production car from Iso was the Lele, a 2+2 coupe replacement for the Rivolta, still with basically the same engine and chassis.
In 1966 Renzo Rivolta, the man behind the company, passed away and his son Piero took control. The company made an ill-judged move into Formula One with Frank Williams and at about the same time the oil crisis hit. The combination of these events saw the closure of Iso in 1975.
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