Iso Automobiles

May 4, 2015 By Mike Lee
Last updated on May 4, 2015

Iso LogoBrief History About ISO

Iso Automobiles was founded in 1953 in Italy by Renzo Rivolta. The Company previously manufactured refrigeration units before WW2 and then motorcycles after the war (until 1961).

Renzo wanted to build a small 2 person car and so developed the 1954 Isetta Bubble Car, which then went on to be licensed to other manufacturers, including BMW, who sold around 130,000 of them.

When the 60’s came around Renzo wanted to build a sporty coupe and with engineer Giotto Bizzarrini, designer Giorgetto Giugiaro and chassis builder Bertone, built the 1962 Iso Rivolta IR 300/GT using a 327cu Chevy engine, followed by an even more sportier car, the 1963 Iso Grifo. The Grifo initially used the same 327cu Chevy engine, but then got a 427cu Chevy engine in 1968, followed by the addition of a 351 Cleveland Ford engine.

Renzo Rivolta died suddenly in 1966 and left the business to his son Piero, who built a few other cars, but eventually went bankrupt in 1973/74. The company was then sold to an American, but little happened to the brand, except for a few prototypes being built.

Iso Grifo
Grifo 1963-1974