Classic Cars

Auction, 0216


120.000 / 160.000



CHASSIS N. 410510







The story of the Iso Rivolta is a typical one of entrepreneurship in Italy in the Fifties and Sixties. On an essentially still open market (from a technical rather than fiscal point of view) there was space for whoever had the possibility and enterprise to launch themselves into the construction of high luxury cars. Renzo Rivolta, with his solid background in the textiles sector, had founded a mechanical company which at first produced thermo-hydraulic systems and subsequently lightweight motorbikes and the famous Isetta bubble-car.

In the early 1960s he was among the people who, noticing the high performance of the mass-produced American engines, thought of combining them with an Italian line to create a high class hybrid. The Iso Rivolta was launched in 1962 with the successful bodywork realized by Bertone and the essential contribution of the young Giorgetto Giugiaro: in fact it was the first car completely designed by him.

Technically it had a brilliant chassis, realized with the contribution of Giotto Bizzarrini, with independent front suspension and De Dion rear axle. The engine was a 5300 CC V8 Chevrolet, the same as the one mounted on the Corvette, specifically tuned and with special pistons, cylinders and conrods, as per Bizzarrini’s brief, available in a 300 or 340 horsepower version.

It was precisely this engine which guaranteed absolute performances, making it possible for Iso to obtain a very advantageous price positioning. In Italy the Iso Rivolta cost almost 5,550,000 Lire, a good one million less than the comparable Ferrari 250 GTE.

The Iso Rivolta offered a highly successful compromise between interior spaciousness and the comfort of a luxury saloon and sports vehicle without any compromises, with extremely reliable mechanics that did not require the constant attention to which the owners of other Italian thoroughbreds were accustomed.

For these reasons it was immediately very successful in both Europe and the United States where the fact of having a ‘local’ engine made it easier to manage. In Italy it also found some regular clients who wanted a top vehicle but that was not as recognizable as a Ferrari. Many captains of industry had one, and one in particular, Giannino Marzotto, the winner of two Mille Miglia races, really knew his sports cars!

The vehicle presented here, which has just been subjected to very careful restoration, was purchased in 1964 by a big company in the textiles sector which is still a worldwide leader of Italian Style, undoubtedly for the personal use of the owner, and was registered in the province of Vercelli. The second owner re-registered the car in Milan which is why the number plate is slightly more recent; in any case a “period correct” number plate as well as the original documents is very rare thing for a type of vehicle that, in the years in which it was simply a second-hand car, was generally purchased by foreign enthusiasts.

It is not common to find an Iso Rivolta on the market and this example, restored to perfection thanks to the intervention of many specialists who originally worked at Iso (among which Iso Restoration – the workshop of Mr. Negri the Iso Rivolta test driver), represents a special opportunity to purchase a vehicle whose gestation was accompanied by two of the most celebrated protagonists of Italian motoring. With its history and documentation complete right from the first day, its original black number plates and important provenance, this is without doubt the definitive Iso Rivolta.

The vehicle is in excellent mechanical condition but, for safety reasons, we advise the purchaser to have it checked over and to replace the fluids, filters and perishable elements.