Meet the ‘Classico’ Inspired Italian Corvette – the Iso Grifo
The Iso Grifo seems to share some questionable similarities to classic Corvettes.
It’s been said and said again: imitation is the greatest form of flattery.
Now, our guess is that whoever came up with that saying probably had a deep distaste for somebody trying to copy their idea. That got us to thinking about what some of the Corvette designers thought about the Iso Grifo, manufactured from 1963 to 1974. Especially since Road and Track refers to the car as “Italy’s version of the Chevy Corvette.”
Hey, their words, not ours.
Now, before everyone here starts unleashing a barrage of comments, bashing R&T’s statement, know this: the Iso Grifo and the Corvette did have a few things in common. Namely, that the Italian sports car and our beloved American icon both used different variants of the Chevy small and big-block V8s through the years.
And, the cars are both two-seaters. Okay, so, maybe that’s not really a good comparison, considering there were a gang of those in the ‘60s.
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But wait, there’s more! The Grifo’s long-swooping hood curves into the front of its fascia. And it was also a front-engine car.
Still, not buying the “Italian Corvette” thing? Hey, work with us here. There has to be something that says, “classico” Corvette when you see that Iso Grifo.
In all sincerity, we do really get the point made by Road & Track. When you look at it all objectively, it’s pretty hard to dispute the fact that the Iso Grifo was heavily inspired by the Corvette.
At the time, however, the car was intended to be a more direct competitor to brands like Ferrari and Maserati. And despite the fact that we’re still struggling with the Italian sport car’s connection to the ‘Vette, the Grifo certainly is worthy of its own accolades.
After all, the lead designer for the Iso, Giotto Bizarrini, also conceived the Ferrari 250 GTO and Lamborghini’s first V12.