1969 Iso Grifo Connects Son to Father
Owner: Darren Frank
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Year, Make, and Model: 1969 Iso Grifo
Photographer: John Webber and Darren Frank (with the help of DiMostra “showroom” effect)
Growing up, his friends’ dads all had Chevrolets, Fords, or perhaps an Oldsmobile or Plymouth. But Mr. Darren Frank’s father was the only one around with an Iso Grifo and for Darren it was always a point of pride. After his dad passed away when Darren was only eleven years old he promised himself that he’d have one by the time he was thirty. He was able to keep his promise and purchased this one right on time, at age thirty.
That was twenty-five years ago and he’s still in love with how rare it is (one of 412 built), how it handles, the styling (by Giugiaro while at Bertone) and how quick it is. Most of all though, Darren loves how the Iso connects him to his father and his father’s passion for cars. This may sound very neat and romantic, however getting the car was anything but.
Darren found this car advertised in his Iso club newsletter after searching for ten years (!). He called the number listed and no one answered. “For two months, I called and left a message every single day. When the owner returned from his sabbatical, I asked him where I stood in being able to buy his car. He told me I was his first call, his last call, and almost every call in between. I could buy it over the other interested parties if I bought it sight unseen, so I did.”
His perseverance paid off but unfortunately, the car was in Salt Lake City, Utah and Darren was living in New York City at the time. Furthermore, due to snow in the area, the car couldn’t be picked up for almost two months.
The Grifo did finally arrive in New York City and has been with Darren since. Nowadays, he likes driving it in rural areas, on twisting, turning roads where he can enjoy the sound of the exhaust and the synchronicity he feels with the car. It does get driven fairly regularly even though it’s an award-winning show car. And it always gets driven to shows no matter how far away—he’s driven it as far as 500 miles in a single day to show it, win an award, and drive right back home.
And in case you’re wondering, this isn’t his father’s car. That still belongs to the person that bought it 44 years ago.
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