Reader Submissions: This Restored Iso Grifo GL300 Is Now Close to Concours Condition

This Restored Iso Grifo GL300 Is Now Close to Concours Condition

By Matthew Lange
May 31, 2014
13 comments

Owner: Martin Lange

Year, Make, and Model: 1967 Iso Grifo GL 300 Series 1

Location: Surrey, England

Photographer: Matthew Lange and restorers at G&A Fabrications

Imagine being at the opera and a gorgeous female lead comes on stage and instead of singing Verde, she belts out AC/DC’s Thunderstruck?  This metaphor pretty much describes the Iso Grifo GL 300. Instead of the overhead cam V8 or V12—an engine you might expect from a sixties Italian GT—under the bonnet lies the simple but effective small-block Chevy.

This particular Grifo is a 1967 series 1 example bought four years ago by my dad. It was nearly complete but had not run in many years, and although it was right-hand driver, its previous British owner had kept the car in the South of France for most of its life.

Since acquiring the car, Dad embarked on a complete restoration. After stripping the car back to bare metal, it was discovered that there was extensive corrosion. G&A Fabrications was entrusted with sorting the metalwork, and meanwhile, Penn Autos and their proprietor, Andy Frost, tackled the rebuilding of the 327 cu in V8 and the two-speed Powerglide automatic. Andy is famous for owning the world’s fastest street-legal car, the drag racer the Red Victor, so despite his offer to build the engine up to 1,000 bhp, my dad requested it be retained in stock configuration.

With the metal work finished, the body was transferred to Ross Packard Paintwork to be painted in period Grigio Ferro. The car was black when Dad acquired it, but records show it was delivered in Old English White. (Curiously, when the various layers of white were stripped off, there were indications the car was originally a metallic red.) With the mechanicals and bodywork were done, the Grifo was turned over to our mechanic, Vince Mezzullo, to complete the reassembly.

Once back on the road, my dad was unhappy with the characteristics of the Powerglide transmission, so the car went right back to Penn Autos and the Powerglide was substituted for a newer three-speed Turbo Hydramatic.

With this final change, the car is now back on the road for the first time in several years and is ready to be enjoyed once again.

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Bjørn
Bjørn
7 years ago

What a nice car!

Zak Dhabalia
Zak Dhabalia
7 years ago

Hi there, I was fortunate to buy this car at Bonhams. It really is a staggering restoration to create a truly beautiful car that turns heads all the time everywhere. The owner Martin Lange was a real gentlemen and super helpful providing lots of spares, books, magazines and a wonderful photo/invoice documentation that ran into 8 full files.

Brock Vandervliet
Brock Vandervliet
8 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

That looks like a very high quality restoration. I’ll keep on eye on Bonhams results. I owned the burgundy big block Grifo that sold at Amelia in March. It is great seeing the model get more attention from the marketplace.

ACFowles
ACFowles
8 years ago

That is quite fabulous – an excellent job by all concerned.
Amazed at the thought of a two-speed automatic when these days they seem to start at six-speed and go up to nine.

Eddie Relvas
Eddie Relvas
8 years ago

One of my favourite cars ever! I’ve been in love with ISO’s for a very long time, and a feature I found on a 60’s QuattroRuote interviewing several owners drew me even more to them. The style, performance, confort… it’s just so damn cool.

This one looks absolutely amazing, love the Campagnolos! Congrats on an amazing machine!

Michael Schiebler
Michael Schiebler
8 years ago

I am looking for spinners (for the wheels)like you have on the car when it was black! Any chance you want to sell these?

Rene Borggreve
Rene Borggreve
8 years ago

Good restoration of a beautiful and rare car. I hope you will enjoy it for a long time.

sydz
sydz
8 years ago

Gorgeous…

Ae Neuman
Ae Neuman
8 years ago

simply beautiful

Dustin Rittle
Dustin Rittle
8 years ago

Ohh man soo many good pics of those lovely car. I love the interior shot and the engine bay shot of that awesome Chevy engine. Im glad you decided to keep the engine in stock configuration. Its a simple recipe you mix brilliant Italian style with simple reliability American muscle and damn watch out.