This Restored Iso Grifo GL300 Is Now Close to Concours Condition
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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