With the GT300 in the price list Iso Rivolta builds a genuine race car. CineCars brings you part five of The Iso Rivolta Chronicles; Bizzarrini’s A3C, Renaissance of a race car.
Iso Rivolta was a pioneering Italian automotive brand in the 1950s and -60s. It was a family business led by engineer Renzo Rivolta, who, in the late 40s, decided to transform his firm from producing fridges to creating motorcycles. Rivolta was right; during the 50s, Italian motorcycle production was booming, led by Piaggio’s Vespa, Innocenti’s Lambretta and of course Iso Moto. He then changed his business to automobiles. From city cars, like the Isetta bubble car, to luxury sports cars with big American V8 muscle.
The A3C represents Giotto Bizzarrini’s passion for racing. The engineer used to work on the famous Ferrari 250 GTO, making it one of the most successful racing cars of all times. Racing was part of his DNA. At Iso Rivolta he wants to do the same: create a new race car and be competitive. The A3C is based on a shortened version of the GT chassis. This solution allows to reuse the double wishbone front suspension of the GT and its De Dion tube in the back. From that point on, everything is redesigned. Engine and transmission are placed far beyond the front axle, almost inside the cockpit, for a better weight distribution. The body is designed by Bertone with a strong focus on aerodynamics. The body is attached to the chassis using rivets. They are clearly visible on the bodywork and they lead to the nickname ‘Mille Chiodi’, which means ‘a thousand nails’. The engine is a 327, heavily modified by Bizzarrini. The engine features 4 Weber 45 DCOE carburetors and a custom made spaghetti style exhaust manifold, producing 410Hp at 6200 rpm.
Two cars enter the race at Sebring in 1965. Whilst showing potential, they both are unlucky and crash because of an issue with the braking system. Renzo Rivolta, who is concerned with the high costs of maintaining the entire enterprise, decides to put a stop to Bizzarrini’s racing program. Bizzarrini is more interested in refining his race car, while the company wants him to focus on the development of more luxury vehicles. The relationship between the two starts deteriorating, eventually leading to Bizzarrini’s departure from the company. Today only few of these cars survive, but Iso Restoration was granted permission by the company to recreate 10 more A3C’s.
The Iso Rivolta Chronicles is the first series produced by CineCars’ Italian counterpart An Italian Garage. They are an independent production studio, specialized in automotive videos, aiming for a series of single-topic seasons. This summer CineCars will bring you the full series of The Iso Rivolta Chronicles in HD. Stay tuned for more classic Italian engineering.
Marc GF Zaan