What bigger compliment than being a source of inspiration to fellow film makers. CineCars proudly presents: The Iso Rivolta Chronicles!
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. When in 1966 Renzo Rivolta died shortly before his 58th birthday, the company went on to his son, Piero Rivolta.
Due to the oil crisis on one side, and the artisanal approach to production on the other, Iso Rivolta had to close the books in 1974. Their cars had become too expensive and their production model couldn’t keep up against the streamlined production processes of their competition. With the demise of Iso Rivolta, the automotive world lost one of the great Italian super car manufacturers. The most famous model being the Iso Grifo, a gorgeous touring car designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and Giotto Bizzarrini at Bertone.
The Grifo was designed for the track, than tuned down for road use, making it by far the most exciting Iso Rivolta ever. The original Grifo packed a 350 Chevrolet small block, modified by the Italian company with a custom intake manifold. It had a four-barrel carburetor and a spaghetti style exhaust. The Grifo had independent front suspension and a DeDion tube rear axle. Four disc brakes, the rear ones being mounted on board to reduce unsprang weight, made sure handling was trusty and secure.
The 7 Litri was the ultimate evolution of the Grifo, the most powerful car produced by Iso and probably the fastest production car of that era. The prototype was fitted with a L71 big block with solid lifters and a 11:1 compression ratio, producing 435 HP, revving all the way up to 6500 rpm. Production models received a tamer L36, producing ‘only’ 390HP at lower RPM. The Grifo bodywork was modified to accommodate that bigger and hotter engine. It featured a bigger expansion tank, bigger clutch and the famous ‘pagoda’ air scoop on the bonnet. The 7 Litri really took Iso Rivolta into the league of super car manufacturers.
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