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  Iso Grifo A3/C      

  Article Image gallery (114) Chassis (7) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1963 - 1965
Numbers built:7 (Corsa)
Introduced at:1963 Turin Motor Show
Designed by:Giorgietto Giugiaro for Bertone
Successor:Bizzarrini 5300 GT Corsa
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:February 18, 2013
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Click here to download printer friendly versionThanks to his test-driving and engineering skills, Giotto Bizzarrini was hired by Ferrari in 1957. Here he first fine-tuned existing models and eventually was given the responsibility to develop a new line of GT racers. He was busy developing the 250 GTO, when he together with a number of other key people left the company in the infamous 'palace revolution' of 1961. Together the defectors formed ATS to rival Ferrari in both sportscar and single seater racing, but due to conflicting opinions, Bizzarrini quickly left the new manufacturer. He then worked as a consultant for Count Volpi for whom he created the 'Breadvan' Ferrari and for Feruccio Lamborghini for whom he designed the V12 engine that would power Lamborghini sports cars for decades to come.

In 1962, he teamed up with Renzo Rivolta, who was turning his Iso company into a manufacturer of sports cars. Bizzarrini's first job was to help develop a sophisticated platform chassis for the 'Iso Rivolta' 2+2 coupe. He was then commissioned to turn the Iso Grifo A3/L two-seater into a race winning machine; this was most certainly more up his ally. Pretty much independent from Iso, he conceived the exceptionally low A3/C that was an Iso Grifo in name only. Both cars shared a shortened Rivolta platform chassis and also the double wishbone front suspension and the DeDion axle. Comparing the finished products, it was hard to imagine both cars shared the same underpinnings.

One of Bizzarrini's priorities had always been to mount the engine as far back in the chassis for a good weight balance and with the A3/C he took it one step further; the engine pertruded so far into the cabin that the distributors had to be accessed through small latches in the dashboard. The engine itself was a Corvette derived V8 engine, that in competition spec produced an impressive 405 bhp. Bizzarrini worked in close cooperation with Bertone's Giorgietto Giugiaro to sculpt the A3/C's aluminium skin. Being a racing car, the main priority was to create as little frontal area as possible, but nevertheless the result was quite pleasing to the eye. Drogo constructed the body for Bizzarrini.

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  Article Image gallery (114) Chassis (7) Specifications