One Long Lost Iso Grifo – Part 5: going to a deserving home.

Once the dust had settled it can be stated that THE nicest original Iso Grifo on the planet has found the deserving home I talked about earlier. It was taken to the Gooding auction at Pebble Beach and the buzz was on that this car would make it’s presence there. Justin from Gooding had done a good job of getting the word out and even though this is not a “F-car” there were several very high end buyers present to see where this one ended up. It was presented well at auction and was in good company – the ex-Millner 7Litri was across the room in all it’s (restored) glory. Us insiders know the car and even though it presents beautiful it was not as “original” as Sam’s Series II small block Grifo 369. However, we had no hopes of beating it in a bidding war – our 369 was heading for a whole different clientele.

At the Concourse d’Elegance there was the rumor another fully original Grifo was to be shown there and it kinda scared us in that much that it could be a serious contender for Sam’s 369. However, as soon as I saw it on the Boulevard in Carmel it was obvious the car was no comparison to ours. It was yellow and it was obvious it was driven hard and put away wet – even though very charming the car showed tired and would need to be restored. Nevertheless, it was one of the few remaining original (driving) cars that can be used “as is” – it was well worth having it flown over from Italy. If it was not for Sam’s 369 I would have voted the yellow car for “best original”…

I met Sam at the car and we knew we had done the best we could – this was the moment to find out what the world thinks of an ORIGINAL car. The auction itself was perfectly executed except for the commentator calling the car “Aiso Griffo” – telling me just how unknown these cars still are! The bidding started at $200,000 and flew up to $400,000 within 20 seconds, where it stalled a bit and it ended up being sold at $465,000!! This means with buyer’s commission it ended up setting the record for an unrestored Grifo at $510,000! This was the reward for our hard work; Sam was happy and the car ended up with a good friend who is elated to have it in his collection now. It is among a gorgeous Bizzarrini Strada I found for him, a very unique Iso Grifo Can Am and many other high profile exotics. End good, all good!


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Happy Father’s Day

Hoping all my fellow dads had a great Father’s Day! Here are some pictures from the Rodeo Drive Concours that was held today in Beverly Hills.

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Restoration Chronicles: Iso Fidia – Assessment

The Fidia was driven to my shop and the owner and I went over it, assessing the main points we had to tackle. The car looked very nice from ten feet, had good paint and nice contrasting interior and very nice brightwork. At closer inspection several rust bubbles showed up, it became clear the paint was very roughly applied (and cheap quality) and the interior had an “off” color throughout. In sunshine exposed places the leather was pumpkin color, in hidden areas it was red. The engine (very) obviously needed a rebuild and the engine compartment showed a (very) quick glossy black paint job over pretty much everything that did not need any paint. The car appeared very solid with the main rust in the corners of the doors and rear valance. We agreed that I start to dismantle it and see if I need to do a full restoration or can maybe get away with a partial one. I only offered that because the car looked really honest and it has a long known California history. The disassembly started the week after it got to my shop…

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