1963 Iso Grifo A3/C Prototype
This is the works prototype Iso A3/C – the Turin motor show car, tested at Le Mans in ‘64, and piloted by the great Pierre Noblet and Edgar Berney as a works entry to 2nd in class (19th overall) at the ’64 Nürburgring 1,000 km.
Famously penned by the great engineer Giotto Bizzarrini, chassis B-0201 is the first alloy riveted A3/C bodied by Drogo of less than 20 made. With American V-8 power, the competition counterpart of the Iso Grifo A3/L was designed to tackle the Ferraris and Cobras in GT racing, and to win – another example famously finished first in class at Le Mans in 1964.
A test engineer at Ferrari, Bizzarrini had engineered and tested the very greatest Ferraris -from 250 Testa Rossa, the 250 SWB, to the 250 GTO. Expelled in the infamous Palace Revolt, Bizzarrini found work first with ATS, then with Renzo Rivolta to develop a new GT car. With front mid-engine design, the Grifo in competition form can be regarded as the ultimate iteration of the GTO.
Then sold into private ownership, B-0201 was campaigned in ’64 and ’65 events by Italian Antonio Finiguerra, most notably the 1965 Monza 1,000 km as factory entry finishing 7th in class and 13th overall. Later period owners included Pierre de Siebenthal, and Silvio Moser.
The story resumes triumphantly in the mid 90s when B-0201 was effectively the first Iso A3/C to be returned to front line historic racing, by the well-known and respected Monaco-based historic racer Jeremy Agace. Restored by Lanzante, she enjoyed great success, including in drives shared with former BRDC chairman Ray Bellm, winner of the International GT championship and the BPR Global GT Series in the McLaren F1 GTR.
In 2003 B-0201 won the Goodwood RAC TT, piloted by Richard Attwood and Marc Hales and was then shared by Barry Williams and Martin Stretton in the 2007 TT. Unfortunately, the Stretton had an off at Madgwick after putting a wheel on the grass, shunting the Iso but emerging with only a broken arm, a testimony to the Iso’s strength.
From 2008 B-0201, was entrusted to Lawrence Kett of G&A Fabrications and Simon Blake of Historic Automobiles who carefully straightened her and made every possible effort to preserve her historic fabric. Remarkably little new metal was required and we believe she emerged as a testament to the maxim that cars are to be raced, people are precious, and metal can be repaired!
Since the restoration, her current owners have continued to run the car and prove its Bizzarrini mettle in historic racing. In outstanding order and with current HTP papers, the A3/C is a competition machine ready to tackle all comers. Suitable for the Goodwood RAC TT, Le Mans Classic, Spa Six Hours and other great competition events.
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