Giotto Bizzarrini’s exceptional career started at Alfa Romeo, but Ferrari is where he made his name, developing the 250 SWB, 250 TR and the legendary 250 GTO. Departing Ferrari as part of the infamous ‘Palace Revolt’ in 1961, he was soon involved with upstart ATS and later designed Lamborghini’s V-12.
Bizzarrini worked closely with Renzo Rivolta’s ambitious Iso effort starting in 1962 and later became a constructor of note. At 1963’s Turin Auto Show, Iso debuted the Grifo in two forms: the A3/L as a luxurious GT, and the A3/C as a serious endurance racer. The latter was developed and built by Bizzarrini; as he told author Winston Goodfellow, ‘I started with the idea of Ferrari’s 250 GTO, and wanted to improve on it.’ Iso Grifo A3/Cs won their class at Le Mans in 1964 and 1965, while the road-going A3 Stradale had a quoted top speed of 171 mph in Autosport magazine’s 1964 road test.
Offered here is one of these rare and very desirable ‘riveted’ A3/Cs, made by Carrozzeria Sports Cars of Piero Drogo in via Emilia Ovest in Modena, in front of the Autodromo di Modena. The bodies were made in ‘avional’ (duralumin), a special alloy of aluminium, copper and magnesium that is very light and elastic but very difficult to weld. Therefore, it needed to be riveted in a similar fashion to an airplane. This style of construction allowed the car to be exceptionally light, tipping the scales at 969 kg. Once the chassis and body were completed, Bizzarrini completed the cars at his small Autostar facility in Livorno.
RM Sotheby’s – PARIS 2018 – Formerly owned by Johnny Hallyday – Offered on: Wednesday, February 7, 2018