Strange Cousins

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Photo from ruelspot.com

Photo from me, I think. These two cars are related. Some of you reading may know that, but the difference in the cars is quite striking.

The top car is the Isetta microcar, also known as the “egg” and the “bubblecar.” The bottom car is the fearsome and beautiful Iso Grifo, an automobile with a Giugaro-designed body and a C2 Corvette drive train. Italian company Iso Autoveicoli designed both cars. The Isetta, whose name means “little Iso,” was built under license in many countries besides Italy.

The Grifo is my kind of hybrid; as noted, it has Italian styling and an American drive train. While I don’t think any cars of this idiom were huge sellers, some of them are amazing creations. This Grifo, the one without the disgusting hood bulge to accommodate a big-block Chevy engine, is one of my all-time favorite cars. In my last blog, it just missed the cut for my Ultimate Garage. If I repeat the exercise for this blog, who knows how this car might fare?

Hemmings doesn’t have any Iso Grifos listed for sale at the moment and Classic Driver has three listed for sale in Europe, but the prices are P.O.R., price on request. At an RM Sotheby’s auction in London in 2016, an absolute wreck of a Grifo—I am not exaggerating—sold for 129,000 pounds or about $172,000 at the exchange rate of the day. A good example of a Grifo would be out of my price range, which might keep it out of the next iteration of my Ultimate Garage.

I would very much like to read about your favorite cars of all time. Please feel free to post their identities in the comments.

 

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