Vehicles | January 8, 2021 10:19 am

The Next Big Collector Car Is an Unsung Italian With an American V8

Combine Ferrari design with Corvette power, and you’ve got the Iso Grifo

1967 Iso Grifo car
A 1967 Iso Grifo grand tourer: part Ferrari, part Chevy Corvette.
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

A month ago we shared the 11 classic vehicles Hagerty believes will gain the most value in the coming year. It’s a crystal ball of sorts for avid car collectors, and one with a proven track record. But if you’re in the market for something a little more esoteric, Bloomberg caught wind of an unsung Italian grand tourer whose popularity is set to spike in 2021.

The GT in question is an Iso Grifo. The reason you’ve in all likelihood never heard the name before is because there were only about 400 ever made, and that was back between 1963 and 1974. Despite the small potatoes production, and the tendency for old Italian cars like this to be off-putting to Americans due to the hassle it takes to maintain them, Iso Grifos are gaining popularity because they combine the best of Ferrari and Corvette into one sublime driving experience. And no, that’s not hyperbole. 

As Bloomberg tells it, Giotto Bizzarrini designed the chassis for the Iso Grifo after walking off the job at Ferrari, where he put his stamp on such icons as the 250 GTO. The Corvette connection comes by way of the V8 engines which were sourced from Chevrolet, as well as Ford, an odd choice for an Italian outfit in the ‘60s, but one that has stood the test of time.

“Fans of the purebred Italian marques such as Ferrari, Maserati, and Lamborghini were [historically] turned off by the engine, while fans of American V8s struggled with the hard-to-find Italian parts,” John Wiley, manager of Valuation Analytics at Hagerty, told the outlet. 

Today, a new generation of collectors have come to love the Italian-American mix. So much so that some examples are selling for as much as household names like Ferrari Daytonas and Aston Martin DB5s, which translates to six-figure price tags and sometimes even over the million-dollar mark.

The craze certainly isn’t going to calm down this year, either, as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is set to celebrate the Iso marque at its event in August. In other words, if you come across one for sale near you, at least have a look before it gets locked up in a temperature-controlled warehouse somewhere.

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