Iso Rivolta

Iso Rivolta was to insolvency in 1974 a resident in the Italian Bresso manufacturer of sports cars, small cars and motorcycles. The most popular vehicles of the company are the two-seater scooter mobile Isetta and the high -performance sports car Iso Grifo.

  • 6.1 Ennezeta


The company's beginnings lie in the production of refrigeration equipment, which was the focus of activity until 1953. At this time, the company Isothermos said. In 1953 the owner, Renzo Rivolta, the scion of a northern Italian industrial dynasty, the production of motorcycles and scooters ( Isomotos ) around. Then he developed the microcar Isetta with two seats and front entry, which was originally conceived as a three-wheeler, but was soon delivered for reasons of stability than four-wheeled vehicle with two closely set rear wheels. The Isetta was built in 1954 under license by different companies in several states ( Velam in France, Iso España in Spain, Isetta of Great Britain in the UK and ROMI - Isetta in Brazil). The most successful was the German Isetta from BMW. The BMW Isetta fulfilled the German post-war dream of mobility and was sold in 1962 to more than 130,000 times.

Together with the designer Giotto Bizzarrini, designer Giorgetto Giugiaro and the coachbuilders Bertone developed Renzo Rivolta Iso Rivolta 300, an elegant Gran Turismo with a balanced technology and outstanding performance: The 5.4 -liter V8 engine derived from the Chevrolet, as well the transmission; the axles and brakes were inspired by the technique of large jaguars that time - a conception that Iso also maintained for all subsequent models (from 1972 with Ford 351 Cleveland engines). The Rivolta 300 was introduced in 1962. With a similar technique originates from 1964, the sports car Iso Grifo, the improved performance offered again.

After the sudden death of his father Renzo Rivolta Piero became head of the company in 1966 with 25 years. Under his aegis, the sedan Iso Fidia, arose the loud self-promotion " fastest four seats on wheels", the Iso Grifo 7 - or 7.4 -liter Corvette engine and the 2 2 coupe Iso Lele, as successor to the was brought to the ISO Rivolta 300 on the market. Overall, only about 1700 GTS were built.

In 1972, the company got into trouble. A thin capital base, which is unusual for a low-volume producers width of the model range and the effects of the oil crisis caused together with the very high prices in an economic imbalance, from the Piero Rivolta, the company could no longer exempt. In June 1973 Iso was sold. The new owner was the Italian businessman Ivo Pera. It was renamed the company " iso Industries Corporation ". The New York-based Pera announced to introduce American management methods, and presented a five-year plan, which provided for an increase in production to 1,000 vehicles in 1974 and 5000 automobiles 1979. In addition, the development of new models has been announced. Nothing came of it. In the summer of 1974, just a year after the takeover by Pera, Iso was insolvent and liquidated.

In order to strengthen the interest in the brand Iso, the company participated in 1973-1974 in Formula 1 However, it entertained not have its own team. Rather, we made ​​use of the team and the infrastructure of Frank Williams Racing Cars from the UK. The Williams team designed three custom vehicles that were reported in 1973 as Iso - Marlboro IR1 and IR2 Iso - Marlboro and Marlboro in 1974 as iso- FW01, FW02 Iso - Marlboro and Iso- Marlboro FW03. Successes were, not least in view of irregular and incomplete payments of iso, hard to reach. The best results for world championship races were several sixth places. The most successful race was the Gran Premio Presidente Medici, which was held in Brasilia in February 1974. In this race, which had no world championship status, was Arturo Merzario in IR2 third parties. During the year 1974, the team called back to Williams.

Rivolta family

Piero Rivolta lives with his wife Lele ( Rachele ) in Sarasota, Florida, USA, where he heads the Rivolta Group mainly operates as a real estate developer. His son Renzo provides luxurious sailboats ago ( Rivolta Yachts ). Piero Rivoltas daughter Marella directs with her husband Andrea Zagato renowned northern Italian coachbuilder Zagato Style Centre, which is part of the Rivolta family.

On September 21, Marion died in 2007 Rivolta, wife of Renzo Rivolta and mother of Piero Rivolta, at the age of 101 years.


In addition to the mass-produced vehicles Iso presented individual prototypes:

At the beginning of 1964, even before the series production of the coupe started off, placed in front of an elegant Bertone Spyder version of the Iso Grifo which was not designed for mass production.

1972, when the work had already faced with serious financial problems that the iso Varedo a two-seater mid-engine sports car with a wedge-shaped body whose design reminded roughly to the recently presented Lamborghini Countach was presented. The chassis was designed by Giotto Bizzarrini one more time, in the detail of his work for the prototype Bizzarrini Manta had been guided. The vehicle was wearing a badge with the inscription " Iso Rivolta Design "; actually the body by Ercole Spada was designed, a former employee of Zagato. The body was made ​​of plastic. At the rear, a 5.8 liter eight-cylinder Ford was installed, which was coupled with a five-speed transmission from ZF Friedrichshafen. The name of the vehicle recalled to the new location of the production of Iso Rivolta.

The red and black painted prototype of Varedo 1972 presented at the Turin Motor Show. The car was roadworthy and has been subjected to, among other things on the circuit of Monza in-depth tests. Contemporary reports praised among others the performance of the sports car.

The car did not progress beyond the prototype stage; neither the development was continued for additional copies created. The reason for this is unclear. It is possible that Iso Rivolta no longer had sufficient funds to bring the car to production maturity and produce. However, it is also conceivable that a series production was never planned, the Varedo was therefore designed from the start as a single piece, which should only strengthen the public's interest in the brand Iso Rivolta.

Attempts at resuscitation


The former ISO employee Roberto Negri and Maurizio Zanisi founded in 1976 in Paderno Dugnano the new company Ennezeta Srl and presented to 1979 some copies of her models Grifo, Fidia and Lele.

In 1991, Piero Rivolta before a new vehicle called Iso Grifo 90, with whom he wanted to test the public's interest in a revival of the brand Iso. The car was developed with Dallara. He took advantage of the drive technology of the Chevrolet Corvette and was designed by Marcello Gandini a plastic body. A series production did not materialize; Dallara represented only a yellow painted prototype forth.