“The TT has always been the most iconic race at Goodwood. I was looking for something I could race in it with that would be special. I looked at all the different cars, and I don't know why, but they just didn't feel quite special enough.
“And then I heard the story of Bizzarrini, and he was the most fantastic man. And he designed the Ferrari GTO, the finest car ever. Amazing. But then, he fell out with Ferrari's wife, and he went out on his own. A typically Italian story. Wonderful.”
Steve continues with an infectious and boyish enthusiasm, a quality which shows he’s a man who genuinely loves the stories and engineering craft which comes as part and parcel of these machines, and a man who cares about passing these stories on to the next generation.
“He went out on his own and he was obviously quite upset so he built this car with the intention to eat up the Ferrari GTO. It's a very special piece of machinery and it has got some wild engineering in it, way in advance of its time.”
Built by Piero Drogo’s Carrozzeria Sports Cars in Modena, the A3/C model was the race-prepped version of the Iso Grifo – the other being the luxurious A3/L. What strikes you as you stand over the A3/C is how low, long and wide it is. This race car is big. But one that looks like it should be fast, as all the best do.
The advancement Steve mentions relates to the heavily-tuned 5.3-litre Chevrolet Corvette engine block which was used in all Iso cars. This monstrous power-unit was fitted way-back into the middle of the car to compliment and balance its lightweight monocoque. Bizzarrini was so pleased with the results, it is suggested he described the A3/C as the second coming of the GTO. Not only that, he considered it the more refined of the two. He would say that though, wouldn’t he?