By the late 1960s and early 1960s, the Iso Automoveicoli S.p.A. model lineup included the two-door coupe called the Grifo and the Fidia, a luxurious four-door sedan. Both wore styling by Giorgetto Giugiaro, with the Grifo created while working at Bertone and the Fidia while working at Ghia. Both had front-engine, rear-wheel-drive configuration and both employed an overhead-valve Chevrolet V8 engine. Additionally, the Iso Rivolta two-door grand tourer with 2+2 season was built from 1962 to 1970. With the production of the Rivolta coming to an end, Iso replaced it with another 2+2 seater called the Iso Lele (also called the Iso Rivolta Lele).
The Iso Lele was produced from 1969 through 1974 with 285 examples built during that time. It was named after Lele Rivolta, wife of Piero Rivolta, the son of Iso company founder Renzo. It was introduced in 1969 at the New York International Auto Show and wore angular styling courtesy of Marcello Gandini while working at Bertone. There were hidden headlamps with popup covers partially covering the quad headlamps while not in use.
The powertrain was shared with its siblings and initially included a General Motors 5354cc Chevrolet V8 from 1969 to 1972 and a 5,736cc Ford 351 V8 from 1972 to 1974. The Chevy V8 engine delivered 350 horsepower and was available with a four-speed manual and a four-speed automatic transmission sourced from General Motors. Later, a five-speed unit from ZF Friedrichshafen became available.
The eight-cylinder Chevrolet engine was replaced in 1972 with Ford's Cleveland V8 after General Motors demanded that Iso pay in advance for the engines. Approximately 125 examples used Chevy power, with 112 having the 300 horsepower version and 13 with the higher 350 hp specification. The Ford engine delivered 325 horsepower and used a Ford-sourced automatic transmission, while the manual transmission remained unchanged. 135 examples had the 325 horsepower version which 25 had the higher 360 hp specification. Of those 22, 3 were Marlboro replicas and 2 were the Lel IR6 Marlboro edition.
The chassis was the same one designed by Giotto Bizzarrini of Società Autostar for the Rivolta IR 300. It was a pressed steel and welded panel chassis with twin trailing arms using a De Dion axle located by parallel radius arms with a transverse Watt's linkage along with a Salisbury limited-slip differential. The front wheels were suspended by unequal-length double-wishbones with coil springs All four wheels also received coil springs and telescopic hydraulic shock absorbers. Dunlop disc brakes with servo assist were located at all four wheels, mounted inboard. The Campagnolo alloy wheels were wrapped with Michelin XWX tires (215/70 VP15). The length was 183.1-inches, the height of 53.1-inches, and the wheelbase measured 107.9-inches.
Standard interior accouterments included electric windows, plush carpeting, air conditioning, and leather upholstery. Instrumentation included a speedometer, tachometer, fuel, water, oil, and ammeter gauge.
The standard version of the Lele was known as the IR6 and in 1973 it was joined by the 'Sport' version, equipped with a modified engine with 360 horsepower, 8.6:1 compression, a redline of 5,800 RPM, and a bore and stroke of 101.6 x 88.9 mm. The only engine available was the ZF five-speed transmission.
The Iso-Marlboro brand was formed from an agreement with Philip Morris and Iso. Iso was commissioned to build two modified Leles for their Formula 1 Team Drivers. To reduce weight, the cars were stripped of non-essential materials including sound deadening material. The interiors housed a new dashboard and modifications were made to the engine, bringing the 351 Cobra Jet engine to 360 horsepower. The car built for Howden Gangley was painted Marlboro Red with Marlboro badges on the front fenders and introduced in 1973 at the Geneva Auto Show on the Iso Rivolta stand. The car built for Nanni Galli was painted in white. At least two other cars were built for promotional purposes and are called the Marlboro Replicas. by Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2021
Related Reading : ISO Lele History
The Iso Lele was produced from 1969 through 1974 with a total of 285 examples produced. It was a 22 seater that was positioned between the Grifo and the Fidia and was fitted with a V8 engine (from Chevrolet or Ford). The style was performed by Marcello Gandini at Bertone. Piero Rivolta, the son of Iso company founder Renzo, named the car Lele after his wife - Lele Rivolta. The Lele was.... Continue Reading >>
Related Reading : ISO Lele History
The name Iso has been synonymous with luxury for many years throughout the automobile world. Ieri, oggi, domani Italian for yesterday, today and tomorrow Is Isos trademark. Named after Lele Rivolta, the wife of Piero Rivolta the son of Iso, the company founder of Renzo, the Iso Lele was quite a classy vehicle. Unveiled in 1969, the Lele was designed by Bertone and was the successor to the.... Continue Reading >>
The Iso Rivolta LeLe was produced from 1969 to 1974. As a 2+2, it filled the gap between the Grifo and Fidia. It was named after LeLe Rivolta, wife of Piero Rivolta and daughter in-law of the founder, Renzo Rivolta. It is one of 285 LeLes made includ....[continue reading]
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