1986 was a year of ups and downs for the IROC-Z. The 85mph speedometer has now been exchanged for a more sporting display reading up to 145mph. Last years 215hp 5.0L TPI motor recieved a severe camshaft downgrade and was now rated at 190hp for this model. With the cam change the redline on the tachometer was dialed back to a timid 4500 rpm, in stark contrast to the new speedometer. F41 suspension package was standard for the IROC-Z, but this model has a 2.73:1 peg leg rear behind the 700r4 automatic transmission.
The Daytona Yellow paint and gold trim on the wheels gives it a bit more bark to make up for the lack of bite, but as far as third-generation Camaros go this one sees itself in the middle of the pack of v8 models. It has an impressively low 23,368 miles on the odometer, and that’s likely the biggest reason why this car was able to reach $18,700 in auction.
Iso was an Italian automobile manufacturer that dates back to 1939. They began as an appliance manufacturer, and in 1948 began building motorcycles. In 1953 the company unveiled its first car: the Isetta, famously known as the “bubble car.” They licensed the design to several manufacturers including BMW, who went on to mass produce the car to worldwide fame.
In the early 1960s, Iso entered the sports car market with their first model, the Rivolta. They would later produce the Grifo, Fidia, and Lele models. All of these were low volume production cars, with just a few hundred examples built of each model.
Approximate Production Numbers:
Iso Rivolta: 797 units
Iso Grifo: 413 units
Iso Fidia: 192 units
Iso Lele: 285 units
Iso automobiles combined beautiful Italian design with powerful American engines from Chevrolet and Ford. They were expensive and luxurious models for the rich and famous. The Fidia S4 sedan briefly held the title of World’s Fastest Sedan in the late 1960s. Unfortunately, the market for gas guzzling luxury automobiles evaporated after the 1973 oil crisis, and the company ceased operations permanently in 1974.
I have something of a soft spot for these niche Italian cars, which are much less known than brands like Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Fiat. Regular readers of this site may have even seen my previous posts about the Iso Lele and Iso Fidia S4 in the past. You can imagine my surprise when I walked into the Griot’s Garage booth at the 2019 SEMA Show and saw this gorgeous Iso Rivolta IR 300 coupe. It was a rare sight at an event that is dominated by American muscle cars like the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang.
This particular car belongs to Richard Griot, who founded Griot’s Garage in his home garage in 1988. Griot’s Garage has grown to become a powerhouse brand that offers wash, polish, wax, and other automotive detailing products. This 1967 Iso Rivolta has received a full restoration by J&L Fabricating of Puyallup, WA.
Back in 1967, the Rivolta coupe was offered with two engine choices: a Chevrolet small block V8 making either 300 or 340 horsepower. This car has been upgraded with a GM Connect and Cruise LS7 7.0L V8 engine, which produces 505 horsepower. It is coupled to a Tremec T-56 Magnum 6-speed manual gearbox.
The car has been given a full resto-mod treatment, which means that it does more than just go fast in a straight line. It can also handle corners like a modern car, thanks to an Art Morrison suspension and rear subframe with Camaro rear end. Brakes have also been upgraded to Wilwood 13-inch disc brakes.
The car rides on a set of EVOD Industries 17-inch custom wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero tires, which measure 235/50-17 up front and 285/40-17 in the rear. Other upgrades include a Borla custom exhaust, a gorgeous interior, and a PPG Black paint job done by Jon Beyers Customs.
While it may have looked unfamiliar to the Chevy and Ford guys, this car is essentially an American muscle car in an Italian suit. I really enjoyed seeing this car at the SEMA Show and applaud the owner for building something different than yet another Camaro or Corvette.
1967 Iso Rivolta IR 300 Coupe Specs:
Builder: J&L Fabricating, Puyallup, WA
Owner: Richard Griot
Paint: Jon Beyers Customs – PPG Black
Body and Assembly: J&L Fabricating
Engine and Transmission: GM Connect & Cruise LS7 V8 Engine, Tremec T56 Magnum 6-speed Manual
Suspension: Art Morrison suspension and rear subframe with Camaro rear end
Brakes: Wilwood 13-inch disc brakes
Wheels: EVOD Industries 17-inch custom wheels
Tires: Pirelli P-Zero tires, 235/50-17 front, 285/40-17 rear
Exhaust: Borla exhaust
The sunken headlights, pointed nose and bubble greenhouse on the early fourth-generation Camaro recalls images of fighter jet fuselages. This anniversary model with the typical orange and white paint scheme obscures that image some, but makes up for it with a mean 340hp LT4 engine in place of the factory 275hp LT1.
A G92 performance axle RPO in turn makes up for the 4L60E automatic. The tri-color tail lights that would be a staple of the later models were first found on these 1997’s and are a welcome addition to the overall cars exterior. The Anniversary package, 7,091 miles and pristine condition make this optispark actually fire to the tune of $17,050.
What comes to mind when you think of Volvo? Probably words like safe, practical, boring. None of those are words that would describe Sean Fogli’s 1983 Volvo 242 coupe. The resto-modded car was featured in the Optima Ultimate Street Car area at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. I stopped in for a closer look at this amazing build.
What looks like a dull, early 80s Swedish car is actually a highly capable, tire-smoking, track-ready race car in sheep’s clothing. The car’s original 4-cylinder engine has been swapped for a GenIV 6.0L V8 LS engine mated to a T-56 manual gearbox. The cherry on top is an LSA supercharger from a Cadillac CTS-V, and an LS9 fuel rail and injectors.
Peering in the windows, the roll cage, Racepak display, and Recaro seats with Schruth harnesses are more clues that this is no ordinary car. This Volvo is set up to handle the twists and turns of a road course, which was definitely not in its original design requirements.
The car has a great stance and rides on CCW Wheels with Bridgestone tires. It competed in the 2019 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational, an annual track event that is open to street legal cars and trucks. The LSX badge on the rear of the car is one of a few subtle hints that this Volvo is definitely not stock. This is a super cool build and one of the standout cars of the Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge. I was privileged to see this car at SEMA 2019, and really enjoy featuring these types of custom cars for our readers. The car participated in the end of show SEMA Cruise on November 8, 2019.
What do you get when you combine a pickup truck bed with a passenger car? There’s no witty punchline here – you get a car-based pickup truck or “Ute” vehicle, though few know the official name of “coupe utility” vehicle. The body style originated in Australia in the 1930s. By the 1950s, it had made its way to America as the Ford Ranchero and soon afterward, the Chevrolet El Camino.
These vehicles were in production for many years and offered a unique experience that many drivers couldn’t find elsewhere: car-like handling and size, but with the cargo carrying ability of a light pickup truck. The Ranchero ended production in 1979, and the El Camino met a similar fate in 1987.
For more than 30 years, no automobile maker has stepped forward to fill the demand for this type of vehicle in the market. As a result, a number of custom “car-based pickup trucks” have begun popping up. We’ve covered a few of them before, such as an E36 BMW Truck, Volkswagen Ute, and an Audi Ute around town.
At the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, I happened across one of the cleanest car-based pickup custom builds I have seen to date. This car began life as a 1997 Honda Prelude, and was converted by the owner Song Toh into a small pickup. In a YouTube video covering the build, Song says it took him 15 months and more than 600 hours of time to complete the build. He has also given the car the incredibly clever name of “Prelute” – a combination of “Prelude” and “ute” – the Australian term for this kind of vehicle.
I saw the vehicle on display at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, where it had a steady crowd of admirers. The build photos on the Deviant Customs Facebook page show the progress of the car, from adding additional chassis bracing to the glossy orange wrap, doing basically all of the work himself. Congratulations on a super cool, unique, and very clean build.
Before the emergence of the Nissan 280zx there was the 280z. Named for it’s L28E 2.8L inline 6 SOHC which claims a 148hp rating. With a manual transmission less than 150hp was more than enough for a sporty six-cylinder in the late 1970s. However, this fair lady is equipped with the lackluster 3-speed automatic. It makes up for this deficiency with clean body lines and pure Japanese sports car charisma. A 3.55:1 final drive ratio doesn’t hurt either, helping to propel the handsome Panasport racing wheels and this car’s final price to $23,100.
The Specialty Equipment Market Association is the governing body that organizes the SEMA Show, a trade show and exposition for the automotive aftermarket industry. On August 6th, 2020, the association announced that the 2020 SEMA Show will not take place as planned. Originally scheduled to take place November 3-6, 2020, the annual event has been rescheduled as a virtual event.
First held in 1967, the SEMA Show moved to Las Vegas in 1977 where it has remained for the past 42 years. The massive trade show is one of the largest in the country, drawing more than 165,000 attendees in 2017. 25% of the attendees traveled from outside of the U.S. to attend the week-long event. The economic impact of the show is also significant, even in a city known for large trade shows and industry events. The flights, hotels, meals, and convention services have a total economic impact of $315 million, according to a 2017 article by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The SEMA Show covers all corners of the automotive industry, from performance and aftermarket companies, to wheel and tire manufacturers, off-road, high end stereos and equipment, tooling and equipment, and auto body and restoration shops.
SEMA typically begins weeks ahead of time, with show services staff and exhibitors setting up their booths in the massive convention center, which has more than 3.2 million square feet of exhibit space (and still growing!). The week of the show, Monday is open to members of the press. Tuesday through Friday are open to registered attendees, including buyers, exhibitors, and other attendees. The show ends with the SEMA Cruise – a parade of hundreds of show cars leaving the convention center. A new event called SEMA Ignited gives the public a chance to see some of the custom cars from the show in an evening event, held close to the convention center.
The details of how the show will transition to a virtual format have not yet been disclosed. The New Products Showcase and Education Sessions will likely be webinars or video presentations, and the networking and happy hour events could be held as virtual meetings. But for many attendees, the big feature of SEMA is the cars: more than 2,000 customized cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, and other vehicles take over the convention center are a huge draw for companies showcasing their products.
Generation: High Output has covered the SEMA show since 2012, and we look forward to bringing you coverage of the automotive aftermarket industry again this year.
Upgrading from the previous years 4.7L v8, the 928S’s DOHC 5.0L V8 is good for 288hp, which is 88hp more than the 911 of the same year. With it’s more-favorable weight balance, the 928S could have laid the ground work for a new era of Porsche. The water-cooled, front-engine V8 coupe was just a little too extreme for Porsche purists in the mid-80s and it was a format porsche never explored again.
The Bosch Jetronic fuel injection and five speed manual raises the fun factor on this unique German sports car. As with the other water-cooled Porsches of this era, typical 928’s embody the saying about nothing being more expensive than a cheap Porsche. Thankfully at $18,150 and only 63,000 original miles it’s not cheap, and likely babied enough to have years of use ahead of it.