2021 Iso Rivolta GTZ by Zagato – The Italian Corvette Z06

One of the defining characteristics of a collector is that they love exclusivity. Whether it is baseball cards, stamps, coins, vinyl records or some other object, collectors love the thrill of finding and acquiring the rarest and scarcest items for their collections.

The thrill of owning a rare object also applies to automotive collectors. Supercar manufacturers such as Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Porsche, and others know what their customers want. Each of these brands has produced special or limited edition runs of vehicles aimed at collectors. Sometimes a run may be 1,000 vehicles, other times it may be as few as 100 units or even 20 units in some cases.

The 2021 Iso Rivolta GT Zagato is a collectible car of almost unimaginable rarity. Only 19 of these cars will be produced for the whole world. This example is the first and only one to be imported and registered in the U.S. Suffice to say, I will probably never see another one of these cars around.

Iso’s History

The history of ISO goes back to 1938 when Italian engineer Renzo Rivolta began manufacturing refrigeration equipment. Following the end of World War II, the company pivoted to motorcycle production.

In the 1950s, Iso produced its first automobile, the Isetta microcar. Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, ISO produced a number of different sports and grand touring cars. They were notable for combining Italian designed body styling with powerful, American-made V8 engines from Ford and Chevrolet. This is a combination that I personally love. See my previous posts on the Iso Rivolta Lele, a custom Iso Rivolta IR300, and the Iso Rivolta S4 Fidia.

In the 1960s, Rivolta worked with former Ferrari engineer Giotto Bizzarrini to develop the Iso Grifo A3/C, a racing car that used a Corvette engine. Bizzarrini and Rivolta’s relationship ended after a dispute, and he formed his own company, Bizzarrini SpA. Only 25 Iso Grifo A3/C cars were built before Bizzarrini took over production and renamed the car the 5300 GT.

A combination of factors including the oil crisis, rising costs, and a drop in sales led to Iso filing for bankruptcy, ending automobile production in December 1974.

Iso’s Revival

Things were pretty quiet until 2017, when a revival of the brand was initiated by Italian coachbuilder and design firm Zagato. The car was first introduced in the 2017 edition of Gran Turismo, and later became a full-fledged prototype in 2021.

The new model, named the GTZ, is inspired by the A3/C of the 1960s. True to its heritage, the GTZ uses the 660-hp LT4 supercharged V8 engine from the Chevrolet Corvette C7 Z06.

With just 19 units scheduled for production by Zagato, each car will be incredibly special and rare. This brilliant red example is currently the only one in the United States.

The Italian Corvette Z06

A 2021 article by Howard Walker for the Robb Report magazine gives a detailed backstory of this particular car, which I will summarize briefly.

The car was purchased by Mike Odierna from Arizona, and the process was anything but easy. To comply with vehicle regulations, Mike had to buy a brand new Corvette Z06 coupe in the U.S., register it and ship it to Italy as a used car.

The chassis spent two years at Zagato’s facility in Milan, where more than 2,500 hours went into converting the car into the GTZ. The body panels were replaced with a lightweight carbon fiber body that mounts to the Z06 chassis. But this isn’t just a Corvette in an expensive Italian suit! Everything from the windows, lights, wheels, and door handles are all custom made, with no body panels carried over from the Corvette.

The interior is also bespoke to each car. Zagato stripped everything down to the seat frames, then wraps everything in hand-stitched Italian leather. The exterior is painted with three coats of Le Mans Red metallic paint. The 10-spoke alloy wheels are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and conceal a set of carbon-ceramic brakes.

Odierna’s car was displayed at The Quail Motorsports Gathering in Monterey in August 2021, where it won an award for its class. The Robb Report feature followed in November 2021.

The Next Chapter

It’s hard to imagine ever parting ways with such a special car, especially one that you waited two years for. However, Mr. Odierna indicated that he would be relocating to his wife’s home country of Japan, which she has long yearned to return to. “I thought about shipping it to Japan, but it just doesn’t make sense. I know I wouldn’t drive it there. So I felt it best to let it go” he told the Robb Report.

In January 2022, the GTZ headed to the auction block at Mecum’s Kissimmee auction in Florida. Showing just 169 miles on the odometer, the car is in pristine condition. Bidding at Mecum reached $700,000 for the GTZ but did not meet the reserve price, and the car did not sell.

The following month, I was fortunate to see the car on display at the Concours in the Hills car show in Fountain Hills, Arizona on February 12, 2022.

The GTZ is an incredibly rare and special car, and one that would certainly be the centerpiece of any collection. I am grateful and lucky to have seen this car in person, being that it is the only one in the U.S.

Asira Design Mustang Features Full Carbon Fiber Body

For more than 50 years, the Ford Mustang has met the needs of drivers seeking a sporty car with stylish looks and a powerful engine.

Ford’s lineup for the Mustang in 2022 includes the following models: the 310 hp EcoBoost base model, the 450 hp GT model, the 470 hp Mach One, and the 760 hp Shelby GT500.

Customers wanting something more unique can look to specialty vehicle manufacturers including Roush, Saleen, Steeda, and Shelby American. Each of these companies offers upgraded versions of the Mustang that cater to high-performance enthusiasts.

Now, Arizona-based Asira Design is also throwing its hat into the ring of specialty manufacturers. Asira has taken the Mustang platform and elevated it to supercar levels of performance.

Full Carbon Fiber Widebody Package

All aspects of the car from engine to suspension and brakes to the body can be upgraded as part of Asira’s process. The most significant option is the full carbon fiber widebody package. This is a completely unique option that is only available from Asira Design and is not offered by other specialty manufacturers.

This package replaces the exterior body panels of the car with new panels that are restyled to improve airflow and aerodynamic performance. The car features an enlarged front grill and exit vents, dramatic door sills, and curved wheel arches. Asira says that this package shaves over 200 lbs (90.7 kg) of weight compared to the stock aluminum body panels.

The full carbon fiber body package costs $35,000 USD. For an additional $15,000, an Upgraded Carbon Fiber option is available. This option has a symmetrical 4X4 twill pattern in the material and a center line V-weave matched throughout the interior and exterior. A full interior package is also available, for those who love the look of Exposed Carbon Fiber.

 

Power Upgrades

When it comes to performance, Asira Design offers the installation of a Whipple supercharger kit, which boosts power output to 825 hp. This puts it in the range of the other cars like the Saleen 302 Black Label, Roush Stage 3 Mustang, the Steeda Q850 StreetFighter, and the Shelby Super Snake.

Pricing

The Performance Upgrades total $34,100 plus $4,400 for installation. The Interior upgrades are $13,800 plus $2,100 for installation. Finally, the Carbon Fiber upgrades are $53,500 plus $8,000 for installation.

Apples to Oranges

Everything that Asira Design offers from Body Panels to Interior Upgrades to Performance and Suspension upgrades can be selected individually or a la carte. This is different from how Roush, Saleen, Steeda, and Shelby price their upgrades. That makes it difficult to do a straight comparison from one to another.

If you were to check every option box from Asira, the full car comes in at $155,900 MSRP – which includes $40,000 for the base model Mustang GT.

This is about $15,630 more than the 2022 Shelby Super Snake, which runs about $140,270. It is well ahead of Shelby’s GT500KR edition at $127,895 and the GT500SE Signature Edition at $109,415.

The highest-optioned Roush Mustang is the 2020 Jack Roush Edition, which comes in at $90,995 (assuming $40k for the Mustang GT plus $50,995).

Following that, highest optioned model from Steeda comes in at $77,995 (assuming $40k for the Mustang GT plus $37,995).

Trailing the pack is the 2022 Saleen 302 Black Label, which will run you $73,000 for an 800 hp Mustang.

My Thoughts

I was checking out my local Saturday Cars and Coffee event when I saw this car approaching. I could tell straight away that it wasn’t a standard Mustang and that it was special. As it pulled up near me, the red-tinted carbon looked absolutely amazing in the morning sunlight. Definitely not a vinyl wrap!

There are a lot of special Mustangs out there to meet every possible price point. For those with the means, the Asira Design Mustang definitely stands out from the herd.

Contact

www.asiradesign.com
info@asiracars.com
1-866-ASIRAGT

Allard J2X MkIII: The British Roadster Reimagined

Following the end of World War II, the Allard Motor Company of London began producing high performance cars. The company made several models of cars from coupes to cabriolets to an 8-passenger estate, but they found their greatest success with light weight cars optimized for racing.

These two-seat roadsters ran in competitions throughout Europe and North America in the early 1950s. Though the company had some successful models, they were cash-strapped and were bankrupt by 1958, having produced approximately 1,900 vehicles in total.

In 1999, Roger Allard revived the Allard brand under the name Allard Motor Works. The company’s signature product is the J2X MkIII, a high-performance sports car with beautiful vintage styling. The car is a faithful replica of the original Allard J2X, but with modern (and more reliable) powertrain options.

The cars are hand-crafted in Southern California to the owner’s specifications. Due to this unique and exclusive build process, production is limited to no more than 100 vehicles per year. There are several crate engine options available from both General Motors and MOPAR, depending on the buyer’s preference.

I caught up with this sharp red Allard J2X MkIII roadster at Highline Autos Cars and Coffee in Arizona on August 6, 2022.

The two-seater car features a long hood, short rear deck, and no roof or top whatsoever. The large, flared wheel arches stick out from the car’s slender body.

The car has no heater, radio, or glove box – just a couple of gauges mounted to a beautiful engine-turned dashboard. It is finished in red with a black leather interior. This one is equipped with an automatic transmission, though I was not able to determine which engine it has.

The price of a J2X MkIII depends on options, with a base model build costing around $150,000 to $180,000. Again, keep in mind that these cars are hand-built to order, not mass-produced.

For my money, I would rather have a Superformance MkIII roadster as I prefer the look of those cars over the Allard. But the Allard certainly has its place, especially for those fans of British roadsters who have the means to enjoy it.

Vaydor Supercar: Premium Body Kit for the G35

There are a lot of folks out there who would love to own a supercar, but don’t have that kind of money.

For those seeking a car with exotic looks on a budget, the Vaydor Supercar may be the answer you are looking for. The Vaydor is a front-engine sports car that utilizes a 2003-07 Infiniti G35 coupe as a donor car.

The Vaydor made its debut in 2013 at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Designed by Matt McEntegart, the car is offered as a coupe or as a hardtop convertible. Matt later sold the Vaydor name to an investment group in 2018 who continues to manufacture and market the cars today. The fiberglass bodies are manufactured by Custom Crafted Cars in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The Vaydor bodykit is available for DIY builds starting at $16,000 for the exterior body components, doors, and roll cage. The kit can be purchased as a coupe or as a convertible. Interior kits are also available for $5,500 as of the time of this writing.

The company provides support to builders and includes instructions on dismantling the donor car, welding in the roll cage, and fitting the body panels. However, the paint and bodywork, wheels and tires, and any upgrades to suspension or braking are all at the builder’s expense.

If building your own car is not a challenge that excites you, you’ll be glad to hear that you can also custom order a Vaydor to your exact specifications. Complete turn-key cars are offered by Custom Crafted Cars, with build times taking approximately 6 months. The turn-key cars include a 650 horsepower LT4 supercharged V8 engine and have manual or automatic transmission options.

I saw this Vaydor supercar at my local Highline Autos Cars and Coffee event in Phoenix on August 6, 2022. Looking sharp in lime green with black accents, the car drew a lot of attention from onlookers.

This car has its own headlamps and taillamps, which are not sourced from another vehicle as with some other cars sold as kits. This gives the car a very unique look and causes even seasoned automotive enthusiasts to pause for a closer look. The owner will be forever answering the question at every gas pump, stop light, and car show: “What is it?”

Custom touches include a Sparco steering wheel, racing seats with Tanaka harnesses, carbon fiber canards on the front bumper, forged wheels with Lionhart tires.

The front, rear, and fender emblems on the car have been replaced with the coat of arms of Ukraine, featuring the “Tryzub” or trident symbol which represents freedom.

No idea if this car is using the stock Nissan VQ 3.5L V6 engine or if it has been swapped with something else. If you know more information about this car, please post a comment and let us know!

Not Sold Here: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV

Today’s edition of “Not Sold Here” features this Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV GSR that I recently spotted at Highline Autos Cars and Coffee in Arizona.

The Lancer Evolution arrived in North America in 2003, but it was already well-established in Europe and Asia since its debut in 1992. The Lancer Evolution has a long history of track racing, hill climb, and World Rally Championship wins, including four consecutive WRC Driver’s Championships from 1996 to 1999.

The Evolution IV was produced from 1996-1998, with a total of 13,134 units built. There were 12,193 units in GSR trim and 941 units in RS trim, according to a post on Lancerregister.com.

On the exterior, the front is dominated by two oversize fog lights set low in the front bumper. The large front mount intercooler, hood vent, and single NACA duct on the passenger side give the car an aggressive look.

A front lip spoiler and side skirts hint that this is no ordinary sedan, and the massive rear wing confirms it.

The car has a gray interior with red inserts on the sport seats and door cards. A Momo leather steering wheel and white-face gauges round out the interior of this Japanese sport sedan. Being that this is a Japanese import car, the steering wheel is on the right-hand side.

Power comes from a 2.0L turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine making 276 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. A 5-speed manual gearbox was the only transmission offered.

This car shows its original 16-inch OZ Racing F1 wheels wrapped in Dunlop Direzza ZIII tires. It looks to be a nice, clean example of a Lancer IV, which you don’t see very often in North America.

Importing vehicles that are 25 years old or more means that the vehicle is NOT bound to the 2,500 mile per year limit under the “Show or Display” law of 1999. That law only applies to vehicles that are less than 25 years old and with no similar make or model certified for sale in the U.S.

Because of this, there have been a lot of quirky Japanese cars popping up in the U.S. lately, such as the Honda Beat, the Toyota Sera, and countless Nissan Skylines.

I think it is neat that we are starting to see more of these unique cars appearing in the U.S., and I was glad to have crossed paths with this Japanese sport sedan.

The Arizona Concours d’Elegance Returns in 2023

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — The Arizona Concours d’Elegance is back, returning as the highlight of Arizona Car Week in January 2023. The much-admired show and competition of fine automobiles will be held on the grass at the newly renovated Scottsdale Civic Center, bordered by Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA).

The Concours, led by Ed Winkler, Chuck Stanford, Jr. and Steve Evans, has formed a new partnership with Scottsdale Arts, the multi-disciplinary arts organization responsible for artistic services in the city of Scottsdale, to conduct the Concours at its new location.

The Arizona Concours, scheduled for January 22, 2023, will again invite about 100 select rare and exotic automobiles to be considered for judging and exhibition, with the best among them awarded class prizes and the coveted Best-of-Show. The Concours was previously held at the historic Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix as an annual event from 2014 through 2017.

“Scottsdale Arts and city of Scottsdale are thrilled to welcome this premier automotive event to our calendar of arts and entertainment,” said Dr. Gerd Wuestemann, president and CEO of Scottsdale Arts.

“We are excited to have such a fantastic arts organization as our partner as we revive this beloved event,” added Ed Winkler, co-director of the Arizona Concours d’Elegance.

The theme for the 2023 Concours is “The Art of Aerodynamics.” Looking to draw on its previous success as a high-end event, the Concours will welcome select automobiles for submission beginning May 9, 2022. The form for submissions can be found at ArizonaConcours.com.

Tickets for the Concours go on sale June 1; purchase information will be coming soon. Visit ArizonaConcours.com for information.

About the Arizona Concours d’Elegance:  

A curated and judged exhibition of the world’s finest collector cars, the Arizona Concours d’Elegance is a celebration of automotive design held each January during Arizona Car Week. A point of pride for the region’s car community, the non-profit event supports the arts and local artists.

About Scottsdale Arts:  

Through its partnership with the city of Scottsdale, the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts creates diverse, inspired arts experiences and educational opportunities that foster active, lifelong community engagement with the arts. Since its founding in 1987, Scottsdale Arts has grown into a nationally recognized, multi-disciplinary arts organization offering an exceptional variety of programs through four acclaimed branches — Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation — serving more than 600,000 participants annually.

1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4: The Harrah Hot Rod

The Ferrari GTB/4 (unofficially “Daytona”) is a special car, with 1,284 units built between 1968 and 1973. The car was featured in the first two seasons of the 80s hit TV show Miami Vice (though a replica car was used for filming, not a real Ferrari). I have developed an appreciation for the 1970s Ferraris, the 365 GTB/4 and GTC/4 over many years of going to car shows. This specimen was on display at the inaugural Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance in October 2019.

While the modifications to this 1971 GTB/4 and the “Rame Metallizzato” color may upset the tifosi, it is a unique car due to its provenance and history. From the placard next to the vehicle:

This 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Daytona” was previously owned by the renowned car collector and casino owner Bill Harrah. Shortly after being built by the factory, this soon-to-be legendary car was delivered to Mr. Harrah’s dealership, Modern Classic Motors. Mr. Harrah had owned many great models of Ferrari, and his personal cars were frequently equipped with his own special touches.

Upon receiving this Daytona as his personal car, the car was fitted with competition-style nine-inch rear wheels, fender flares, and an upgraded engine. The automobile was originally built with a beige leather interior, Nero seat inserts, and pop-up headlights. The refined Daytona was later passed down to another owner in 2012, who oversaw the Daytona’s suspension and front end rebuild by Ferrari of Scottsdale, as well as a fresh rebuild of the matching-numbers engine.

Accompanied with its stunning features and history, this car is the victor in a legendary race for the ages, whirlybird vs. Ferrari. When a Sikorsky helicopter salesman suggested he buy a helicopter to commute between his two casinos, Mr. Harrah nonchalantly replied if the helicopter could beat his Ferrari from Reno to Lake Tahoe, he would buy one. The Ferrari won the race of course, averaging 146 mph along the way.

Barrett-Jackson 2022: 1981 Ferrari 400i Custom Limousine

The bread and butter of every Barrett-Jackson auction event is American cars from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. This is what the company specializes in and what their target demographic wants to buy.

Walking through row after row of white tents in Scottsdale, I passed by hundreds of Mustangs, Camaros, Corvettes, Chevelles, Novas, Firebirds, and Dodge Chargers and Challengers for sale. But every once in a while an oddball car would be tucked in among the American muscle cars.

In this case, the 1981 Ferrari 400i Stretch Limousine is a truly rare and weird car. Rare because the Ferrari 400 (and its fuel-injected successor, the 400i) were never officially sold in the United States, and weird because Ferrari vehicles are not a popular choice for limousine conversions.
Any 400i vehicles in the U.S. today are grey market imports that were ordered from Europe and federalized to meet U.S. DOT regulations. With 1,305 examples of the 400i produced between 1979 and 1985, it is a safe bet that the number of these cars in America is “not very many.”

So you can be forgiven for never having heard of the Ferrari 400i in America. Its three-box styling and pop-up headlights are typical of the period. A non-stretched version of the 400i made an appearance in the 1988 movie “Rain Man” starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman.
Power comes from a 4.8-liter V12 engine producing 310-315 horsepower, depending on the year. The car was among the first Ferrari vehicles to be offered with an automatic transmission, starting in 1976. The vinyl top and the wheels are not earning this car any style points, in my own opinion.

This 1981 Ferrari limo sold for $52,800 (including buyer’s premium) at the auction. While it may not be the most aesthetically pleasing or tasteful example of Ferrari automobiles, you can bet that you will be turning some heads at Cars and Coffee as you roll in with this one-of-one car.