SEMA 2019: 1967 Iso Rivolta IR 300 Custom Coupe by Griot’s Garage

1967 Iso Rivolta IR 300 Custom Coupe by Griots Garage
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

SEMA 2017: 1972 Corvette C3 “Menace” by Heartland Customs


Jeff Page from Heartland Customs shows us around their 1972 Corvette C3 “Menace” at the 2017 SEMA Show. This wild restomod features a Roadster Shop chassis, supercharged 427 engine making 860 horsepower, an active wing spoiler, and a full custom supercar-style interior. Be sure to check out their site for build photos and more information.

SEMA 2017: 1969 Camaro by Chris Holstrom Concepts


There is no shortage of shops building resto-mod muscle cars, but Chris Holstrom Concepts from Puyallup, Washington has distinguished themselves from the crowd. They captured a GM Design Award for “Best Chevrolet Exterior” in 2015, and they were back at it in 2017 with a fresh new 1969 Camaro build. We caught up with Rick from CHC as he walks us through some of the features that make this car so awesome.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro 454SC by Stuban Concepts

The words “pro-touring” and “resto-mod” are thrown around a lot these days, but I don’t think that either of those terms adequately describe the amount of work that has gone into this car. “Re-engineered” might be a better way to describe it.

I first spotted this car at the 2012 SEMA Cruise. I didn’t see it on the show floor and I had no idea who had built this incredible car. Imagine my surprise when 3 months and 300 miles later, I found myself standing in front of the same car once again at Barrett-Jackson 2013! Now that I’ve identified it, let me tell you a little more about the car.

Continue reading

Big Block 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu 454

While I was wandering around at Barrett-Jackson 2013, I happened upon this matte black beauty of a car. This 1969 Chevelle Malibu 454 is the ultimate street/strip machine: a fusion of metal and testosterone so manly that hair sprouted from my knuckles as I walked past.

Everything about this car awakens the senses, from the smooth black exterior to the deep rumble of the big-block V8 that you can feel in the soles of your shoes. This is a car that makes stock Corvettes and Mustangs slink back into the shadows. It makes junkyard dogs cower with fear and street thugs look the other way when they see it roll through their ‘hood. It rides on a set of Weld racing wheels and massive rear tires that don’t just grip the pavement, they pin it down and make it say ‘Uncle!’ This is one Chevelle you really don’t want to mess with.

Continue reading

1961 LS3 Pro-Touring Corvette Convertible

One of the cars that caught my eye at Barrett-Jackson 2013 was this gleaming red 1961 Corvette Convertible. Like a bald eagle or a baseball game, the sight of a first-generation Corvette is one of those symbols that should fill any red-blooded American with a sense of pride. It certainly caught my attention, and I went in for a closer look.

This car is built in the “Pro-Touring” style, which means it is an older car (roughly from the 50s to the 70s) that has been upgraded with today’s technology. I have a fondness for pro-touring cars, and this one was absolutely perfect.

Continue reading

LS9-Powered 1963 Corvette Split Window

1963 was a very special year for the Corvette. It was the debut year for the C2 Corvette which featured a new interior, an upgraded chassis, and an all-new exterior look. The critically acclaimed design was available as both a coupe and a convertible. Coupes had a futuristic fastback-style rear window, which was split for 1963 only.

With that in mind, we can agree that the 1963 split-window Corvette is a pretty special car that is desireable today. But there’s something about this particular ’63 Vette that makes it extra special: under the hood is a supercharged LS9 V8 engine from the sixth-generation Corvette ZR1!

Continue reading