In the early 1970s, the Iso Rivolta Lele made its debut as a sleek and stylish sports car that turned heads and set hearts racing. Designed and built by the Italian automaker Iso Rivolta, the Lele was intended to be a luxurious grand tourer that could compete with the likes of the Jaguar E-Type and the Maserati Indy. The Lele, being a 2+2-seater, filled the gap between the Grifo and the Fidia while sharing its powertrain with its siblings. The styling was done by Marcello Gandini of Bertone.
The Lele was named after the daughter of Iso Rivolta's founder, Renzo Rivolta, and it was introduced in 1970 as a replacement for the Iso Rivolta IR 300. The Lele was built on a shortened version of the same chassis as the IR 300, but it featured an updated body style with a longer wheelbase, a lower hoodline, and a more aerodynamic shape.
In 1972, after about 125 cars had been produced, General Motors demanded that Iso pay in advance for the engines. Iso chose to replace the Chevrolet engine with Ford's Cleveland V8. The chassis was the same Bizzarrini designed unit which had found use in Iso automobiles since the IR 300.
Under the hood, the Iso Rivolta Lele was powered by a 5.4-liter Chevrolet V8 engine that was capable of producing up to 350 horsepower. This engine was paired with a four-speed manual transmission, and the Lele could reach speeds of up to 160 miles per hour.
The interior was upholstered in leather and came with creature comforts like air conditioning and electric windows along with plush carpeting. The speedometer and tachometer were placed behind the steering column while an additional four gauges were present on the centre console which consisted of an ammeter, fuel gauge and water and oil temperature gauges. The car came with a hidden headlamp styling with popup covers partially covering the quad headlamp units when not in use. The Lele was designed as a grand tourer, so it was equipped with power steering, power brakes, and air conditioning as standard features.
Despite its impressive performance and luxurious appointments, the Iso Rivolta Lele was not a commercial success. Production numbers were low, with only 285 Leles built between 1970 and 1974 and only 112 of the Lele 300. This was due in part to the high cost of the car, which was more expensive than many of its competitors, and also to the fact that Iso Rivolta was a relatively small and unknown automaker outside of Italy.
However, the Iso Rivolta Lele remains a beloved classic car among enthusiasts today. Its sleek lines and powerful engine make it a sought-after collectible, and its rarity only adds to its mystique. In recent years, several restored and modified Leles have appeared at high-end auctions, fetching prices in the six-figure range.
In conclusion, the 1972 Iso Rivolta Lele is a beautifully designed and meticulously crafted grand tourer that unfortunately never found the success it deserved. Nevertheless, it remains an icon of Italian automotive engineering and a testament to the passion and artistry of its creators.
The car has been recently fully serviced and is running just perfect! It also received a new ceramic wax polish treatment.
|Engine||5.733 ccm, 304 PS, V8|
|Steering||Left Hand Drive|
|Layout||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Color - exterior||Red|
|Color - interior||Cream|
|Miles/Kilometers shown||8.239 kms|
|Chassis / VIN||500101|
|Location - Country||France|
|Location - City||Nice|
3-door coupe body type; RWD (rear-wheel drive), manual 5-speed gearbox; gasoline (petrol) engine with displacement: 5733 cm3, advertised power: 223.5 kW / 300 hp / 304 PS (SAE gross), torque: 515 Nm; characteristic dimensions: outside length: 4650 mm, width: 1750 mm, wheelbase: 2700 mm; reference weights: base curb weight: 1380 kg; top speed: 236 km/h (147 mph); accelerations: 0-60 mph 5.7 s; 0-100 km/h 6 s