Iso Lele

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Iso Rivolta Lele
ISO Rivolta Lele, 1971.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Iso Rivolta
Production 1969-1974
285 produced
Designer Marcello Gandini at Bertone
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door coupe
Layout FR layout
Powertrain
Engine 5358 cc V8 Chevrolet
1969 - 1972[1]
5736 cc V8 Ford
1972 - 1974
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,740 mm (107.9 in)
Length 4,650 mm (183.1 in)
Width 1,750 mm (68.9 in)
Height 1,350 mm (53.1 in)
Curb weight 1,610 kg (3,549 lb)
Side profile of Lele.

Iso Lele (or Iso Rivolta Lele) was a sports coupé produced by the Italian automobile maker Iso Rivolta between 1969 and 1974. The Lele, being a 2+2-seater, filled the gap between the Grifo and the Fidia and shared its powertrain, a V8 engine and automatic gearbox from GM (when not manual), with these types. Bertone styling was used, as with the Grifo (but not the Fidia). The car is named after Lele Rivolta, wife of Piero Rivolta (son of Iso company founder Renzo).

The Chevrolet V8 5,358 cc (327.0 cu in) engine produced 300 hp (220 kW) in automatic version and 350 hp (260 kW) with manual transmission.

The evolution[edit]

In 1970 the engine capacity was increased to 5,736 cc (350.0 cu in). A equal maximum power (300 or 350 hp), improved distribution of torque and thus the elasticity of travel.

In 1972, due to the request of GM to pay in advance engines, the Chevrolet engine was replaced with the Ford Cleveland V8. The automatic transmission also became Ford, while the manual (a 5-speed transmission) remained unchanged. In 1973, the standard version (now known as Lele IR6) was flanked by Lele IR6 Sports, with an engine enhanced to 360 hp (270 kW) and change only manual ZF 5-speed transmission.

Following the agreement with Philip Morris that led to the creation of the Iso-Marlboro brand in Formula 1, Philip Morris commissioned Iso to construct 2 specially modified Leles for their Formula 1 Team Drivers Howden Ganley and Nanni Galli. Modified by Eng. Bizzarrini these two cars were stripped of sound deadening, power steering etc. to reduce weight. Both cars had a unique dash layout that did not appear on any other Lele. Bizzarrini then modified the 351 Cobra Jet engine to produce over 360 HP. Painted in Marlboro Red with Marlboro badges on the front fenders Ganley's car debuted on the Iso Rivolta stand at the 1973 Geneva Auto Show. Galli's car was painted in white. The exterior styling cues from these two cars were used to create the Lele Sport which also had a modified version of their dash layout. Philip Morris also commissioned at least two more cars for promotional purposes to resemble the Marlboro cars given to its drivers. These cars were essentially Lele Sports with Marlboro badges on the fenders. They were equipped with power steering, more padding in the seats and other comforts that were stripped out of the drivers' cars.

The production of Lele ended in December 1974, with the closure of Iso.

Production[edit]

The Lele was produced 285, subdivided as follows:

  • Lele 300 hp (Chevrolet): 112
  • Lele 350 hp (Chevrolet): 13
  • Lele IR6 325 hp (Ford): 135
  • Lele IR6 Sport 360 hp (Ford): 20
  • Lele IR6 Marlboro 360 hp (270 kW) (Ford): 2
  • Lele IR6 Sport Marlboro replica (Ford): 2 or 3

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Exotics'a black sheep ... or unsung trailblazer". Car Magazine: Page 30–35. August 1974. 


This article incorporates information from the revision as of 2008-05-25 of the equivalent article on the Italian Wikipedia.