Because it's Monday: Here's an Iso Lele Because You've Probably Never Really Seen One


It’s a pretty big deal to name something important after your spouse. After all, while we avow to until death do we part, sometimes the actual parting comes much earlier, and then with a lot of acrimony. Matrimony to acrimony.
In 1969 however, Piero Rivolta did just that, naming the new Iso 2+2 after his wife, Lele. No disrespect to la Signora Rivolta but the Bertone-styled Lele is perhaps the least remembered of the small Italian maker’s models.
That’s too bad because as you’ll see in this video from SuperCarClassics it’s really stood the test of time. The Lele is a 2+2, and slotted into the Iso lineup between the hair-chested Grifo and the Fidia four-door. Its layout—front/mid engine, capacious four-seat body—put the Lele in direct competition with cars like the Lamborghini Espada and Jarma, Maserati Indy, and Ferrari 365 series.
Of course, those all rocked their own manufacturers’ V8 or V12 engines respectively. The Iso on the other hand, got its power from a good old American V8. Initially that was a Chevy 327 and then a year later a 350. By the time this ’72 was built the agreement with GM to provide engines had soured and so, much like DeTomaso for his cars, Iso went to Ford for their stout 351C. Here it sounds awesome. Check out that sound and feast your eyes on this rare Italian GT right after the jump. After all just because it’s Monday doesn’t mean we can’t learn something new.
Lede GIF: YouTube

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  1. The Real Number_Six Avatar
    The Real Number_Six

    Dammit, now I can’t decide between the Iso Lele and the Lamborghini Jarama in my lottery-win garage. Amazing how much each resembles the other. Here’s the Jarama:×551/546b144c6806a_-_mo13_r235_02-lg.jpg

    1. Rob Emslie Avatar
      Rob Emslie

      I think the obvious solution is… both!

  2. 0A5599 Avatar

    Now watch me whip.
    Now watch me Lele.
    Note: A 351C isn’t an FE, it’s a small block Ford. A 352 is an FE, but likely would not have been used here.

    1. Rob Emslie Avatar
      Rob Emslie

      Right you are. I was confusing my 351s there. Edited to correct the true lack of FE-ness. Thanks!

  3. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Ooh, so very yes.
    One of the the very most gleeful aspects of ISO ownership must be the pleasure of explaining what it is.

    1. Vairship Avatar

      I hear they’re building SAABs now!

  4. outback_ute Avatar

    I saw one of these years ago with the custom plate “SOLELE”, and a strategically placed Italian nationality oval “I” sticker beside it. 351C-powered from memory.

  5. jim Avatar

    This car was also the base of a not-for-sale limited edition : the Iso Lele Marlboro. Only five were built, with each one being loaned to drivers of the short-lived Iso-Marlboro F1 team.

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    For those interested :