Italian cars have a reputation for being elegant, finicky, expensive, or perhaps some combination of the three. Classic Italian automotive culture brings to mind coachbuilt bodies, racing heritage, and V-12s, but in reality, the Italian peninsula has produced cars with a vast range of characters and abilities. In a recent livestream, we decided to dive into the nuances of Italy's automotive offerings and pick our favorite Italian cars—the list may surprise you.
Read the full article on Hagerty.com:
Somehow the the photo of the Iso Grifo engine bay doesn't make sense. The article suggests that the builder used GM motors. But I might suggest that this photo is of a small block Ford motor. The distributor is on the front of the motor. What's up with that?
I love the Dino 246. It's the first Ferrari I came to love. The landlord at an apartment building I was living in had one. It was dark blue, and sounded incredible. I knew there was no way I'd ever be able to own a Ferrari. Wrong! I own one of these temperamental beasts. A Ferrari 360 Spider. When they are good, they are oh, so good and when they act up they are horrible!
Everytime I start the car, I wonder what's going to break this time. 99% of the time, nothing bad happens and then the 1% rears its ugly head. The positive about this is that I'm able to diagnose and fix virtually anything that goes wrong with these works of art. They are built to be taken apart and parts are readily (at a high cost!) available.
Once I'm rolling down the road, all thoughts of problems evaporate and I feel one with the machine. It's amazing to run through the gears to redline or downshifting heal-toe into a sharp corner. Nothing like it.
Great article, big fan of Iso Grifos, bought a '67 (vin 047) brand new and kept it for over 40 years! Engine info in article is over-simplified. Here's the actual breakdown: Series I cars were available with 327 & 350 small blocks as well as 427/390 (7-Liter) big-blocks. Series II Grifos available with 350 small-blocks as well as both 427 and 454 (7-Liter) big-blocks. Between 1972 and the end in 1974, Chevrolet contract was over; cars were fitted with Ford 351 Cleveland engines. Grifos were not only beautiful, but outstanding, reliable performers. Still miss mine!
The only Italian car I ever owned was a 68 Innocenti Mini-T Lengo. I always wanted to take it to an Italian car show and see if they would let me in! “But Sir, it’s not Italian, it’s a Mini!”
With the exception of the Dino I love them all. I had a Gulietta and was dumb enough to sell it years and years ago. There's nothing like Italian design. American designers could learn a thing or three from them. Thank you for this.
While your choice of Ferraris aligns with mine, and the Miura is certainly a timeless design, I can't understand why there aren't any Abarths or baby-Fiat derivatives. Such vehicles are often gorgeous, and represent a huge segment of Italian performance art.