The first book in the Exceptional Cars Series
This book tells the fascinating story of the last and most successful of the Iso AC/3 Grifo race cars from the fabulous period of sports car racing in the mid-1960s. The A3/C was the creation of Giotto Bizzarrini, the engineer who developed the famed Ferrari 250 GTO. In its short but varied racing career, which included outings with two Grand Prix drivers, ‘222’ showed itself to be one of the world’s fastest racing sports and GT cars, its top speed on the Mulsanne straight at Le Mans, nearly 190mph, bettered only by the 7-litre Ford GT Mk II. This book celebrates the life of ‘222’ and the against-the-odds efforts of Bizzarrini, a genius with the ambition to produce the best GT race car of its era.
Richard Heseltine is a journalist and author specialising in classic and contemporary performance cars. A former staff member of Classic & Sports Car and Motor Sport, for whom he remains a regular contributor, he has also written extensively for Octane, Classic Cars and Auto Italia in addition to newspapers such as The Guardian. He has written several books on subjects as diverse as the British specialist sports car industry and coachbuilt Ferraris. He has also owned, driven and pushed countless Italian classic cars over the past 25 years.
'Put your mind back to the June 1965 Le Mans 24 Hours as Ferrari took on and defeated the big challenge from Ford, with works and privateer cars battling for supremacy. Away from this fight, back in ninth position and class winner in the over 5-litre Prototype category was Iso Grifo Bizzarrini '222' - not bad for a road-going GT car. It's even said that Giotti Bizzarrini drove the car from Livorno to Le Mans and back as he didn't have a transporter. The story of this legendary car is given an in-depth, superbly illustrated history in this exquisite volume by CCW contributor Richard Heseltine. In addition to featuring its brief but fascinating racing career, there are details of the restoration and revival of the red wonder. The people involved with the car, including race drivers Maurice Trintignant and the recently departed Chris Amon, are also profiled. This is a great story, well told and a fine introduction to the new Exceptional Cars series from Porter Press. The fantastic period photo, complemented by some beautifully detailed modern studio shots, are just another bonus. DB'
'I was lucky to get this gem which as of now for some reason is not available yet in the states,but the book has been out since August.Beautifully done hardcover book with in-depth details on this beautiful beast.Chevrolet(Corvette)powered monster that is the ISO Bizzarrini A3/C racer.
'It covers information on other cars such as Augus' Sebring Car,interesting details on the build of the car and it's current state.The Pictures of the Vehicle both period and current are beautiful,A must read and must own for any Iso/Iso Grifo/Iso Rivolta and Bizzarrini Enthusiast.Hope to see more Bizzarrini and Iso racing books such as this.' Jose Lopez
'Somehow, Iso Bizzarrinis as competition cars managed to leave little trace after their time, and it seems only in the last few years that they have become acknowledged as competitive machinery. Yet as Heseltine describes in this work - first of a new affordable companion series to the Porter Great Cars volumes - it was a Le Mans class winner in 1965 and reached top speeds only bettered by the 7-litre Ford MkIIs. Like the Great Cars series, this concentrates on one car, in this case one of the 23 competition versions of Iso's A3 two-seater and the one that achieved that Le Mans result.
'Its life, and its brethren, are very fully described, as are Bizzarrini himself and Piero Drogo, the car's progenitors, along with full race histories, Bizzarrini's later career and that of the car, including its restoration. A technical chapter outlines the design and construction, while a photo gallery of the restored car rounds off an entertaining auto-biography, nicely presented with many fine photos, including a spectacular Klemantaski shot of one of the car's pilots visibly swearing at a backmarker during the 24-hour classic.' GC
'WRITTEN by Richard Heseltine, this book is the first in Porter Press International's Exceptional Cars series, the brief being to focus on cars that have an exceptional history and, as the first one, Heseltine's book sets the pace.
'For those that don't know, Giotto Bizzarrini is inextricably linked with the Ferrari 250GTO - the Italian engineer and test driver instrumental in developing the car before leaving the company ahead of completion and having been caught up in what has been described as the 'Palace Revolt'.
'After leaving Maranello he became involved in a number of projects, including one with Lamborghini, before meeting Renzo Rivolta, who was in the process of setting up a moped business which evolved into a low volume car production company, starting with the tiny 236 cc two-stroke Isetta in 1953. This in turn led to other models, which led to the creation of '222' specifically for racing.
'In the chapter dealing with a technical analysis of the car, there are plenty of wonderful in-period pictures of the car being built; men in vests and rolled up overalls beavering away to bring it to life. It also includes a number of modern colour pictures of the engine and the front and rear suspension.
'The car was campaigned in 1964 and 1965, its participation in the '65 Le Mans 24 Hours a chapter to itself, the race in which the Rover-BRM turbine car competed as captured in a picture where it is following '222'. There is also another one of it ahead of Claude Dubois/Jean Francois Piot in their 1147 cc Triumph Spitfire. '222' finished the race in ninth place overall and first in the over 5-litre Prototype class ahead of much more fancied cars. The rest of the book is taken up with chapters on the 200 miles of Zeltweg in 1965, the restoration and revival, among others.
'A fascinating book in its own right, it covers a car and everything that surrounds it that not many people will know about and so should be a welcome addition to anyone's library.' HRT
'ANOTHER beautifully put together and detailed book from Porter Press. However, this latest series of Exceptional Cars books doesn't hold quite as much appeal as the Great Cars series did because the models covered simply aren't as iconic or well known. Still, for those with an interest in racing, the story of the Iso AC/3 Grifo could prove a great read.'
Classic Car Weekly, September 2016
Amazon, September 2016
Motorsport, November 2016
Historic Racing Technology, Autumn 2016