Manufacturers of the Isetta bubble car, Iso joined the ranks of supercar constructors in 1962 with the launch of the Giotto Bizzarrini-designed Rivolta coupé at the Turin Motor Show. The styling was carried out at Carrozzeria Bertone and penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro. The Fidia, longer in the wheelbase by approximately 150mm, was a more practical proposition than the two-door Rivolta on which it was based. Originally conceived as the S4 and introduced in 1967, the Fidia’s four-door body was airy, graceful, purposeful and sleek, continuing Iso’s leadership in advancing automobile design. Chevrolet engines of 5.4 or 5.7 litres were fitted initially. Towards the end of production, 35 Fidias were finally built with the 5.8-litre Ford V8 engine.
Iso’s proven underpinnings included independent front suspension, deDion rear axle and four wheel, power-assisted, disc brakes (inboard at the rear). It is believed that in all 16 RHD Fidias (the first being sold to John Lennon in 1967) were produced, of which two were S4’s and seven were Ford powered; only a few righthand drive cars are thought to still exist.
This 1973 example is a real delight, coming from the custodianship of a collector of several ISOs and other rare and desirable Italian cars of the 1960s and 70s. The Fidia is one of a handful of RHD versions still in existence, rarer still in that it is fitted with the Ford V8 power plant.
According to the original build sheet the ISO was built on 20th July 1973, with the additional options of electronic ignition, automatic transmission, electric sunroof, power steering, a large sump pan, oil cooler, seat belts and Michelin tyres. The car was subsequently imported into the UK by Wood and Krailing Limited, a Lancia dealership based at that time in Theydon Boyle, Essex, and was first registered on 20th December 1973. Amongst the four previous owners are the importing dealership and Chris Lackner, the ISO & Bizzarrini Owners Club UK President. Chris compiled a chronological summary of the car’s account, which is contained within the history file.
Finished in the classic (and original) combination of mid-blue metallic with a Champagne leather interior, the Fidia exudes a level of plushness that only the very best luxury GT cars of the 70s are able to achieve. The driver is kept well informed with an array of instruments, the Nardi steering wheel keeps one heading in the right direction, and entertainment is provided by a high quality McIntosh sound system.
Now showing a recorded 51,500 miles from new, this example has enjoyed some sensible modifications in recent years, which have allowed the current owner to undertake European road trips with ease, and at speed. Alloy cylinder heads have been added, the gearbox upgraded to the later Ford ‘Automatic Over Drive’ (AOD) unit giving the driver better reliability and usability. The suspension has been overhauled with new bushes, and a vented disc brake conversion has been added. The Fidia is offered with a current UK V5 registration document and MoT test certificate.
This is a genuinely a super rare, extremely powerful, fast and comfortable GT car which is capable of transporting four people cross continent with consummate ease. A wonderful proposition for the discerning collector.