EXCLUSIVE: 1972 Iso Rivolta Lele IR6 Barn Find!

Now, this is a special BF Exclusive! Iso Rivolta is probably best known for the Isetta and the Grifo, but they built a few different performance models into the early ’70s. This Lele is their 2+2 offering and was offered with either a Chevrolet or a Ford engine. This one is 27k mile survivor that Reader Tom D purchased from the second owner a few years back. Tom has owned a few Iso Rivoltas over the years and couldn’t believe just how nice this Lele was for an Italian car that had been in a barn for the better part of 30 years! It runs and drives great, but will need fresh brakes before making any long trips in it. If you are interested in owning this Iso you can find it in El Dorado Hills, California and you can contact Tom via the form below!

What Makes It Special? Only 285 total cars built and only 135 were equipped with the Ford Cleveland engines. This car is very original and very rare.

Body Condition: Mostly original, but was repainted in the ’80s.

Mechanical Condition: Runs great and drives well! I’ve already tuned up the engine and it runs beautifully. I’ve had it up to 50 mph, but I’m pretty sure the brakes are the originals so I wasn’t comfortable taking it any higher than that.

I spoke with Tom and he is very knowledgeable, not just about this car, but about Iso Rivolta in general. During our conversation, he told me more about the car’s history. The original owner purchased the car in 1974, it wasn’t uncommon for these to sit for a few years before ending up with their first owner. They put most of the 27,200 miles on the car before parking it in their barn. Shortly after bringing it home, they gave their neighbor a ride in the car and it was memorable enough experience that when the first owner passed away, their neighbor knew they needed to buy the car.

The second owner managed to get the 351 Cleveland running and was able to take it for a short drive. Being a standard Ford V8 meant they had no problems working on the engine, but they realized this car needed to go to someone that really knows these cars well. So, they gave the Iso-Bizzarrine Owners Club a call and asked if anyone in the club might be interested in buying it. The club President told them to call Tom since he’s owned other Leles. Within minutes of calling Tom, a deal was struck and before long the car was in Tom’s driveway.

Since getting the car, he’s carefully cleaned and detailed it. He’s polished the stainless steel, cleaned up the paint and done his best to preserve the car in its original condition. While preserving it seems like the best option, it wouldn’t take much to restore this car back to showroom condition. Finding parts could be a bit of a challenge, but there are a few retailers that are carrying consumables, including brake and suspension components. Seat upholstery and trim pieces will likely be the most difficult parts to find. A good upholstery shop should be able to create new seat covers or possibly even repair the originals.

Tom is serious about finding a new home for this Lele. He’s in the middle of the restoration of a different Iso and would rather see this car go to a good home than to sit in his garage. That being said, he’s willing to hear offers, including the possibility of a partial trade. So, if you have a classic that you’re interested in trading, let Tom know. And if you have any questions about the car, be sure to message him via the form below!

  • Asking Price: $49,500 or Partial Trades Considered
  • Location: El Dorado Hills, California
  • Mileage: 27,200
  • Title Status: Clean
  • VIN: FA500246U

Contact The Seller

Do you have a barn find that needs a new home? Get it listed here for just $50!


  1. James

    Sweet car. Anyone else think the backend looks like a Matador?

    Like 1
    • glen

      I think they had round taillights. I have to say, the first pic had me thinking challenger.

      Like 5
  2. TimM

    Interesting car but I hate having something that there is no parts for!! I bet it’s fun to drive I’d rather see a standard transmission in there!!! I had a Ford Torino wagon and it had a 351 Cleveland in it and it was a beast!! Even for a wagon!!!

    Like 0
  3. Brakeservo

    I think it’s a great price! I recently sold a much rougher Griffith for the same money and felt it was fair deal.

    Like 0
  4. HoA Howard A Member

    I always thought the name meant “it’s revolting” in Italian. Had it up to 50? This thing would probably do 150. Cool car. Looks like fun to work on.

    Like 1
  5. Kevin Harper

    Most Parts are available. Drive-train is Ford which is dead simple, the lights, switches and door handles are Alfa and Fiat as typical on Italian Bitsa cars. Even Body panels are available, but they are a little different than your common car body panel, you get a flat sheet of steel and you bend it into place.

    I like these hybrids but I prefer the Grifo from ISO

    Like 1
  6. Jaymon

    From one angle the rear looks kind of like a 70’s era Capri.

    Like 1
  7. Joe

    Nope…. It’s an automatic.

    Like 0
  8. g Wentzell

    We can see where Isuzu got the idea for the headlamp eyebrows for the Impulse!

    Like 0
  9. Maestro1

    Kevin Harper is right about this. It’s still an esoteric car, you won’t find yourself staring at yourself at a stop light and if its anything like my Grifo it goes like hell and stops right now. As David Davis said, the writer for Car and Driver now Passed and a great loss,
    these are meat and potatoes cars. Like mid Sixties Chryslers. Parts are an issue. There are some independents, one I think in Arizona and one in Texas, I can’t vouch for either, who sell parts for what they call orphan cars, which this is absolutely.
    My car is Chevrolet powered, and I don’t have much trouble with the exception of the Prince of Darkness visiting the electronics every once in a while (yes, we’re working on it).
    If I had the room I would consider it but I don’t. This is one ton plus of fun. Somebody jump on it.

    Like 0
  10. ctmphrs

    Too bad this one doesn’t have the chevy engine.

    Like 0
  11. t-BONE BOB

    This is the nicest one I’ve sen here

    Like 0
  12. Joe

    It doesn’t take much to make that 351 Cleveland pump some strong Horsies. My pro street built (mild) Cleveland in my Pantera transformed the car into a real stallion. Too bad the car is automatic though.

    Like 0

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