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The Iso Grifo! I've just acquired what will surely be the crown jewel of my collection of runners. I've wanted one of these for YEARS! This one is especially clean and I'm going to "run the wheels off" watching this gorgeous car doing laps....
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One of my favorites Paul, congrats on a great find!

I just picked up one here in Europe that has two Russkit 23 motors - and since a friend found one of these absolutely new, I know that Russkit must have sold this hotter version - but not sure it came out in the States.

I notice that your's has the "turbine" wheels, which is what I chose to put on an earlier Iso I found - but on the originals, it seems that the car came with wire wheels...

They run pretty well too... with 2 pairs of urethane tires, a pleasure to drive. On my earlier one, I put in two of my rewound 23s - a bit of a handful in the tighter corners I must admit.

Don
 

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Nice car , and they go quite well ! My friend had one ages ago. To improve performance , due to the smaller size of the front wheels , I suggested to him to have both front and rear wheels the same diameter and width . The car handled much better after the adjustment . Of course keep the original front wheels for the sake of originality .
You will find it will have better handling and run smoother . Zig
 

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Thanks for the replies fellas. This one is the icing on the cake. I now have every vintage 1/24 car I've ever wanted to own. It's been a great 6-8 months of bargain hunting to find these cars! Most are in pretty good condition too. Out of all of them, the Iso and my 2E are the ones I never really expected to find/own.

Well actually, there is one more I'd like to get. The Russkit Gurney Eagle would be a nice addition as well. We will see.....
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Paul, congratulations, and enjoy the car. It is my favorite Russkit car too.

However, and to help you with future "picks" and stricly talking as a purist (you do not have to be one!), you should know that your car is not a genuine Iso Grifo RTR, but a car that was put together from unrelated parts, using the Russkit Iso aftermarket body (sold unpainted and with a different decal sheet from the RTR model), the 2-piece Lola T70 chassis (the Iso had a unique one-piece chassis), motors built with endbells of the wrong color (the Russkit "22" and "23" endbells are always made of white plastic, only Cox and Marx' Mabuchi FT16 motors used black endbells), and the wrong wheel inserts (while they match the "spare" wheel molded with the driver's compartment insert, the genuine Russkit car had the same "wire" inserts seen on their injected-body Cooper-Climax, Ferrari 156 F1 cars as well as their two Chaparral models).
There were two types of front wheels, one "standard", te other extra narrow with specific tires.

This of course does not mean that there is anything wrong with your car, in fact, this should allow you to race it as hard as you want, because it would not be too good to risk a crash and body cracks damage to a rather scarce genuine RTR.

I enclose a few pics of a few Iso RTR models, as well as both their packaging forms.
 

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Thanks Dok P! The seller was honest in disclosing the non original nature of the chassis and a few other bits. I was fine with that. I'm clearly not a collector and I've wanted this car for WAY too long to let this opportunity pass me by. Too my eye, my car looks as good as the pristine, all original examples you posted so I'm happy.

Oddly enough, two of the cars you posted have the same wheels as my car. I really like the Russkit "wire" wheels but the spoked wheels look great also.

I don't use the word gorgeous when referring to slot cars but, if a toy car ever deserved it, this one is it!
 

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Amen - even some sellers who know better don't always explicitely state this kind of stuff!

I'm a little curious about the wheel inserts too: seems like the ones Paul used are closer to the car's actual wheels, and that's what I chose when restoring my first Iso. Wonder why Russkit chose the wires - did some versions of the Iso Grifo have wire wheels?

Also, can't believe I didn't notice the stuff Philippe points out.

The chassis is an odd one, because altho it was special to the car, the wheelbase is still too long, and the wheels just barely fit inside the wheel wells without rubbing. Never understood why, if Russkit was going to make a special chassis for this car, they didn't make it the right length (maybe they wanted to use the existing tooling...)

Anyway, nice to see that you've found one of your grails Paul. The Eagle does come up occasionally, but haven't seen one in a while... I've got one in the "to be restored" drawer, and hope to run it at the Bordo Open Wheels race next year...

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I'm a little curious about the wheel inserts too
Yes, it is odd. Russkit only offered these (correct) inserts inside a blister pack that had a load of other "chrome" parts. The models that were fitted with the correct inserts were done so by their owner, not by Russkit.
Of course, no Iso cars were ever offered with what had become clearly obsolete by then, the former and glorious Borrani wire wheels. By 1961, Campagnolo and other Italian companies had copied the Americans (inventors of the one-piece magnesium wheels used at Indy since 1949), and most exotic cars from the pasta country came with such devices. Except of course for... Ferrari, last to adopt mag wheels, faithful to the end to the pretty wires. By that time the racing tires had gained some serious grip,and the wire wheels were twisting like mad, not a great way to define precise handling.
The Iso's engineering was mostly devised by one of the world's most brilliant engineers, Giampaolo Dal'Lara (proper spelling, later contracted to "Dallara"). He wanted nothing to do with "glorified bicycle wheels".

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As far as the Russkit model unique chassis' wheelbase, I believe that this can be attributed to the body supplier. Russkit did not make their own bodies, they were produced by several suppliers. In the case of the Iso, itwas Tony Bulone in his own shop in Torrance, making bodies for Russkit, K&B and other companies, even having them painted on site. Hence a likely miscommunication between the folks at Russkit and Bulone's network caused the 1/8" discrepancy.
 

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Pete, the Wilson / McLaughlin / Hugus car at Sebring was a private entry, effectively a converted road car entered by William McLaughlin. Yes, it had "wires", because that was an option on the catalogue. It did not go very far in the race, expiring with various maladies about 1/3rd in the race.

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Philippe, have you ever seen the Iso done with the Super Spyder chassis? Years ago at the Toledo Toy Show I bought a box with six cars, and two were Russkit Porsches and two were Isos, and all four were Super Spyder chassis, and basically not played with. I showed them to Bill Wessels there and he was wowed! Like a fool I let people talk me out of them over time thinking I'd find more. Well...

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Hi Brad,

If you mean the Super Spyder chassis with the stamped body mount, that's certainly worth a Wow!

We still don't know for sure if Russkit did these with other than the Porsche body... a guy here has a McLaren as well, out of a hobby shop as NOS, but still no smoking gun, ie, a MIB example.

Don
 

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Brad, the thing is, all the vac formed Russkit bodies can be mounted on any of the period Russkit chassis, meaning the aluminum "Carrera Series" or the brass "Super Spyder' once fitted with the gold anodized aluminum mount. It is possible that at the time of liquidation and when things were, to say the least, a bit desperate, bodies may have been assembled to previously unrelated chassis, just to get rid of them by any possible means. That, or they were the product of a distributor also desperate to "move the stuff".
Examples abound from other companies, especially at Classic with the last production of the Manta Ray with green bodies, Dynamic/AMT motors, BuzCo wheels and Dynamic racing numbers.

The Iso in the standard "Super Spyder" series always had the black chassis with the two R22 motors, while again, at liquidation time, some R23s and R24s also made it as finished products. Now, the brass chassis? Why not?
If the Iso was produced that way, a simple body switch and... voila, a new and rare model.
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