Norm Beechey’s rare Iso Lele set for auction

The 1974 Iso Rivolta Lele of Australian touring car legend, Norm Beechey, will be auctioned at Shannons 2022 Autumn Timed Online Auction to be held from May 17 to 24.

The car is one of just 285 of the Marcello Gandini of Bertone-designed, 2+2 coupes produced between 1969 and 1974.

Named after director Piero Rivolta’s wife, the Lele filled the gap between the muscular Iso’ Grifo and Fida models, combing Italian styling with American V8 power, it was more ‘grand tourer’ than sports car.

Lele initially was powered by a 5.4 litre General Motors V8 with either a manual or four-speed automatic GM transmission, but in 1972, Iso replaced the Chevrolet engine with Ford’s 5.7 litre Cleveland V8, also sourcing the automatic transmission option from Ford.

The American drivetrain was an attractive selling point to many, providing owners with much lower running costs than Lele’s Italian rivals.

Lele’s chassis was the same Bizzarrini design used by Iso since its IR 300 coupe of 1962, with unequal-length double-wishbone front suspension with coil springs, while the rear suspension consisted of a de Dion layout with a Salisbury axle unit. Inboard disc brakes were used on all four wheels.

Beechey bought the car on a trip to the UK 25 years ago from a member of the Iso Owner’s Club. He has cherished and driven it sparingly since, but now at 90 years old, he has decided to rationalise his car collection.

Beechey’s Iso is an original right-hand drive example and one of just 160 powered by the Ford 351ci engine.

Finished in iridescent metallic blue with original dark blue leather trim, the Iso retains its original lightweight Campagnolo Elektron magnesium wheels shod with Michelin XWX tyres.

This Lele comes with an original brochure in an original folder, as well as a laminated photocopy of an owner’s manual. There’s also a spare set of brake pads and brake hoses, both in boxes.

A rare car today, Beechey’s Lele has the added attraction of having an interesting Australian provenance and is expected to sell in the $90,000-$110,000 range.

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