Iso Rivolta Fidia, John Lennon’s car that competed with the Maserati Quattroporte

The Iso Rivolta Fidia, also known simply as the Iso Fidia, was a luxury sports sedan produced by Italian car manufacturer Iso Automoveicoli S.p.A. from 1967 to 1975. First unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1967, the Fidia was Iso’s only four-door model. In this article, we will explore in depth the history of the Iso Rivolta Fidia, its design and technical features, and its place in the luxury car market. The popularity of the Iso Rivolta Fidia was driven by its appeal to celebrities and personalities of the time. In particular, the second Fidia produced, which was also the first right-hand drive model, was acquired by the legendary British musician John Lennon in 1969. Lennon’s acquisition of the car was not only due to its elegant and sporty appearance, but also to the exclusivity of the model, which made it a real gem for collectors and classic car enthusiasts.

The Iso Rivolta Fidia design

The Fidia was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, who at the time worked at Ghia. The result was a four-door sedan with sporty and elegant lines, combining the comfort and luxury of high-end cars with the sporty performance of sports cars. The interior of the Fidia featured a combination of polished wood and hand-stitched leather, giving it a luxurious and sophisticated feel.

Although the body of the Fidia was quite large, its low weight, thanks to the use of lightweight materials such as aluminium, enabled the car to reach a top speed of around 230 km/h. The Iso Rivolta Fidia was available in a wide range of colours, and buyers could customise their car to their liking.

Technical characteristics of the Iso Rivolta Fidia

The Iso Rivolta Fidia was originally equipped with a Chevrolet V8 engine, which gave the car a power output of around 325 hp. With this engine, the Fidia could accelerate from 0-100 km/h in about 7 seconds. In 1973, after a dispute with General Motors, Iso switched engine suppliers and began equipping the Fidia with a 5.8-litre Ford V8 engine. This engine had similar power output to the Chevrolet engine, but was more reliable and easier to maintain.

The Iso Rivolta Fidia was also available with a ZF five-speed manual gearbox, or with a Ford Cruise-O-Matic three-speed automatic gearbox. The car was equipped with four-wheel disc brakes and four-wheel independent suspension, giving it great stability and handling on the road.

The Iso Rivolta Fidia on the luxury car market

Although the Iso Rivolta Fidia was a very advanced car for its time, its high price made it unaffordable for most buyers. Its main competitor was the Maserati Quattroporte, which was also a luxury sports sedan, but the Fidia stood out for its unique design and its combination of comfort and sporty performance. The Fidia was also said to have an advantage in terms of interior space, with ample legroom and a four-seat cabin with luxury features, making it an ideal car for long journeys.

The Iso Fidia sold at a higher price than the Rolls-Royce of the time, largely due to high development and production costs. However, its exclusivity and elegant design made it an object of desire for car enthusiasts and fashionistas. In addition, its rarity made it especially attractive to classic car collectors.

In 1971, the Iso Fidia received an interior upgrade that brought it closer to the design of the Iso Lele. The wooden dashboard was replaced by a leather one, which some critics found more elegant but less practical. The instruments were now more spread out and were partially obstructed by the Nardi steering wheel.

Engine and technical specifications of the Iso Fidia

The Iso Fidia originally used a Chevrolet V8 engine that provided rapid acceleration, with 0-60 mph in approximately 7 seconds. However, in 1973, after General Motors demanded advance payment for the engine shipment, the engine supplier was changed and a 5.8-litre Ford V8 was used, combined with either a five-speed ZF manual gearbox or Ford’s “Cruise-O-Matic” automatic gearbox.

The Iso Fidia also featured four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, power steering and air conditioning as standard features. Its aerodynamic design and steel and aluminium body provided high performance and excellent manoeuvrability. In addition, the Fidia also had a top speed of around 233 km/h, making it one of the fastest sedans of the time.

Iso Fidia’s legacy and value today

Despite its exclusivity and remarkable performance, the Iso Fidia was not as commercially successful as some of its competitors at that time. Only 192 examples of the Fidia were built between 1967 and 1975, making it a rare and sought-after car by collectors around the world.

In terms of value, the Iso Fidia is in a league of its own. Due to its rarity and exclusivity, asking prices range from 300,000 to 500,000 euros, although examples in perfect condition and with a unique ownership history can far exceed these figures.