These are beautiful, taken in 1972. I happened to stumble across these as I was searching for the source for a different Porsche factory photo I had posted a long time ago. Happy accident!
The Maserati Bora is a classy 70s supercar in my mind—and i’ve always thought of it as the ‘kind, gentle, relaxed’ 70s italian supercar—-with its soft lines, non-aggressive stance, and its non-angry look. Compared to other 70s italian supercars, the Bora (as well as its sister car Merak) have generally come across as the gentleman in a fine wool blazer compared to its riotous peers in gold chains and silk shirts.
What I never knew is that in 1973, Maserati was set to enter the Bora into Le Mans as part of the gran touring class. Its competition would have surely been the likes of the Ferrari Daytona which had won in 1972. As i’ve understood the story from QV500.com, Maserati needed to sell 500 Boras to get it homologated for these 1973 races—-which they obviously didn’t do. Additionally the car didn’t meet the ‘other’ standards for other classes—-meaning that the Bora Competizione (or Bora GR4 or Bora Group 4) never made it onto the the starting grid, and this car was lost into the archives of 70s mystery cars. I wasn’t even aware of this car, until I stumbled across a photo of a strange looking Bora, which upon investigation resulted in a search which yielded minimal photos, information, or data. The QV500.com site had the best bit of info on the car I could find, and you can head over there to read their concise writeup about the car in question:
here are some photos was able to scavenge online, with many of them credited to a gentleman named Andreas Birner
more photos by Birner can be found here:
more info and pics:
I had never heard of the ISO LELE until today. In fact I don’t even remember ever seeing a picture or anything of it. Much to my surprise I was thumbling through some UK classic car mag and saw a yellow one plastered all around a couple of pages. The first thing I thought was that it looked like a rejected Bertone concept—-the Montreal-style eyelids in the front, and the swooping Espada-like side profile. I have to say having come home and looked at some more photos—-i’m starting to see some of the 1969 Frua-inspired ‘coupe’ wedge design influences on the car pop up more. The car was penned by Gandini, which would explain this whoring of design features.
Oh, and it had a GM or a Ford sourced V8 under the hood (depending on the year it was produced between 1969 and 1974—which makes it sort of like an illegal immigrant version of a ‘wannabe’ Montreal, really….
Fascinating car. Always nice to discover new things in the world of automobiles.
all photos taken from: Concept Carz
here’s a short video i found of one being pulled out of storage and onto a flatbed. It has interesting proportions, looks a lot more ‘practical’ in shape compared to other ISOs of the time.
also a primitive, yet informative page about the Lele:
Well yes, this was the debut of IEDEI at a major auto show—I must thank JoshD from Quattroworld for setting me up with my media pass. Much appreciated indeed! at IEDEI you will not get photos of ‘every car’—-instead you will just get the ones i thought were interesting!
Some observations about the cars I saw at the Auto Show today:
A) I looked at and sat in A LOT of cars today and came up with a conclusion—–I like very few of them. I tried to only really take photos of the ones I either found interesting or appealing in some way.
B) The interior quality of most cars is quite frankly woeful. When I sat inside of a Boss 302 Mustang, I was quite frankly amazed at how badly made the interiors really are of these cars. I KNOW that this is not the point of them—and yes I know that none of this matters when one is aiming for lap times and stop light drag racing. However, IEDEI looks at the whole picture for inspiration—-and if a car has such a huge glaring gap in its merit, I simply cannot be bothered to care. After the show, i got into my Audi TT, and felt relieved to be in such a nice place! Not to say there were not nice interiors at the show, there were (Mercedes, Audi, GT-R, etc…) but most were lacking.
C) Surprises of the day? I sat in a Nissan GT-R for the first time in my life—–and you know what? I absolutely LOVED it. The interior felt like a true sports car, with amazingly high quality construction, fantastic seats, and the most amazing tactile paddle shifters I have ever felt on a car—–with raw brushed metal stalks. The car felt great to sit in—and to be honest I am compelled to take one for a test drive…soon hopefully!
D) the Kia Optima felt like an Audi—honestly the quality of their interior blew me away, and I think that Peter Schreyer (ex-Audi designer) has really upped Kia’s game when it comes to quality of product. I don’t care for Hyundai much—–but when i took a seat in the Kia Optima, it felt like an interior that was twice the price of the car. Nice one, Kia.
E) the Scion FR-S—-stunning.
F) VW Beetle: dissappointing. Terribly cheap and tacky interior. Not worth the hype.
Fiat steering wheels:
Bentley random goods!
BMW 1-series M: just looked like a ‘modded’ 135i in person; a bit dissappointing to be honest. The interior, like the 135i, felt cheap and nasty. I really do like the 1-series as a car, however I think it never quite lives up to how much I want to like it. I’m sure it will still kick ass on a track though…
BMW M3 DTM: all types of wonderful.
Audi TT-RS – naturally better looking than the 1-series M, with a much MUCH nicer interior. Spoke with Johan De Nysschen (head of Audi Of America) about options and pricing. I was told the car will be about $60k in the US when it is launched this Autumn. 340hp version coming to the US, not the 360hp “plus” version as rumoured. This is the US-spec car.
the orgasm inducing Audi R8 GT: i couldn’t really get myself to leave sitting in this. So f*cking cool it pained me to leave it—-
the stunning Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG in Gulf livery? Not sure I understand Mercedes & Gulf colours on the same car—–however I wasn’t arguing, as it looked splendid, although a little bit puzzling for sure!
Mercedes A-Class Concept: beautiful design, flows very well. striking concept features like the ‘inverted mesh grille’ are very cool. Slated for the US market in 2013—-if it looks anything like this, it will be so cool to see these on the street!
Nissan GT-R: dare i say i have been developing a great appreciation for the GT-R as a technological masterpiece; today my opinion of it greatly increased after I fell in love with the interior—–it felt like i belonged there. Yes I know it’s been around for a while, but I’ve only come to understand it. Respect.
Red Bull F1 Car it still annoys me that somehow Infiniti have blagged their way onto this car (probably by begging parent company Renault, who supply the Red Bull engines)—–however man these F1 cars are something else to see in person. So much detail.
Scion FR-S: This car is UNBELIEVABLY gorgeous—-so beautiful that I found myself shocked that Toyota has designed it. It takes many cues from the Audi quattro Sport concept, as well as one of the E-tron concepts—–but holy shit if Toyota/Scion can build this and price it at $25k as a small, RWD car which is under 3000 pounds—-this car is going to be massive! (note: this car was a mock up, with no working interior—-so i’m not holding my breath about this being the production design)
Saab Phoenix Concept – This was revealed at the Geneva Auto Show a few months back——I thought it looked like utter shit in those photos i saw of it then, BUT i will say the car looks MUCH better in person—-much lower and sleeker. In fact, while I was taking these photos, another person and I were having a conversation about how this car looks like crap in the camera, but much better in person—-very strange! Even still, it is NOT a pretty design, but I will say it is interesting. Yes, the rear lights look like a 90s Firebird, as my friend from Automobiliac.com mentioned…and next to the car in this photo is the designer Jason Castriota.
Volkswagen Golf R/”R20″– really liked the interior touches for this special edition AWD continuation of the Golf R series. Looked nice and aggressive in its classic R shade of blue as well!
Porsche GT3-R Hybrid – self explanatory cool, even as a hybrid!
I found myself accidentally in front of a Shelby GTS unveiling—–but the car bored me (looks like every other bloody Shelby tuned Mustang!), and the annoying automotive journalists irritated me even more. I have to say that auto journalists kinda suck—–pushy, a little impatient, and they take way too many photos of anything with wheels….as if they will never see it again if they don’t…