Touring car legend Norm Beechey’s rare Iso Lele for auction
- One of just 285 hand-built in Italy
- Factory right hand drive
- Owned for the past 25 years by Australian Touring Car legend, Norm Beechey
The 1973 Iso Lele being auctioned by Shannons in its 2022 Autumn Timed Online Auction from May 17 – 24 comes from long-term ownership by 1970 Australian Touring Car Champion, Norm Beechey and is one of just 285 of the Marcello Gandini of Bertone-designed, American V8 powered 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.
The 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 factory automatic gearbox, as fitted to the Lele being auctioned, remained, while ZF also provided the power steering.
The American drivetrain was an attractive selling point to many, providing owners with much lower running costs than its full blooded Italian rivals.
The Lele’s chassis was the same Bizzarrini design used by Iso since its IR 300 coupe of 1962, with unequal-length double-wishbones 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,
This rare Iso Lele, number 271 of just 285 hand-built coupes, comes to auction from the private collection of Norm Beechey, who 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 has driven it sparingly ever 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 larger 351ci Cleveland Ford V8 engine.
Finished in an attractive iridescent metallic blue with its original dark blue leather trim, the Iso also retains its original lightweight Campagnolo Elektron magnesium wheels shod with Michelin XWX tyres.
The 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 still in boxes.
A rare car today, the 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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To talk to a Shannons Auction Team member directly, call the 1300 078 500.