Like Ferruccio Lamborghini, Renzo Rivolta – a maker of refrigerators, heaters, small two-wheelers and the cute but quirky Isetta bubble car and a lover of fine cars – also wasn’t happy with the offerings from Ferrari, Maserati and Jaguar so he decided to make his own car – and he did exactly that before Lamborghini entered the picture.

However, rather than taking the Ferrari or Lamborghini route of producing his own highly sophisticated and sometimes temperamental engine with a dozen cylinders, a handful of overhead camshafts and lots of valves, Rivolta opted for reliability in the form of the Chevrolet ‘small block’ V8 – a mere eight cylinders, 16 valves and just one camshaft with pushrods operating the valves in an engine that, by 1962, had already been built in tens of millions and proved itself to be strong on power, torque, reliability and ease of maintenance.


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