Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Niello Concours at Serrano

Text and photos by Mike Clarke - a guest article

The Niello Concours at Serrano was held this past Sunday in El Dorado Hills, California located east of Sacramento in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Iso Grifo Series Two

The setting is very picturesque and includes a beautiful green overlooking a lake. This years event focused on the cars of Cord and the 50th anniversary of the Jaguar XKE. There was also a special display of Iso and Bizzarrini cars.



During this years Concorso Italiano event in Monterey I learned that Mike Gulett was planning to attend the Serrano event, and then a week later by chance a good friend and neighbor of mine purchased an Iso Lele. This got me to thinking about putting together an Iso Bizzarrini display for this event.

Iso Lineup

I ran the idea past Brian Moore the coordinator of the show and he gave it a big thumbs up. After a few phone calls and with the help of some Iso Bizzarrini Owner’s Club (IBOC) members we were able to assemble one of the rarer displays of Italian cars for this event.

Iso Rivolta GT

Iso Lele

On Sunday morning I woke up to a fantastic fall day and was excited about the day ahead, however prior to leaving my house I received a phone call from Mike Gulett explaining that he had fallen ill the night before, however, his cars were still on their way (about a three hour drive).  I was very surprised and appreciative that Mike wanted the cars to be in the show even though he was unable to make the event. That is class!

Iso Fidia

I drove my Grifo down to the event and waited for Mike’s transporter to arrive, shortly afterwards I got a phone call explaining the transporter had a flat tire, but was back on the road and would be there a bit later than expected. Wow, what a day, and the event hadn’t even started!

At 10:00 am I heard a low rumble and could see Mike’s beautiful silver Bizzarrini coming thru the covered bridge onto the field. It was an exciting moment as the crowd stopped in their tracks and people were slowly drawn towards the low-slung Bizzarrini that was making its way onto the green.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

Mike’s car hadn’t been there more than a minute and there was already a crowd three deep around it! Mike’s transport driver, John, returned shortly with Mike's series one Iso Grifo and our Iso Bizzarrini field was complete!

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

Our line up included my Iso Fidia, my series two Iso Grifo, Tom Davis’s white Iso Lele, Joe Hensler’s silver blue Iso Rivolta GT, Mike Gulett’s red series one Iso Grifo and the Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada.

Iso Bizzarrini Gathering

The show had a nice selection of cars and was well attended. Included were 12 Jaguar XKEs, 6 Cords including an L-29 owned by Christopher Cord of the Cord family, a Mercedes 540K, a Dusenberg J and an Auburn Boattail speedster. In total approximately 250 cars were there.

Ferrari 250 GTE



All through the day the spectators commented on how interesting it was to see all the different styles of Iso cars in one place. And the fantastic Bizzarrini! Most had only seen pictures of Isos and Bizzarrinis.

Iso Grifo Series Two

At the end of the day awards were announced, for our Iso class Joe Hensler's Rivolta GT took first place, my series two Grifo took second, the Bizzarrini was display only so it was not judged, but it was THE star of the show.

The Niello Concours at Serrano made for a memorable day of cars, people, great weather and all in a beautiful location.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Subscribe to My Car Quest by email, go to the top of the page on the right side and enter your email address.


  1. Nice pix! I'm afraid the yellow Cord is an Auburn ;)

  2. Gábor - thanks for the correction. My mistake - it has now been changed.

  3. Excellent work MC! MG you are a class act. Looks like a great show for the Iso clan.