1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8 Torpedo
I could write on for hours about the beginning of this most significant company, I will cover a few high points here, and can provide many additional articles and books on the history...
History of the company:
Isotta Fraschini! One can begin the superlatives simply with Magnificent. It is much better to see an Isotta to appreciate every glorious, majestic, priceless, inch of it. But such beauty had a price, a whopper of one, over $20,000! Nearly twice the cost of a Rolls Royce, but considering the quality and stature of the machines, they were really bargains.
Like all great automotive manufacturers of the time Isotta Fraschini, began with the production of Aero engines, and then expanded into racing and focused in on the Luxury car market. Isotta Fraschini won many important races of the day, with there two greatest drivers at the wheel, Enzo Ferrari, and Alfieri Maserati (Mr. Maserati had a very influential part in the early years of IF)
IF was responsible for many firsts. They developed the first functional 4 wheel braking system in 1910, and also put the first straight 8 engine into a production chassis.
The TIPO 8 Chassis
ONLY 400 of this particular chassis were ever built, all with one of a kind coachwork, usually sold to the Royalty of Europe and the middle east. LESS than 10 of this particular chassis are known to still exist, although I am sure there are a few more scattered around the world. The motors alone were truly a work of art, loaded with unique features, including the complete absence of a exterior intake manifold, the motor ran twin carburetors for performance, and was incredibly smooth, powerful and whisper silent. At idle the only noise is the wisp of the fan. The chassis alone was $10,000.
The Custom Body Builders:
A thousand words could not do justice to one picture. Twenty feet of Isotta luxury can not be explained it must be experienced. Not many would be so lucky (even today very few have ever seen an IF), with only 400 of these chassis produced, the who's who of the world lined up to order one, including Clara Bow, Rudolph Valentino (who had 2), Jack Dempsey, King Faisal, the Queen of Rumania, 4 Maharaja's, the Aga Kahn, Mussolini, dukes, counts, and heading the list his Holiness the Pope ( who's car was finished in Papal Purple).
Here we have in my opinion the best looking Tipo 8 ever produced. The body by Sala of Milan (who exclusively crafted one of a kind body's for Isotta Fraschini) built this incredibly sleek ONE OF A KIND torpedo body. Obviously built for Royalty a few of the features include, the extensive use of nickel plated accents and lights. The rear arm chair seats are placed notably higher than the drivers seat as persons of Royal stature would always be elevated above the populace. The most extensive use of Carpathian Elm, and inlaid Mahogany woods, every inch of the car is trimmed in opulent wood trim. The rear seat houses a wonderful integrated complete bar with Waterford Crystal, and vanity compartments. The rear seats have wonderful wood trimmed arm chairs, like Louie the Fourteenth furniture, and all of the cockpits and dash are timed in matching wood. The view from above of this car is simply breathtaking with the wood trim and the V windshield. Entry is granted to the car on solid Mahogany running boards, and the Nickel plated Grebel lights sign like jewelry. Wonderful regal body lines sweep from end to end from the German Silver radiator, down the long expansive hood and cowl, back to the solid mahogany trunk rack. Every time you look at this automobile you notice another feature of the car. It is truly exquisite and unique in every way. Originally built for an arid climate, the car was never equipped with any provisions for rain, with no windshield wipers, or side curtains.
This Isotta has always been a well cared for original car. All of the body metal and decorative wood trim is the original pieces that came with the car, which we preserved and refinished. The car was purchased in the 1950's, by Mr. Bassett, from Argentina, in 1968 Jimmy Leake purchased the car and shipped it to England where it had its first comprehensive restoration. Mr. leake kept the car for 20 years until it was sold and displayed in the Blackhawk Collection in California, until we acquired the car for the Teberg collection, and began a painstaking 4000 hour restoration to bring the car up to Concours standards. The restoration was finished a day before the Meadowbrook Concours this year where it was very well received, and won its class against very stiff competition.
Never before offered for public sale, and probably will not be available for a long time, after this. It is ready for completion anywhere in the world, and would be stunning on the lawn of any Concours, especially Pebble Beach, where we planned on showing it next year.
Off to the finest collection in the United States...... See it at Pebble Beach