Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A Castagna Roadster 1929
Isotta Fraschini cars are rare. This beautifully lined Isotta Fraschini can be called as extremely rare, the eight cylinder car has probably the longest bonnet we have seen so far on a two-seater cabriolet. Only two cars of this model were all handmade by bodywork maker Castagna from Milan. When the car was ready, the Isotta was showcased at an exhibition at the Hotel Commodore in New York in 1929. Because of the exhibition in the hotel the car is named Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A Castagna "Commodore” Roadster. The then purchase price must have been astronomical, the car was more expensive than a Rolls-Royce Phantom I or a Model J Duesenberg.
The car was owned by famous collectors like Mr. Harrah in Reno, Nevada and Seydoux in France. Mr Michel Seydoux was film producer and great-uncle of SPECTRE Bond Girl Léa Seydoux. This is probably the reason why this Isotta Fraschini had a role in 1979 in the James Bond film Moonraker. As the personalized license plate 1 DRAX in the film can be seen is the car owned by the villain Hugo Drax, the car is parked in front of his castle. James Bond (Roger Moore) and Corinne Dufour (Corinne Clery) in a helicopter land on the grounds of the castle in front of the car. The car is parked next to a Hispano-Suiza and a Rolls-Royce. After filming the car was still several times more visible to the general public. In 1994 the car took part in the Concours d'Elegance of the "Città di Lonato and in 1999 at the Concours d'Elegance at Het Loo Palace where the car ended up being" first in class ".
This car is fully restored and after restoration the car took part in the Concorso d'Eleganza "Villa d'Este" in 2008, the car was there rewarded with a second place. The restoration is documented with photographs.
After a first record in the US, the car had a registration in Switzerland followed by a registration in Italy. The car is now on Dutch plates.
Cesare Isotta and Oreste Fraschini founded on January 27 1900 in Milan Società Milanese Automobili Isotta, Fraschini & C. as importer, repairer and distributor of passenger cars. They began production by assembling Renaults. But soon Isotta and Fraschini started making their own models. As they were active in motorsports they earned a good reputation and additional revenue as a producer of racing cars. In 1955 the company merged with engine Motori Breda. After that, the company began production of trolleybuses. In the eighties, the company name was changed to Isotta Fraschini Motori SpA.
The company was smooth with the adoption of new technologies. For example, the factory offered as one of the first factories cars with brakes on all wheels, overhead camshaft and eight cylinder engines. The company was in the twenties successful with sales of luxury cars in the United States. The strong reputation of Isotta Fraschini was reinforced by the appearance of a Tipo 8A Castagna Transformable (1929) in the film Sunset Boulevard in the fifties.
The Tipo 8 limousine is a luxury car that was mainly driven by a private driver. The car was built for the US market where it became the first choice of famous Americans as film star Rudolph Valentino, newspaper magnate baron William Randolph Hearst and world heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey. In 1924 Isotta Fraschini introduced the revised Tipo 8A, which received a 7.3-liter engine with around 115bhp, it became the most powerful straight-eight engine in the market. The car was equipped with Isottas highly regarded three-speed synchromesh transmission. The standard Tipo 8A had a long wheelbase of 145 "(nearly 3.7 meters). Three forward gears were more than enough, the Tipo 8 is able to accelerate smoothly in third gear from walking pace to a top speed of around 140 km / hours.
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