The Tipo 8 was introduced by Isotta Fraschini in 1919, making it the first vehicle to feature a 'production' inline eight-cylinder engine. In 1924, the Tipo 8 chassis was thoroughly redesigned resulting in improved performance and a more comfortable ride. Another benefit was that it could accommodate even larger, heavier, and more stately bodies that had grown in popularity during the mid-1920s. This new update was soon dubbed the Tipo 8A.
At least one-third of 8A models were sold in the United States, with the chassis alone cost around $9,750. With complete coachwork, the cost often exceeded $20,000.
Originally displayed at the 1933 Paris Salon, this car was shipped to the US and sold to radio comedian Joe 'Wanna Buy a Duck' Penner. The car later became the property of Pacific Auto Rentals, a rental company serving major Hollywood studios.
This Isotta Fraschini has been featured in several movies including: - Giant (1956) starring James Dean, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor - Mr. Imperium (1951) starring Lana Turner and Debbie Reynolds. - Without Reservations (1946) starring Claudette Colbert, John Wayne and Don Defore - Invisible Agent (1942) starring Jon Hall, Ilona Massey, Peter Lorre and Cedric Hardwicke.
The coachwork was created by Ercole Castagna and is a two-door, dual cowl sports tourer. It is a one-off body with art-deco-style ornamentation on the radiator stone guard which depicts the rays of the sun. There is a rakish V-shaped windscreen, dual cut-down doors, torpedo-style running boards, and twin rear-mounted spares.
After being shown at the Paris Auto Show, the car was shipped to the Isotta Fraschini showroom in New York City for collection by American celebrity Joe Penner. Penner was a popular radio comedian whose catchphrase was 'Wanna buy a duck?' By the 1940s, the car was on the West Coast and in the collection of Pacific Auto Rentals, owned by George Schweiger. His collection of cars numbered in the 150s and many were often used by the Hollywood studios and featured in films. This Tipo 8A was used in the 1956 film, Without Reservations, starring John Wayne and Collette Colbert. It would be used in several other movies during the 1940s and the 1950s.
The car was treated to a restoration in the late 1960s when it was purchased by Matt Browning of Ogden, Utah. While in his care, the car was featured in Angelo Tito Anselmi's book on the marque, Isotta Fraschini. Ownership later past to the famed Otis Chandler collection and then to another prominent collection.
In 2009, this one-off Tipo 8A Dual Cowl Sports Tourer was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Scottsdale, Arizona where it was estimated to sell for $1,000,000 - $1,500,000. The lot was sold for the sum of $1,089,000 including buyer's premium.Also photographed at :