Sold for $330,000 at 2007 RM Auctions
Sold for $467,500 at 2008 RM Auctions
High bid of £165,000 at 2009 RM Auctions. (did not sell)
High bid of $240,000 at 2009 RM Auctions. (did not sell)
Sold for $1,040,486 (€931,500) at 2015 Bonhams
.Cesare Isotta and the Fraschini brothers Vincenzo, Antonio and Oreste began their careers in the automotive industry by importing French cars to be assembled in Italy. In 1904 the Societa Milanese Automobili Isotta Company was formed. In 1905 engineer Giustino Cattaneo was hired as technical director and in time, would come to be known as one of the greatest Italian engineers of all time.
The Isotta-Fraschini had an early interest in racing and helped secure a strong reputation throughout the industry. It helped promote their products and prove they were reliable and competitive.
The first race Isotta-Fraschini race car created by Giustino Cattaneo was the Tipo-D. It had a four-cylinder engine that displaced a massive 1,050 cubic-inches. It failed to finish the first lap of its first race but it did teach Cattaneo that power was not the only ingredient in winning races.
In 1906, the Isotta-Fraschini company was ranked second (Fiat was number one) as Italy's largest producers of automobiles. Fiat produced 1,800 vehicles and in a distant second was Isotta-Fraschini with 300. It was an achievement for the young company.
Inspired by racing, the company began work on a four-wheel braking system to improve the cars performance. The results of their work was displaced at the 1910 Paris Auto Salon on one of their vehicles. Front-wheel braking was not an excepted practice at the time and was believed by many to create uncontrollable situations and instability at speed. The system created by Cattaneo was different than attempts of the past; it was inherently balanced and provided equal braking force to the front wheels no matter the steering input or position.
In the post-War era, Isotta-Fraschini introduced the Tipo 8/50. Many believe that the Giustino Cattaneo-designed engine was the world's first production inline eight-cylinder engine. During this time period, the Isotta-Fraschini business shifted; instead of making many different types of vehicles, they focused solely on becoming a single model car company that catered to the luxury car segment.
The Tipo 8 was succeeded by the Tipo 8A. It had light alloy pistons, drop forged connecting rods, overhead valves, and a ten main bearing crankshaft. This made the engine powerful, smooth and very reliable. Large drum brakes were married to each wheel and fitted with a vacuum servo booster that helped bring these large cars to a stop quickly from high speeds. The standard wheelbase size was 145.6-inches and was comprised of heavy gauge stamped steel. The wheelbase size could be lengthened to 157.5-inches to accommodate limousine coachwork.
Isotta-Fraschini chassis were bodied by only the best coachbuilders of the era. One such coachbuilder was based in Milan and had a history that dates back to the 1830s. It was Castagna and was a favorite among royalty long before they produced coachwork for automobiles.
This vehicle is a 1930 Isotta-Frasschini 8A Convertible Sedan with coachwork by Castagna. It was originally imported to the US through Isotta Motors Inc., New York. It has been fully restored since new and finished in a two-tone red paint scheme. The fenders and beltline are slightly darker red than the rest of the body. Gold striping can be found along the bodylines.
In 2008 this 1930 Isotta-Fraschini 8A Convertible Sedan by Castagna was brought to RM Auctions 'Vintage Motor Cars of Meadow Brook' where it was estimated to sell for $400,000-$600,000. As bidding came to a close, the lot had been sold for $467,500 including buyer's premium.
In 2009, this Tipo 8A was offered for sale at the Automobiles of Amelia Island Auction presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $400,000 - $500,000. If failed to sell as its reserve was not met by the high bid of $240,000.By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2009
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