Isotta Fraschini “tipo 8 AS”, Castagna, 1929.
The “Società Milanese d’Automobili Isotta Fraschini” was founded in Milan in 1900 by a group of passionate and wealthy people, including Cesare Isotta and Oreste, Antonio and Vincenzo Fraschini brothers.
Created only to be agent and dealer for some foreigner car firms, Isotta Fraschini started very soon to build their cars, becoming doubtless the most prestigious Italian luxury car industry: the Tipo 8, presented in 1919, was one of the first production cars in the world fitted with a straight-8 cylinder engine.
The Tipo 8 is a myth in the automobile world : produced only as a rolling chassis (IF never built bodyworks), it was fitted with the most elegant and luxurious bodies of the best bodybuilders. Each car was different from the other and has its own history, its own personality, its own exclusive beauty.
The dimensions were monumental; the interior were sophisticated lounges lavishly decorated with crystal, silver and briar and upholstered with elegant Damasque cloths.
On the Isotta Fraschini nothing was lacking to ensure maximum comfort: from the lady’s vanity case with the adjoining “maquillage corner”, to the gentleman’s set with its “moustache curler”. The headlights were a masterpiece in grinded crystal and all their parts were numbered.
The car shown in the museum comes from Pennsylvania, USA, and it was owned also by the poet Gabriele D’Annunzio’s son, Veniero, who was Isotta Fraschini agent in the United States.
For 12 years Luciano Nicolis devoted considerable efforts to restore this car to its original condition. The restoration result is under visitors’ eyes: a masterpiece worthy of a legendary car (the interior were looked after by a well-known Italian stylist).
- In 1990, driven by Luciano Nicolis, it won the “Prix Puiforcat” at the international concours “Louis Vuitton Classic”in Paris
- In 1990, driven by Luciano Nicolis, it won the 1st Price and “Memorial Gigi Bonfanti” Price at Concorso di Eleganza ASI in Turin.
- In 1990, driven by Luciano Nicolis, it participated to Concorso di Eleganza Castello di Miramare, Trieste.
- In 1994, it won “Best restoration” Price at Concorso “Firenze Automobili d’Antiquariato”.
- In 1998, driven by Luciano Nicolis, it came second at “Concorso di Eleganza del Tigullio”.
- In 1999, “Isotta Fraschini 100 ANNI“ Exhibition at “Museo dell’Automobile Luigi Bonfanti”.
- In 2004, driven by Luciano Nicolis, it participated to “Concorso di Eleganza di Ville d’Este“.
- In 2013, “Che Storie!” Exhibition organised by Museimpresa.