A Tale of Timeless Elegance.
There are classic cars, and then there are legends—automotive masterpieces that transcend their era to become icons of design and engineering. Among the latter stands the 1930 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A S Roadster, a marvel of Italian craftsmanship, set to steal the spotlight at an upcoming auction.
A Brief History of Ephemeral Glory
Isotta Fraschini, an Italian luxury automaker founded in 1899 by Cesare Isotta and the Fraschini brothers, was a fleeting yet pivotal chapter in automotive history. With less than 2,500 cars produced, each Isotta Fraschini vehicle is a coveted rarity. Known for pioneering the straight-eight-cylinder engine, the company garnered a following among Hollywood elites and was celebrated in the writings of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Raymond Chandler.
The Pinnacle of Craftsmanship: Carrozzeria Castagna
Milan-based Carrozzeria Castagna's artistry defined many Isotta Fraschini models. Castagna's roots date back to 1849 when they were luxury carriage builders for Italian royalty. By the time the Tipo 8A S Roadster was born, Castagna was at the pinnacle of automotive luxury. They were the Murphy to Fraschini’s Duesenberg, but with an Italian flair that was simply inimitable.
Provenance and Prestige
Chassis 1657 boasts a well-documented lineage that could rival any classic. It was first delivered to Isotta Motors in New York City and eventually became part of D. Cameron Peck’s renowned collection, one of the largest in the world at the time. It has also been under the careful stewardship of other noted collectors like Al Ferrara, who won first prize for the vehicle at the Michigan Grand Classic in Dearborn.
Beyond Restoration: Rebirth
This particular Tipo 8A S has undergone a multi-year, meticulous restoration, overseen by the best in the business. The original engine has been fully rebuilt with correct piston rods and bearings. The car sports a ravishing burgundy paint job that looks as fresh as the day it rolled out of the Milan factory, coupled with gleaming German silver brightwork. The interior has been restored by Tailored Trim, based out of New Philadelphia, Ohio, adding a final touch of excellence.
This Isotta Fraschini is not just a classic car; it is an opulent canvas of one-off features, combining Carrozzeria Castagna's masterful coachwork with Isotta Fraschini's powerful engineering. With an engine capable of reaching speeds up to 93 miles per hour—a staggering feat for its time—this Roadster was even more expensive than a Model J Duesenberg when new.
The Inevitable Conclusion
The 1930 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A S Roadster is not merely a vehicle; it's an enduring symbol of an era of unparalleled elegance and innovation. Eligible for the most prestigious events worldwide, it is highly regarded as one of the most striking examples in Isotta Fraschini circles. With the tragic cessation of both Isotta Fraschini and Carrozzeria Castagna due to the devastation of World War II, this car represents one of the last glorious gasps from two icons of luxury automotive history.
As the auction day approaches, prospective buyers are not just bidding on a car; they are vying for a masterpiece, a piece of history, and a story that has been written over decades by those who have had the privilege of being part of it. If ever there was an automotive work of art worthy of investment, this is it.
For all those enthusiasts and collectors eager to buy and sell great cars this summer, the road leads right back to Auburn, Indiana, the original “Classic Car Capital of the World” and birthplace of the collector car auction industry in America.
Our next catalogue sale, also the industry’s next catalogue sale in North America, the Auburn Auction, will take place August 31 – September 2, 2023 at our Indiana headquarters. To be presented as a simultaneous live and online event for collector car enthusiasts and aficionado to enjoy.