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The Isotta Fraschini story begins in Milan, on 27 January 1900. The brothers Vincenzo, Antonio and Oreste Fraschini and their friend Cesare Isotta, all passionate advocates of the motorcar, founded the Società Milanese Automobili Isotta, Fraschini & C. with the stated purpose to "Import, sell, repair cars". Despite this apparently basic goal, Isotta Fraschini was known from the very beginning for making some of the most prestigious and innovative cars of its time.
Prior to establishing their own products, Isotta and Fraschini assembled cars very similar to Renaults, with Aster engines. In 1904, the company began making their own chassis and engines, preferring the larger 4-cyl. The first automobile bearing this marque featured a four-cylinder engine with an output of 24 horsepower (18 kW). The car, driven by Vincenzo Fraschini, appeared in several races. In 1905, Isotta Fraschini gained notoriety in the Coppa Florio, where they entered a Tipo D with a 17.2-litre (1,050 cu in) 100 horsepower (75 kW) engine. Vincenzo Trucco won the 1908 Targa Florio with an Isotta Fraschini Type I. The notoriety of these events brought to the brand led to its popularity among Europe’s elite.

Vincenzo Trucco in his Isotta Fraschini at the 1908 Targa Florio

Vincenzo Trucco in his Isotta Fraschini at the 1908 Targa Florio

1908 Isotta Fraschini advert
Isotta Fraschini column ad
1920s Isotta Fraschini advertisement with horses and indians-retrographs
Isotta Fraschini 1920 ad
Isotta Fraschini advertisement

Isotta Fraschini ilustrated advertisements (click to expand) 

In 1919 Isotta Fraschini introduced the Type 8, a new car that would go on to become a legendary example of classic car design and a cultural icon. What set the Type 8 apart was an internal combustion engine with all eight cylinders mounted in a straight line along the crankcase, the first engine with this configuration.

The success of the Type 8 led Isotta Fraschini to introduce the Type 8A in 1920. This model proved that Isotta Fraschini’s cars were not only speed vehicles for the daring, but also elegant status symbols. The long-bodied and elegant Type 8A could in many ways be compared to a limousine.  It was used to trasport aristocratic, artistic and cinematic royalty, including the King of Egypt, boxer Jack Dempsey, more than one pope, opera star Gabriella Besanzoni, millionaires such as William Randolph Hearst and film stars Rudolph Valentino and Clara Bow. “The Aristocrat of Automobiles”, as stated by a slogan of the period, stood in the collective imagery as a symbol of luxury and unmatched taste.

Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8b Landaulette draw, 1931

Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8b Landaulette, 1931

1912 Isotta Fraschini ad

A 1912 italian ad

Isotta Fraschini emblems from 1908 to 1932

Isotta Fraschini, "The Aristocrat of Automobiles"

"The Aristocrat of Automobiles", presents an english Isotta Fraschini ad


" Spirit of Triumph" , original radiator mascot hood ornament of Isotta Fraschini cars was designed by Frederick Bazin; it stands approximately 8.50 inches long, 4.60 inches tall and was originally supplied by Factors Nil Melior

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