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Isotta Fraschini of opera singer Gabriella Besanzoni at Brazil's Classic Car National Meet

The seventh bi-annual Veteran Car Club of Brazil national meet was held in the resort town of Araxa at the Ouro Minas Grand Hotel on the week-end of June 17, 2006.



In magnificent, luxurious art deco sorroundings, some of the best cars of Brazilian collectors were exhibited at the seventh bi-annual Veteran Car Club of Brazil national meet, at at the Ouro Minas Grand Hotel in the resort town of Araxa, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Besides a remarkable display, additional activities included a modest flea market, an auction, book launches, concours d'elegance, car parade, Italian night and a typical "mineira", Brazilian dinner party closed the social gathering.


The Brazilian National Meet was sponsored by Fiat, celebrating it's 30 years of car production in Brazil and the fiftiest anniversary of local Brazilian auto industry. Fiat took the opportunity to launch it's new tetrafuel running on gasoline, regular and premium, methanol and natural gas, and a new electric Palio car.


Best of show was a 1939 Cadillac V16 coupe of Antonio Wagner, already a a Classic Car Club of America award winner.


Perhaps the highlight of the Brazilian show was the presence of three Isotta Fraschini of the four originally owned by Italian opera singer, Gabriella Besanzoni. Famous for her roles in Bizet's Carmen with Enrico Caruso, Gabriella Besanzoni married Brazilian entrepreneur Henrique Lage in 1925 and moved to Rio de Janeiro were they lived in a magnificente estate, today a city park, right under the statue of Christ, the Redeemer and the Corcovado mountain. The couple owned at least four Isotta-Fraschini. Of these, a 1925 Castagna body Cabriolet d'Orsay (full convertible town car) 8 A, a 1926 Cesare Sala tourer 8 A SS and another 8 A SS Spyder Sport Castagna, currently undergoing restoration. Three of the only four Isotta-Fraschini still in existance in Brazil were shown. The Gabriella Besanzoni cars were reunited for the first time in almost 80 years. The owners of the the roadster under restoration received a special award for their effort in bringing this Isotta-Fraschini to the National Meet.





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