Isotta Fraschini Automobiles

1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A
Isotta Fraschini is an Italian motors brand historically known for the production of cars as well as trucks, and engines for marine and aviation use.

D80 (left) and D65 (right)
Founded in Milan, Italy, in 1900 by Cesare Isotta and the brothers Vincenzo, Antonio, and Oreste Fraschini, in 1955 it was merged with engine manufacturer Breda Motori and was renamed F.A. Isotta Fraschini e Motori Breda.

KM4 Tourer (1913)
The company went bankrupt in 1999.
In 2000, a new company was founded, under the name of Isotta Fraschini Milano which has offices in Milan and Bari

The firm was named for its founders, Cesare Isotta and Vincenzo Fraschini, as Società Milanese Automobili Isotta, Fraschini & C., on 27 January 1900. The motto was “Import, sell, repair cars”. Prior to establishing their own company in 1904, Isotta and Fraschini assembled Renaults.
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. For a short time in 1907, Isotta Fraschini merged with French automobile company Lorraine-Dietrich. The firm started making race cars using this same 100 horsepower (75 kW) engine, establishing the company’s reputation and giving its name considerable cachet.

Vincenzo Trucco won the 1908 Targa Florio with Isotta Fraschini type I.
It was also one of the first cars with four-wheel brakes, following their invention by Arrol-Johnston of Scotland in 1909.

The Isotta Fraschini “Goddess of Speed” hood ornament.
They were also among the early pioneers of overhead cam (OHC), with an engine designed by Giustino Cattaneo.v Isotta Fraschini introduced their Tipo 8, the first production automobile to be powered by a straight-eight engine, at the Paris Salon in 1919v and began delivering them to customers in 1920.v

AN 20/30 (1909)
With the growth of the wealthy middle class in North America in the 1920s, Isotta Fraschini marketed deluxe limousines to the new American aristocracy. Early film stars Clara Bowand Rudolph Valentino drove Isotta Fraschinis.

Tipo 8 Sala Phaeton
A 1929 Tipo 8A Castagna Transformable is featured in the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard and another appears in the 1934 film Death Takes a Holiday with Fredric March.

Tipo 8A S LeBaron Boattail Roadster (1928)
An Isotta Fraschini also makes a featured appearance in the 1946 film Without Reservations with John Wayne and Claudette Colbert.

Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8C Monterosa (Zagato), 1947
Also, an Isotta Fraschini was gigolo Lindsay Marriott’s car in Raymond Chandler’s book Farewell, My Lovely (1940) that was made into the motion picture Murder, My Sweet (1944), starring Dick Powell and Claire Trevor.

The grille of the Isotta Fraschini with the lightning bolt insignia is seen parked in a ravine, right before Lindsay Marriott gets zapped to death. An oversized Isotta Fraschini is also the vehicle of choice for Dick and Nicole Diver in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1933 novel Tender is the Night.

Tipo 8A Castagna Imperial Landaulet (1928)
Seriously affected by the economic crisis of the 1930s and by the disruptions of World War II, Isotta Fraschini stopped making cars after the war (1949).

1948 Isotta Fraschini 8C Monterosa with body work by Carozzeria Boneschi.
Only five of the last model, the Monterosa, were produced.

Tipo 8C Monterosa Boneschi Cabriolet (1948)
The plants were converted to produce marine engines.
The company was left on the company register and in 1955 it was merged with engine manufacturer Breda Motori and named F.A. Isotta Fraschini e Motori Breda. The company started to produce trolley buses again and in 1960s built a new diesel engine factory in Bari. In the 1980s, the company was renamed Isotta Fraschini Motori SpA and it became part of Fincantieri group, with administrative headquarters in the old factory in Bari.
In the 1990s, attempts to revive the automotive industry of Isotta Fraschini were made.

Concept-car coupe and roadster Isotta Fraschini T8 were built in 1996,

and concept-car roadster Isotta Fraschini T12 was built in 1998.

The company never went into production and closed for bankruptcy in 1999.

Isotta Fraschini T12

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