The Isotta Fraschini Company was created in 1902 by Cesare Isotta and Vincenzo Fraschini. Their elegantly designed automobiles were popular with rich clientele, reliable, stylish, and quick. An Isotta Fraschini car won the Targa Florio in 1908.
When Isotta Fraschini introduced the Tipo 8 in 1919, the firm had already established itself as the premier builder of luxury automobiles in Italy
Chassis number 1664 was one of two known 8As surviving with this exquisite dual-cowl sports tourer body by the renowned Milanese coachbuilders, Castagna, who achieved their finest work on Isotta Fraschini chassis. The chassis 1664 was made around 1931, but the car was not completed until two years later, with this Castagna body. It have been shown at the 27th Salon de l’Automobile in Paris in October of 1933, after which it was shipped to New York and exhibited in Ugo d’Annunzio’s lavish Isotta Motors showroom in Manhattan.
By the 1940s the car had come to the West Coast, where it was acquired by Pacific Auto Rentals, George Schweiger, Sr. agency, that supplied automobiles to Hollywood studios for filming.
This Isotta had a noted “film career,” cast first alongside Ilona Massey and Peter Lorre in Invisible Agent (1942). Also in Without Reservations (1946), in which John Wayne and Claudette Colbert drive it in many scenes. Publicity photographs of Wayne and Colbert with the car on set were widely distributed. Other appearances included Mr. Imperium (1951) and the Ben Hogan biopic, Follow the Sun (1951). Also in the classic 1941 horror film, The Wolf Man. The car’s most famous apparition was in the 1956 epic, Giant, in which it speeds along the Texas plains carrying none other than James Dean.
After its screen time, the car was acquired in the 1960s by renowned Utah collectors, Matt and Barbara Browning. The car appeared in this livery in Angelo Tito Anselmi’s definitive 1977 book, Isotta Fraschini. Since then it has been in other significant collections, including those of the Los Angeles Times owner Otis Chandler and J. Peter Ministrelli. The current restoration was performed some years ago, to a comprehensive modern concours standard, in a rich two-tone burgundy.
The Castagna sports tourer is widely held to be among the most attractive and sporting bodies ever mounted on a Isotta Fraschini chassis. Indeed, chassis 1664 may well be considered to be one of the most famous of all Isottas, by virtue of its numerous appearances in film and print.
Ilario IL125 1/43
Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A Dual Cowl Sports Tourer by Castagna 1933 sn1664 James Dean "Giant" film Car
Limited serie of 75 pieces only
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They have been reproduced only to respect historical truth.
Assembled model, presented on real leather base with presentation plate.
Delivered in a luxurious cardboard box.
Fully assembled and hand painted in a traditional way.
1/43 scale model