Isotta Fraschini

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Isotta Fraschini
FoundedMilan, Italy (1900)
Founder(s)Cesare Isotta
Vincenzo Fraschini
Oreste Fraschini
Antonio Fraschini
HeadquartersMilan, Italy
ProductsAutomobiles,aircraft engines, marine engines and other goods
References: Original firm ceased automobile production 1949
 
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Isotta Fraschini
FoundedMilan, Italy (1900)
Founder(s)Cesare Isotta
Vincenzo Fraschini
Oreste Fraschini
Antonio Fraschini
HeadquartersMilan, Italy
ProductsAutomobiles,aircraft engines, marine engines and other goods
References: Original firm ceased automobile production 1949
Vincenzo Trucco won the 1908 Targa Florio with Isotta Fraschini type I
Isotta-Fraschini AN 20/30 (1909)
Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8 Sala Phaeton

Isotta Fraschini represents two Italian manufacturing companies which produce marine engines and luxury goods. In the early 20th century it was a luxury car manufacturer.

Contents

History

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 hp. The car, driven by Vincenzo Fraschini, appeared in several races. In 1905, Isotta Fraschini gained notoriety in the Coppa Florio, where they entered aTipo D with an enormous 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 out making race cars using this same 100 horsepower (75 kW) engine, establishing the company's reputation and gave its name considerable cachet. It was also one of the first cars with four-wheel brakes, following their invention by the Arrol-Johnson Company of Scotland in 1909.[1] They were also among the early pioneers of OHC, with an engine designed by Giustino Cattaneo.[2] Isotta Fraschini introduced their Tipo 8, the first production automobile to be powered by a straight-eight engine, at the Paris Salon in 1919[3] and began delivering them to customers in 1920.[4]

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 Bow and Rudolph Valentino drove Isotta Fraschinis. 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. An Isotta also makes a featured appearance in the 1946 film Without Reservations with John Wayne and Claudette Colbert. Also, a Isotta Fraschini was gigolo Lindsay Marriott's car in Raymond Chandler's classic Farewell, My Lovely that was made into a motion picture starring Dick Powell and Claire Trevor. The grill of the Isotta with the unmistakable lightning bolt insignia is seen parked in a ravine, right before Lindsay Marriott gets sapped to death.

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). Only five of the last model, the Monterosa, were produced. 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 1990-s 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.

Vehicles

1928 Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8A S LeBaron Boattail Roadster at the Imperial Palace Auto Collections in Las Vegas

passenger cars

Racing car

Trucks

Trolleybuses

Today

Remnants of Isotta Fraschini survive as three Italian companies.

The company [1] produces propulsion and generation systems, used in US Navy littoral fast attack surface ships and yachts.

The L1306 T3, V 1312 T3, VL 1716 T2 T3 and GE COLZA V 1312 T3 generation systems produce between 200 kW and 3,000 kW. The largest of these generators are used in the Freedom class of Littoral Combat Ships.

See also

References

  1. ^ Georgano, G. N. Cars: Early and Vintage, 1886-1930. (London: Grange-Universal, 1985)
  2. ^ Georgano. They were joined by Austro-Daimler's Prinz Heinrich, designed by Ferdinand Porsche, W. O. Bentley (in 1919), and Sunbeam (between 1921 and 1923).
  3. ^ Posthumus, Cyril (1977) [1977], "War and Peace", The story of Veteran & Vintage Cars, John Wood, illustrator (Phoebus 1977 ed.), London: Hamlyn / Phoebus, p. 70, ISBN 0-600-39155-8. 
  4. ^ Daniels, Jeff (2002). Driving Force: The Evolution of the Car Engine. Haynes Publishing. p. 48. ISBN 1-85960-877-9. 

External links