Keeneland Concours Selects 1933 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A as BoS

Lexington, KY — One of just two examples of the Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A with dual-cowl, two-door Sports Touring coachwork from Castagna captured Best of Show honors at the July 20 Keeneland Concours. The car is owned by Evergreen Historic Automobiles in Lebanon, Mo.

Photo: Keeneland Concours d’Elegance

The Tipo 8A replaced the Tipo 8 in Isotta Fraschini’s lineup, debuting in 1924. The 8A featured a 7.3-liter inline eight engine, considerably larger than the 5.9-liter straight-eight found in the earlier model. It was more powerful, too, producing 115 hp in base form, but later Tipo 8As could be ordered with the Super Sprint engine, which achieved 160 hp from the same displacement. A three-speed manual transmission was used with both engines.

The Keeneland Concours-winning Tipo 8A was built with the SS engine and sent to Milan to be bodied in coachwork designed by Ercole Castagna. The car debuted at the October 1933 Salon de l’Automobile in Paris, France, but afterward was shipped to the brand’s showroom in New York City.

The car was later sold to George Schweiger, owner of Pacific Auto Rentals Collection in Hollywood, who leased cars to movie studios, and was reportedly driven by James Dean in Giant.

The Tipo 8A previously competed at Pebble Beach in 2017, took the Best in Show European award at the Atlanta Concours d’Elegance last October, and earned the Governor’s Cup (Best of Show) at the 2019 Elegance at Hershey.

Other key winners at this year’s Keeneland Concours included the 1959 OSCA coupe, owned by Peter Boyle, that captured the Judges’ Choice award; the 1929 Ford Model A station wagon, owned by Thomas and Donna Fitzgerald, honored with People’s Choice award; the 1955 Ford Thunderbird, owned by Ed Ferguson and Donna Wathen, that earned the Children’s Choice award; and the 1935 SS (Jaguar) 90, owned by Rufus and Pat Coburn, which captured the Junior Judges’ Choice award.