Pebble Beach concours to celebrate Isotta Fraschini

The 1995 Pebble Beach best of show, a 1930 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A SS, will be at this year's concours | Pebble Beach Concours
The 1995 Pebble Beach best of show, a 1930 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A SS, will be shown at this year’s concours | Pebble Beach Concours

Isotta Fraschini, the greatest luxury brand of pre-war Italy, will be celebrated with three full classes at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 20.

Among the opulent cars that will be present on the grass at the 67th annual Pebble Beach Concours will be the marque’s first chassis ever built, a 1901 prototype, and also the last one, a 1948 cabriolet.

The bare, running chassis of the first Isotta Fraschini, built in 1901
The bare, running chassis of the first Isotta Fraschini, built in 1901

Both cars are owned by inveterate Isotta collector Corrado Lopresto, who owns Garage Corrado near Milan, Italy, where the marque’s complete factory archives and several historically imperative Isotta Fraschini cars are maintained.

“I like the charm and grandeur that has always accompanied every Isotta Fraschini car,” Lopresto said in a news release. “Each one is so unique.”

The 1901 prototype, chassis tag No. 1, was kept at The Henry Ford museum for decades before Lopresto purchased it in 2013. The bare chassis was driven by Lopresto in the 2015 London to Brighton run after he added a temporary floor and seat for the event.

Lopresto bought the final two Isotta Fraschinis – an 8C Monterosa coupé built by Touring in 1947 and a cabriolet built by Boneschi in 1948 – in Rome after years of negotiations.

1947 Isotta Fraschini 8C Monterosa Touring Coupe
1947 Isotta Fraschini 8C Monterosa Touring Coupe

Isotta Fraschina was founded in 1899 in Milan by attorney Cesare Isotta in partnership with motoring-enthusiast brothers Vincenzo, Antonio and Oreste Fraschini, Technologically advanced, the automaker pioneered such important innovations as a four-wheel braking system.

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The height of the company’s success came with the Tipo 8 of 1924 through 1931, powered by a high-performance straight-8 engine and driven by the highest echelon of business moguls, celebrities and royalty. The cars were adorned by custom bodies built by the world’s greatest coachbuilders.

A strong group of Isotta Fraschinis are entered in the famed concours, which takes place on the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links on the Monterey Peninsula in coastal California. For information, visit the concours website.

Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


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