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Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8A Van Rijswijk Dual-Cowl Phaeton

Coachbuilder Van Rijswijk of The Hague, who had already supplied the coachwork for one of HM Queen Wilhelmina’s Spykers in 1911, was commissioned in 1925 to build the coachwork for this Isotta-Fraschini 8A.

It was a modest ‘Dual-Cowl Phaeton’; the rear passengers had their own closed compartment with a removable windscreen. Note the beautiful wooden decking; the section above the rear doors could be lifted to allow the passengers to board.

In 1900 Cesare Isotta and Vincenzo Fraschini first started assembling Renaults. Spurred by the demand in America for luxury motorcars, Isotta-Fraschini aimed purely at the top end of the market after the First World War. The Tipo 8, designed by the brilliant engineer Giustino Cattaneo was the only model offered. The larger Tipo 8A was introduced in 1924, fitted with a 7.4-litre, 120 hp eight-cylinder engine, and in 1931 the 8B was launched, producing 150 hp.

However, the economic crisis put an end to car production and Isotta-Fraschini then focused on building train and marine engines, which it continues to do today. The famous actor Rudolph Valentino owned an Isotta-Fraschini.

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