- A remarkable recreation of a lost Classic
- Painstakingly built on an original, correct Tipo 8A chassis
- Numerous national concours d’elegance awards to its credit
- A thrill to admire from any angle
One of the most beautiful Isotta Fraschinis was a dramatic two-passenger roadster, produced by the famed Milanese coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring on a Tipo 8A chassis. Finished entirely in bright white, including its chassis, the car featured a veered and contoured windshield before a plunging beltline that descended dramatically through the rear doors, then kicked up into a smooth curve over the rear wheels and rear-mounted spares. Set off by a bright chrome molding and hood louvers curved to suit, its lines recalled the trail of a flaring comet, and was dubbed the “Flying Star.”
The car made an appearance on Touring’s stand at the Milan show of 1931, and won a 1st prize at that year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Its subsequent history remains unknown, though it almost certainly did not survive World War II. Rumor at the time was that it was last seen with Benito Mussolini behind the wheel, though that may just be a good story.
The loss of such a great beauty inspired the creation of the automobile offered here, a painstakingly correct “line for line” recreation of the “Flying Star” on an original Tipo 8A, chassis number 651. This car had been one of many Isottas delivered new in Australia; its original coachwork is not known, but is likely to have been by James Flood or Waring Brothers. For some time the chassis wore coachwork from a British automobile, possibly an SS 1. Eventually the car was restored and re-bodied to the “Flying Star” design in Australia, and was then acquired by its current California owner in 2001 from well-known collectors Jorge and Maria Fernandez.
This has become one of the best-known and most award-winning Isottas in North America, including exhibits at the 2001 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance (2nd in Class), 2004 Amelia Island Concours (Best in Class), 2005 Meadow Brook Concours, 2009 Keels & Wheels Concours, 2011 Greystone Concours (Best in Class), the Santa Fe Concorso and Rodeo Drive Concours in 2014, and the Desert Concorso in 2015 (President’s Award). It was the subject of an article in the June 2007 issue of Collectible Automobile and of a cover feature, “Heavenly Body,” in the July 2012 issue of Vintage Roadcar, in which it was said, “There are few cars with more beauty or grace than the Isotta . . . The Flying Star has stage presence that only a real star could appreciate . . . or afford.”
Today this spectacular automobile is offered to a new proud caretaker, who shall surely enjoy flaunting it as the previous owners have. Few cars have such stunning presence, from stem to stern.