5-6 October 2017

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Lot 154

1930 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A "Flying Star" Recreation

  • Chassis no. 687
  • Engine no. 715

Sold for $302,500

  • 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.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more