Feb. 20th 2012 – Auto of the day – Vintage – Car #4
*** Exclusively from the Tom Mittler Collection *** Some 100 years ago the European Grand Prix events were dominated by the large-engined racing behemoths from the likes of Mercedes, Napier, F.I.A.T., Bugatti, Itala, Darracq and Isotta-Fraschini among others, who competed in gruelling events throughout the Continent and on machines often built solely for racing purposes. Competition was tough and demanding, tracks were basically unmade dust roads but the benefits of being a winning manufacturer could be passed on to production models for the admiring public to own and drive. Isotta-Fraschini of Milan built one of the most handsome of racing models, with crisp straight lines set parallel to the road and which have been described looking like a baby Benz. The Tipo FE Isotta was specifically built for the 1908 French Grand Prix where there were 46 entries that year at Dieppe (incidentally, the first ever time ‘pits’ were used at a race meeting) and although the Isotta did not impress against the might of Mercedes, the car was considered successful enough that Isotta subsequently offered their road-going Tipo F.E.N.C. model, available either with either drip-feed lubrication or pressure feed. Numbers vary but considered opinion is that about 100 of the Tipo F.E.N.C. were built originally, and just a handful survive now.
The Mittler Estate car, chassis number 6023 with engine number 10, was formerly in the hands of American collector Jeffrey Vogel who owned two such models at the same time, before being acquired by collector Bob M. Rubin and restored to semi-race configuration.
Very pretty in form and impressively restored, this IF is a fabulous reminder from the Edwardian motor racing era.
Comment, Great car for reliving the racing glory days, ex. Mittler/ Vogel/ Rubin so has been owned by the greats and would be a worthy addition to any collection.