Last week I happened to stop by Hymann Ltd and saw this car in the showroom. I didn't ask about it but it seems to have been associated with Henry Ford at some time. Perhaps it was one of the "excess" cars auctioned off at one time.
WOW! 1902? That predates the Ford Motor company. Please tell me more about it. On the last sgn there is a date of 1931. is this a reproduction made of an original in 1931? Where did you find it? Any pictures of what it looked like assembled? etc. Jim Patrick
Jim this is all I know.
It was in the showroom in St. Louis of Hymann Ltd., who deals in collector cars. I think it might have come out of the Henry Ford Museum at one time, but I don't know that for sure,
The plate says: "Gift from the Automobile Manufacturer Isotta Fraschini to Henry Ford.
Milan -- January 1931."
xxx(I don't know what that part means?) "year of Isotta's founding"
The connection is that this Isotta (the earliest Isotta known to exist) was once the property of the Henry Ford Museum. It was one of the earliest acquisitions that was given to the museum in the 1930s-probably after Isotta went out of business.Henry was given or acquired some now rare very early European cars (Mercedes, etc) during the formative years of the museum (Pre-World War II). This Isotta was sold along with many other cars during the 1980s when the museum had their "inventory reduction" auctions. This car was purchased at auction by the same Ohio collector who also purchased the brass era yellow 6 Cylinder Edsel Ford Model T speedster that was recently sold this past fall at auction and purchased by Speedy Bill in Nebraska. This car was the topic of several forum posts last summer or fall.
Founded in Milan, Italy in 1900 by Cesare Isotta and the brothers Vincenzo, Antonio and Oreste Fraschini. They ended car production in 1949, truck production in 1955.
Here is the auction catalogue listing from the 1980's.
The scanned copy of the catalogue was sent to me by a friend. I would presume the figure noted there is the price that it sold for.
XXX is roman figures for 30. Each X represents 10.
So the plaque says that to celebrate Issotta Frachinis 30 year anniversary they have given this to Henry Ford.
I = 1
V = 5
X = 10
L = 50
C = 100
M = 1000
Position is everything:
IV = 4
VI = 6
XL = 40
LXX = 70
Michael -- Well, Duh! I should have recognized that that was a Roman numeral, since the plaque came from Italy.
So the last line on the plaque reads: "30th year from the founding of Isotta". Since they were founded in 1901 and the presentation was in 1931, it all adds up.