This 12.7 litre Itala driven here by Sam Clutton, is one
of the world's oldest surviving Grand Prix cars.
Sam acquired the Grand Prix Itala in 1938, competed with it that year at the inaugural Prescott hill climb and appeared regularly in events in both pre-war and post-war days.
Itala was founded in Turin in 1904 by Matteo Ceirano and
Guido Biglio. Like most of its rivals Itala adopted large-capacity 4-cylinder
engines for its competition cars and it achieved some remarkable competition
Itala was one of the first companies to adopt the consistent use of shaft-drive in place of the usual chain-drive.
Sam Clutton's car competed in the 1908 French Grand Prix, but finished well down the field in 11th place in the 477 mile race held at Dieppe. Afterwards it came to Britain and this Itala lapped Brooklands at 101 mph.
The Itala Company built a wide and varied range of
cars during its 30-year history, but in later years it suffered from financial
problems and went out of business in 1934.
1908 Grand Prix Itala Specification
Engine: 4-cylinder 12,706 cc (155 x 160 mm) with overhead inlet and side exhaust valves and developing 100 bhp at 1600 rpm.
Gearbox: 4-speed. Chassis: Channel-section with rigid axles suspended on semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear. Wheelbase: 9 feet 11 inches. Front and Rear Track: 5 feet. Unladen weight: 27.8 cwt.