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Tucker 48 and Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A SS take Best in Show at the 2019 Hemmings Motor News Concours d’Elegance
Mike Austin on Sep 16th, 2019 at 8am
2019 Hemmings Concours Best of Show 1928 Isotta Fraschni Tipo 8A SS and 1948 Tucker 48

A car that achieved modern fame with the help of a motion picture and a car connected to an early silent film star took top honors at the 2019 Hemmings Motor News Concours d’Elegance presented by Gullwing Motorcars. The film connections are just a coincidence, of course. Both the 1948 Tucker 48 and 1929 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A SS selected as Postwar and Prewar Best in Show have notable histories, which undoubtedly factored into consideration for the top prize.
Best in Show, Postwar: 1948 Tucker 48 #1044
1948 Tucker #1044 owned by Howard Kroplik
The story of Preston Tucker and his car company was turned into a modern folk tale by director Francis Ford Copolla in 1988’s Tucker: The Man and His Dream. Ironically, while Tucker’s cars were back in the spotlight, Tucker #1044 would began an extended hibernation in an Ohio garage in 1991. This is one of the more notable surviving Tuckers because of its low original miles and highly-publicized return to the public eye 35 years later. All-around Tucker expert Mark Lieberman convinced the the long-time owner to sell in 2016 and embarked on a mechanical restoration. The car then went to auction at RM Sotheby’s 2017 Arizona sale, where current owner Howard Kroplick of East Hills, New York, placed the winning bid. Kroplick showed the car at several events, including the 2017 Hemmings Motor News Concours d’Elegance were it appeared in the Preservation class and took home Wayne Carini’s “Pick of the Show” award.
Kroplick then embarked on a restoration to return #1044 to its original Tucker 300 Green paint and bring the car back to new condition, working with Preston Tucker’s great-grandsons Sean and Mike Tucker along with Rob Ida of Ida Automotive. (Kroplick and the Tuckers go into the details of the restoration in this YouTube video of a presentation earlier this year.)
Since its restoration, #1044 has taken in an impressive number of tophies, including second in a featured Tucker class at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and class wins at both the Amelia Island and Greenwich Concours events. In addition to Best in Show, Kroplick’s Tucker also took first prize in the Fresh Restorations category at this year’s Hemmings Concours.
Best in Show, Prewar: 1928 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A SS
1928 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A SS Hemmings Concours 2019 Best of Show
We’ve covered Peter Boyle’s 1928 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A SS extensively, both in this profile before our event and for the numerous awards the car has collected over the years, such as Best of Show at the 2014 Pacific Northwest Concours d’Elegance. This car represents some of the greatest luxury of the era, presented in stunning condition today. When it was originally shown at the 1928 New York Auto show, aviation pioneer Harry Williams and wife Helen Marguerite Clark were quite taken with the car’s boattail styling by coachbuilder LeBaron and bought the car for the incredible sum said to be in the range of $20,000.
The Tipo 8 chassis first debuted in 1919, with the 8A and Spinto 8AS variations representing higher output from the straight-8 engine. The 8A SS (Super Spinto) was the fastest of the bunch, with 160 horsepower and a guaranteed 100 mph top speed.
Boyle acquired the car in 2005 and turned it over to D&D Classic Auto Restoration, finishing in 2007 and first showing the car at the 2007 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The car has regularly appeared on the show circuit since. In addition to Best in Show, Boyle’s Isotta Fraschini also took the prize in the Full Classic category at this year’s Hemmings Concours.
A big thank you from Hemmings to all the owners who brought cars to the show, as well as to our presenting sponsor Gullwing Motorcars and additional sponsors American Collectors Insurance, MPT Industries, and Coker Tire. Look for a full rundown of all the class winners from the 2019 Hemmings Motor News Concours d’Elegance on the Hemmings Daily soon
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