Classic Van Auction Talk

Thursday 4 December 2014

1919 Diatto Tipo 4DA Sports- BONHAMS OXFORD SALE 7/12/14

Bonhams next sale will be held on December 7th in Oxford, just in time for the festivities of Christmas. Who knows you might find that stocking filler you've been searching for.
1919 Diatto Tipo 4DA Sports

1919 Diatto Tipo 4DA Sports
Registration no. SV 5014
Chassis no. 3031
Engine no. 1328


  • Originally a carriage maker, the Italian Diatto company later turned to railway engineering before abandoning its traditional businesses to become a motor manufacturer, setting up a new enterprise in 1905 in collaboration with Adolphe Clément. Its first cars were licensed Clément-Bayard designs, known as 'Diatto- Cléments'. After Clément's departure in 1909 the firm began making cars of its own design, the most significant and successful being the 12/15hp Tipo Unico, which formed the mainstay of production up to WWI.

    After the war Diatto resumed civilian production with the 25hp 4DA, which was powered by a 2.7-litre development of the Tipo Unico's four-cylinder engine. Diatto also added a light car to its range but found itself unable to compete with FIAT in that market sector and turned to the production of a high-quality sporting car: the Tipo 20, its most famous model. After a succession of financial upheavals and reorganisations, Diatto quit car production in 1927, though the reconstituted company continued with other forms of manufacturing. In 2007 Carrozzeria Zagato revived the name for a concept car displayed at the 2007 Geneva Motor: the Diatto Ottovù Zagato.

    It is believed that this Diatto Tipo 4DA was delivered new to Australia, almost certainly in rolling chassis form for bodying locally. Dismantled circa 1940, it was imported from Australia in December 1990 in 'kit' form consisting of a chassis, engine, gearbox and axles. The car was then restored, the chassis, gearbox and axles being entrusted to Keith Roach while the engine was rebuilt with new pistons, valves and re-metalled bearings by Brian Taylor. Constructed of aluminium panels on an ash frame, the body is in the style of that carried by the Diatto driven by Domenico Gamboni in the 1919 Targa Florio. The steering box is from a Tipo 20.

    Completed in 1994 and still running very well, the Diatto has been driven at various VSCC hill climbs and the Benjafields Sprint at Cornbury Park. The car would have been used more frequently had it possessed an electric starter and generator, provision of which should not be an insurmountable task for the next owner should they so desire. Offered with V5C registration document, 'SV 5014' represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a rare and delightful Vintage sports car from a top Italian make.
 Oxford Saleroom
Banbury Road
Tel: +44 1865 853640
Fax: +44 1865 372722

Monday - Friday: 9.00am - 5.00pm

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