Class Sponsor

Year: 1913

Manufacturer: SCAT

Model: 25/35 HP Landaulet-Limousine

Country: Italy

Owner(s):
Corrado Lopresto

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1913 SCAT 25/35 HP Landaulet-Limousine

The Societa Ceirano Automobili Torino (SCAT) was founded in 1906 by Giovanni Battista Ceirano, one of four brothers involved in the early Italian car industry. The company produced vehicles until 1932 and its cars won the Targa Florio in 1911 and 1912 and again in 1914. 

Giovanni Battista started out as an apprentice to his watchmaker father, and then began building bicycles called Welleyes. His brother Matteo joined him to begin producing Welleyes-branded motorcars in 1899. They sold that company to Giovanni Agnelli, who used their work as the technical basis to launch his Fiat brand.

Giovanni Battista worked for Agnelli for one year but then founded companies that produced the Rapid and later SCAT vehicles. Meanwhile, Matteo would found Italia and then SPA. Another brother, Ernesto, drove a SCAT to victory in two of the three Targa Florio races won by the company. 

This 1913 example of the SCAT 25/35 HP, which was the most powerful model in the road car range, is now part of the Lopresto Collection. It’s accompanied by extensive original paperwork and, from this, it’s known that the car was made to order for a Mr Francesco De Leonardis, a nobleman from Radicena in southern Italy. 

The sales contract includes all the vehicle’s details and optional extras. A registration document shows that the SCAT 25/35 HP was registered in the province of Reggio Calabria from the number 53 on the registration plate, which identified the area in the 1910s, while the last two digits – 67 – indicate the progressive order of registration. The 25/35 can also be seen on SCAT’s 1913 Turin motor show stand in a rare photo from the magazine ‘Motori Cicli e Sports’.

The car was owned by the De Leonardis family for more than a century, and would have been checked over and polished by their chauffeurs every day. It was then acquired by the Museo Storico della Motorizzazione Militare in Rome and later by a collector who simply cleaned it and kept it in Tuscany for around a decade. 

When Corrado Lopresto took ownership of the car in 2017, he gave the go-ahead for its preservative restoration in collaboration with the art restorer Giulia Dilecce. The meticulous operation ensured that nothing was changed, remade or retreated, simply ensuring that everything was in working order – including its revolving running boards, its window winder casings lined in crochet work, the fabric passenger seats with embroidered edges, its optional compressed air engine starter and its water level indicator in the St. Christopher above the radiator. Even the two front tyres are original Pirellis from the 1920s, fitted by the original owner in the aftermath of the First World War, and still in superb condition.  

At the 2018 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, the SCAT was awarded the FIVA (the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens or international federation of historic vehicles) Best Preserved Vehicle Award. Senior Vice President of FIVA and a member of the jury, Dr Mario Theissen explained, “A car more than 100 years old, in remarkably original shape and fully running, this is a perfect statement of what FIVA stands for.”

Gallery

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