Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este

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Diatto – Tipo 20S (1923)


Vehicle Type:
Coach Builder:
Mouche & Cie
Inline 4
Engine CC:
Corrado Lopresto (IT)

Class A


Diatto - Tipo 20S
Class A02

The Italian automotive manufacturer Diatto was founded in Turin in 1835 and started out by producing horse-drawn carriages. At a very early stage, Diatto realised that the future would belong to the motor car and in 1905 the carriage maker began to manufacture vehicles under licence from the French brand Clément Bayard before developing a proprietary model from 1909 onwards. Initial contacts were made with Ettore Bugatti during the First World War. In 1916, a licence for an eight-cylinder aircraft engine was acquired from Bugatti, leading to the licence based on the Bugatti Type 13 four-cylinder engine. After the war, the small car was manufactured in limited numbers but Diatto was now even deriving its logo from the Bugatti red oval with Diatto’s lettering embedded within the roundel. Diatto then went on to produce cars under Maserati licences, presenting the Tipo 20 in 1922. This was to be the brand’s best-known model and it enjoyed a production run until 1927. In 1923, the Tipo 20 was further developed into the 20S sports version that now generated 75 hp rather than 40 hp. The 20S was extremely successful on the race track, running in countless victories in the 2 litre class. This was undoubtedly thanks to the magic stardust sprinkled by the Maserati brothers, who managed the Diatto racing team before founding their own team. The Tipo 20S shown here was sold in France as a chassis and fitted with a torpedo body flaunting wide wings and the very contemporary ‘boattail’ styled by the coachbuilder Mouche & Cie. from Lyon. The extravagant body shape was this car’s entrée as a star in the marque’s advertising. This car was discovered in Japan with the original interior and was refurbished to the authentic delivery appearance with a body painted in pale yellow and preservation of original leather upholstery.

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