GRAF & STIFT (Austria) 1907-1938


This was the "Rolls-Royce of Austria". Stift was earlier connected with the manufacture of Celeritas cars.

After he founded the Gräf & Stift factory in 1902, he built cars for five years on behalf of Arnold Spitz. In 1907, the first Gräf & Stift car appeared. It was the ambition of Willy Stift to build big cars of the highest quality regardless of cost, while the Gräf brothers, Karl, Franz and Heinrich, were the technical experts behind this ambitious venture. In 1897 the Gräfs built a voiturette with the engine in the rear, but it was never manufactured commercially.

After 1908, production concentrated on big 4240cc, 5880cc, 7320cc and even 7684cc four-cylinder models. A new, smaller model of 1940cc appeared in 1922: there was also a new ohc 7745cc six-cylinder capable of 90 mph. The last Gräf & Stift cars were a 3895cc six and the fantastic SP8 with an ohc 5988cc eight-cylinder engine, which developed 125 bhp at 3000 rpm. Armbruster, Kellner, Jech and other coachbuilders created superb bodies on these cars. The factory also produced lorries during World War One and in the 1920s some interesting sports-racing cars with ohc 7070cc and 7745cc six-cylinder engines.

In addition to their own designs, the Vienna factory also built Ford, Citroën and Minor cars under license. The Gräfford was a Gräf & Stift-built Ford V8 of the mid-1930s.

©VEA