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.