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Hispano Suiza: Culture, History and Technology on Wheels

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Vintage Hispano Suiza cars

Hispano Suiza, one of the world’s greatest automobile legends from the mid 1930s, was an innovative mix of Swiss design, Spanish capital and French production. Body work, however was left to the preference of customers. Synonymous with luxury, style and performance Hispano Suiza was intended for the elite and wealthy clientele who wanted to have a hand in the design of their cars. 

Top of the Line Hispano Suiza Models:
The first Hispano Suiza vehicle was produced in 1906 with 3.8 and 7.4 liter models, which were soon followed by two six-cylinder models, all custom made. However, to most vintage car fans, the name Hispano-Suiza would bring to mind the images of just four models:

  • The Alphonso, introduced in 1912 and acclaimed to be the world’s first true production sports cars.
  • The 6-1/2 liter H6 of 1919, considered to be the most advanced luxurious car in the whole world.
  • The 8 liter model called the 46CV that came forth in 1924.
  • And the legendary 54-220CV introduced in 1930.

Among these, the most exquisite creations were the J-12, the H-6 series, and the Alphonso. These were the ultimate in luxury and style, and were designed to compete with the Rolls Royce.

The Royal Hispano Suiza Classic Car:
The Type 15T was rechristened as Type Alphonso XIII in honor of King Alphonso XIII of Spain, a great motoring enthusiast and a patron of this marque. He had 30 of these vintage classic beauties lined up in his stable, proving his high regard for the make. The Type Alphonso XIII soon earned a mark of status among Hollywood stars and other nobility.

A 1913 Alphonso XIII was put up for sale at RM Auctions in 2012, expecting to fetch around $750,000.

The Rich Man's H-6 Classic Automobile:

Equally in demand among popular Hispano Suiza models was the robust and revolutionary H6, epitomized for its speed, quality and unmatched artistry. It was the most expensive vehicle in all of Europe. The H6 series were empowered with a six-cylinder, 6.5 liter overhead shaft-driven engine, which was quite uncommon at the time.

The 1930 models evolved further, with the engine being replaced with a V-12, with a pushrod valve to reduce engine noise, proving to be miraculously quiet and refined.  Interestingly, the body was designed by the American coach designers Hibbard & Darrin.

The short chassis H6C was nicknamed 'Boulogne’ as this car had tasted repeated success in a sports car race in Boulogne. The resplendent and legendary H6 has quite a few achievements to its credit:

  • In 2001 it was invited to Pebble Beach
  • In 2002 it was rated as having the Most Outstanding Interior, in the show 'Meadowbrook Concours D'Elegance'
  • In 2003 it was judged as the Best European car, in Greenwich

While all these Hispano Suiza models were definite favorites among classic car collectors, the one that grabbed the most attention was the 46V, which proved to be the Hispano Suiza masterpiece with a torque nearing 100 to 144 mph.

This classic vintage car is undoubtedly worth your investment and if you are looking for collector car insurance coverage to take care of your Hispano Suiza, we are here to help you with our most competitive vintage car insurance quotes.  Call us today for a free classic car insurance quote!


About the Author

is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.

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