1918 Hispano-Suiza 8-10hp Type 24 Two-seater  Engine no. 3958

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Lot 545
1918 Hispano-Suiza 8-10hp Type 24 Two-seater
Registration no. BF 4854 Engine no. 3958

Sold for £ 42,200 (US$ 58,780) inc. premium
1918 Hispano-Suiza 8-10hp Type 24 Two-seater
Registration no. BF 4854
Engine no. 3958


  • There are few names in motoring history which conjure up images of performance, luxury and sheer extravagance to a greater extent than Hispano-Suiza, one of the 'hyphenated greats' in the motoring history books. Marc Birkigt, born in Geneva in 1878, was one of those rare geniuses in the motor industry, ranking alongside the likes of Royce, Ford and Benz, who actually made a difference to the development of the motor car, his engineering skill, combined with a creative mind and ability to think outside the box, ensuring his place in history. His early career in the motor industry began in Spain where he was technical director of Compania General Espanola de Coches Automoviles, a short-lived enterprise whose demise saw Birkigt move to Castro who had taken over the machinery and tooling of his old employer. The Castro operation was again short-lived, being under-financed and unable to satisfy Birkigt's ambitious aspirations. The youthful 26-year old Birkigt set up on his own in 1904, producing his first car that year – essentially a 20hp Castro, badge-engineered as a Hispano-Suiza. Birkigt combined business flair with his engineering skills and his enterprise took off, soon his cars were to be found in the Royal motor house in Spain and made their mark also in European motor sport. In 1910 Zuccarelli drove a 2.6 litre Hispano-Suiza to a commanding victory in the Coupe de l'Auto race at Boulogne and it was this car which laid down the basic design for the most famous pre-Great War Hispano-Suiza , the Alfonso, so named because of the Spanish King's enthusiasm for the model.

    For the 1914 season Hispano-Suiza introduced a new range of side valve models, the 8-10hp Type 24, the 20hp, 16 valve Type 26 and the 18hp Type 27. The Type 24 had a bore and stroke of 70x120mm, displacing 1,848cc and boasting an impressive 33hp @ 3,000rpm. In chassis form it sold in England for £320 in 1914. This model was to remain in production through to 1922. This example is equipped with engine no. 3958 and Hispano-Suiza records indicate a production date for that engine of February 1918. The radiator badge is of a design commonly in use pre-1915. The history of the car is not fully recorded although it had previously been on display at the Slot Veteranmuseum Park at Kvaerndrup in Denmark, before import to the UK in 2007.

    The car has been restored with sporting coachwork in period two-seater style and is well presented. During the present ownership the magneto and dynamo have been rebuilt and modern indicators fitted as a concession to road safety. A new hood and tonneau cover provide weather protection. The car enjoys the benefit of a four-speed gearbox and we are told is nimble and long-legged on the open road. It has been granted an Events Passport, enabling its present owner to participate in events for members of The Veteran Car Club, and comes with a Swansea V5C registration document, current licence and MOT certificate valid to May 2010.

    Early Hispano-Suizas rarely come to the open market and most are in the hands of long- term owners with significant car collections – as indeed is this car. Only ten are listed in the current VCC Members Handbook and none of those are the exceedingly rare Type 24.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the owner also advises us that this car benefits from a recent major overhaul of engine, clutch and brakes.
1918 Hispano-Suiza 8-10hp Type 24 Two-seater  Engine no. 3958
1918 Hispano-Suiza 8-10hp Type 24 Two-seater  Engine no. 3958
1918 Hispano-Suiza 8-10hp Type 24 Two-seater  Engine no. 3958
1918 Hispano-Suiza 8-10hp Type 24 Two-seater  Engine no. 3958
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