1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)

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Lot 274
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer
Registration no. to be advised Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)

£ 140,000 - 180,000
US$ 180,000 - 240,000
Amended
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer
Registration no. to be advised
Chassis no. 12487
Engine no. S10017 (see text)

Footnotes

  • The choice of European Royalty, Indian Maharajahs, Hollywood film stars and industrial tycoons, the legendary Hispano-Suiza was superbly engineered and imitated unashamedly by some of the world's leading car manufacturers. Although the marque was of Spanish origin, it was Hispano-Suiza's French-built cars that established it in the front rank of luxury automobile manufacturers following the end of WWI. During the conflict, Hispano engines had powered some of the Allies' finest fighter aircraft, and post-war the marque would adopt the stork emblem of French 'ace' Georges Guynemer's Escadrille des Cicognes, whose SPAD biplanes had used Hispano's V8 aero engine.

    Not surprisingly, the first post-war Hispano drew heavily on this expertise, being powered by a Marc Birkigt-designed, 6,597cc, overhead-camshaft six derived from one half of a proposed V12 aero engine. A seven-bearing design enjoying the benefit of pressure-fed lubrication, the latter was built in unit with the three-speed gearbox and featured aluminium-alloy pistons running in steel cylinder liners screwed into the light-alloy block. Maximum power was a heady 135bhp produced at just 2,400rpm, and the almost flat torque curve afforded walking-pace-to-85mph performance in top gear. A handful of prototype H6s was made at the company's Barcelona factory - King Alfonso XIII taking delivery of an early example in April 1918 - before production proper commenced at Bois-Colombes, Paris.

    Sensation of the 1919 Paris Show, the H6 featured a light yet rigid four-wheel-braked chassis that matched its state-of-the-art power unit for innovation. Indeed, so good were its servo-assisted brakes that Rolls-Royce acquired the rights to build the design under licence. The H6 combined performance with flexibility, comfort with good handling, and safety with reliability in a manner which enabled Hispano-Suiza to compete successfully with Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Bugatti, Isotta Fraschini and the United States' luxury marques. Large enough to accommodate formal coachwork, it was also fast enough to appeal to the more sportingly inclined: aperitif king André Dubonnet won the Coupe Boillot at Boulgone in 1921, while Europe's coachbuilders vied to build their finest coachwork on this genuinely thoroughbred chassis. The finish of the Hispano-Suiza was superlative and the car's inherent glamour was such that it was featured in two popular novels of the early 1920s, l'Homme de l'Hispano and The Green Hat.

    The original H6 had been superseded in 1921 by the H6B, which retained the original 6.6-litre engine, but at Dubonnet's behest a version was produced bored out to 110mm for a capacity of 7,982cc, and this more powerful unit was adopted for the successor H6C model, introduced in 1924. The world's most advanced automobile at the time of its introduction and for many years thereafter, the H6 was catalogued until 1933, by which time 2,158 chassis of all types had been completed.

    Manufactured on 27th November 1930, chassis number '12487' was discovered in 'barn find' condition in France and consisted of the rolling chassis, engine, gearbox and radiator. The car was, as one would expect of a 'barn find', in a sad state requiring total restoration. According to a (copy) document on file, it was sold while still in this condition by a Mr Fermois of Cusset, France to a Mr Doublet (since deceased) on 24th October 1992, and languished unattended for a further 20 years in yet another French barn. The Hispano was registered under the number '852 RFI' and may well have been immobile since the end of WW2. It is believed to have left the factory fitted with engine number '320432'.

    Chassis number '12487' was purchased by the current vendor from Mr Doublet's estate in October 2011. Since that time the car has undergone an extensive restoration at Hispano Heritage Ltd on the Isle of Wight, which was undertaken by experienced marque specialist Mike Woodcock with additional technical assistance from Mr Eric Limpalaer and research information provided by publications from the Hispano Suiza Society.

    The chassis was stripped, cleaned and repainted; the brakes stripped and relined; the engine stripped; and the main bearings white-metalled and line-bored, as was the camshaft. New valves were fitted and the valve seats reground. The engine was fitted with new cylinder liners and seals, and then polished and painted where appropriate. New rings were fitted after checking the pistons. The gearbox and brake servo were rebuilt with new gears, bearings and bushes wherever necessary. A new fuel tank was made and fitted, and the wheels treated and re-shod with new tubes and tyres.

    A local boatyard was engaged to build the ash frame for the new body, which it was decided should be of the open tourer type with four doors. The frame was then clad by former aeronautical aluminium experts and the body painted by a specialist company. Leather throughout, the upholstery was undertaken by a former Aston Martin trained upholsterer. Minor components have been nickel plated where appropriate. All instruments are marked 'Hispano-Suiza' and all have had the glass re-bevelled and polished. The car is fitted with the correct Marchal headlights.

    Offered with restoration invoices, '12487' represents a rare opportunity to acquire a legendary model from one of the world's most prestigious makes, fresh from a total rebuild by a recognised marque specialist.

Saleroom notices

  • Revised estimate: £140,000 – 180,000 Due to time constraints the restoration has not quite been completed. Mike Woodcock of Hispano Heritage Ltd has offered to complete the work for the successful buyer free of charge – the works will include: final electrical connections, windscreen adjustments, clutch bearing, work on the carburettor and any other minor details. In light of this, the Estimate has been revised to £140,000 – 180,000.
Contacts
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C 8.0-Litre Tourer  Chassis no. 12487 Engine no. S10017 (see text)
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