1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174
Lot 320
1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer
Registration no. BF 7207 Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174
£160,000 - 200,000
US$ 210,000 - 260,000

Lot Details
1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174 1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174 1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174 1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174 1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174 1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174 1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174 1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174 1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174 1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174 1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174 1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174 1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174 1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174 1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174 1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174 1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174 1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2001 Engine no. 2174
1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Torpedo Tourer
Registration no. BF 7207
Chassis no. 2001
Engine no. 2174

*Premier marque
*Rare early model
*Only six owners from new
*Fully restored

Footnotes

  • One of the most famous marques of all time, Hispano-Suiza was founded in Barcelona, Spain in 1904, its name (literally, Spanish-Swiss) recognising both its place of origin and the contribution made by its chief designer, the Swiss engineer Marc Birkigt. The latter had designed the La Cuadra car in Barcelona in 1900 and then the Castro. When Castro went out of business, a new company - Fabrica De Automoviles, La Hispano-Suiza - was formed, headed by wealthy investor Damien Mateu. Two four-cylinder models were shown at the Paris Auto Show in 1906, and in 1908 the range expanded with the addition of two sixes. Spain's young King Alfonso XIII was an early devotee of the marque. One of Hispano's first customers, he purchased a trio of four-cylinder models at the Madrid Show in 1907 and would own some 30-or-so examples during his reign.

    An Hispano-Suiza won France's prestigious Coupe de l'Auto race in 1910 and this racing voiturette would form the basis of the Alfonso XIII model introduced in 1912. The Spanish king had been so impressed when he drove this new Hispano that he bought one and gave permission for the new model to carry his name. Its successful exposure in France led to Hispano-Suiza setting up a factory in Paris in 1911, the better to exploit the potential of the large French market. Indeed, although the marque was of Spanish origin it was Hispano-Suiza's French-built cars, in particular the magnificent H6 and its derivatives, which established it in the front rank of luxury automobile manufacturers following the end of WWI.

    Lightweight, narrow and with a centrally positioned engine, the Alfonso XIII can be considered the archetypal sports car. In 1911 the four-cylinder engine was enlarged from 2.6 to 3.6 litres, gaining a four-bearing crankshaft in the process, and in 1913 a four-speed gearbox adopted. The maximum power output of 64bhp was delivered at a lowly 2,300rpm, and with a top speed of around 120km/h (75mph), the Alfonso XIII one of the fastest road vehicles of its day. Progress was arrested by means of a handbrake operating two drums on the rear axle, and a foot-operated transmission brake. Production continued until 1918 by which time around 600 Alfonsos had been built, only about 25 of which are known to have survived (incomplete cars included).

    This rare Alfonso XIII has a continuous history with only five owners from new. A 3.6-litre, four-speed model on the 300cm wheelbase, the Alfonso was bought new on 12th April 1913 by a Mrs Bignon of Paris. She kept the Tourer-bodied car for two years before selling it to a Mr Ringard of Courbevoie near Paris, who had a small accident with it that same year. In 1924 Mr Ringard bought a 3-Litre Chenard & Walker (still existing today) and in 1943 both cars were dismantled and hidden at the home of one of his friends: Mr Guibard of Garenne-Colombes near Paris.

    After WWII the engine and gearbox were soon stolen and the body, which was in very poor condition, thrown away. In 1982 the remaining parts were given to a Mr Montanaro who sold them in 1995 to the late Mr Uwe Hucke, the well-known Bugatti collector. Mr Hucke immediately started the restoration but unfortunately did not have the time to finish it.

    Now complete again, the Hispano has benefited from a 'last nut and bolt' rebuild that included a full restoration of the entire chassis frame. Completely rebuilt, the engine is stamped '2174' on the lower block, crankshaft, camshaft guides and many moving parts, while the upper block is stamped '2188'. The engine drives via a new four-speed gearbox built using original parts and the original cover.

    Finished in light green (jade) with dark green leather interior, the body is a faithful reproduction of this car's original four-seat Torpedo coachwork, recreated using a photograph taken of the car in 1915 and contemporary pictures of other Labourdette bodies. The hood has not yet been made; however, to facilitate its construction there are pictures of an almost identical original body included in the sale. The car also comes with a copy of Hispano-Suiza factory build sheets; records of remaining Alfonso XIII cars; UK V5 registration document; picture as sold in 1995 and an extensive photographic record of its restoration. Also on file are nine original invoices dated 1915-1919, mostly from Hispano-Suiza, concerning Mr Ringard's ownership, the accident he had in 1915, the repairs and further maintenance.
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