1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320
Lot 543N
1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet
Coachwork by Gill & Co
Sold for £113,500 (US$ 150,285) inc. premium

Lot Details
1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320 1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet  Chassis no. 12320
1933 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet
Coachwork by Gill & Co

Registration no. not UK registered
Chassis no. 12320
*Premier marque
*First owned by Sir Philip Sassoon
*Restored in North America in the 1980s
*Present ownership since 1996
*Offered from a private collection

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 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.

    Chassis number '12320' was delivered new to Sir Philip Sassoon, Chairman of the Royal Aero Club, on 26th April 1933 fitted with coachwork by Henri Binder of Paris, though the car was soon re-bodied by Gill & Co. Based in Paddington, West London, Gill specialised in making all-weather bodies, and that fitted to '12320' is a particularly fine example of their work. In the immediately preceding ownership since the 1950s, the H6B was used in the UK until the late 1960s and then exported to North America where it was carefully maintained and driven regularly.

    Restored during 1987/1988, the car is finished in silver and dark blue metallic while the original interior is trimmed in saddle brown leather. When the Hispano was purchased at auction in 1996 by its present owner, the hood and Bosch lamps were said to be in 'as new condition'. It was also stated that work carried out included re-chroming and re-wiring where necessary, and overhauling the starter and starter drive. The engine likewise was said to have been completely overhauled and the radiator cleaned, while the exhaust system and batteries had been renewed.

    Only 250-300 examples of the H6B are known to the Hispano-Suiza Society, and this beautiful yet practical open version is of a type increasingly sought after. Got running for the sale, it represents a rare opportunity to acquire a restored example of a legendary model from one of the world's most prestigious makes. Offered with an original handbook.

Saleroom notices

  • It was noted whilst driving this car into position that the clutch is weak.
Activities
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