- 1926 Hispano-Suiza H6B
- Impeccable restoration completed in 2017
- Best car of its era featuring exceptional period qualities
- Elegant coachwork by Million-Guiet
- Rare original example
Among the great marques of the 1920s “Golden Age”, Hispano-Suiza stands out. Famous for the Spanish-Swiss partnership between Emilio de la Cuadra and Marc Birkigt, Hispano-Suiza began producing petrol engines for automobiles before supplying powerful and reliable aircraft engines for WWI. After the war, Hispano-Suiza returned to producing automobiles, using their knowledge and experience from aircraft manufacture to launch their first car in 1919, the Hispano-Suisa H6. The H6 was an instant success. Admired for its impeccable build quality, reliability and refinement, the H6 was bodied by some of the finest coach houses in Europe resulting in the most elegant cars of the era.
The Hispano-Suiza we have here was ordered new by Mr. Manuel Coutinho, residing in Sao Paulo (Brazil), this Hispano-Suiza H6B chassis was delivered directly to Million-Guiet to be fitted with a Double Phaëton body. The car was finished to a very high specification with additions including Blériot headlights with a swivelling Grebel projector, a rear windshield from A. Dupré & C. Perrin of Paris and was of course featured luxurious interior upholstery. A plaque featuring Saint-Christopher, the patron saint of travellers by the sculptor F. Bazin was fitted by the first owner to bring a final exquisite touch to the rear cabin. The car was completed in 1927, and was promptly delivered to its fortunate buyer, through Grau & Co, Hispano Suiza’s agent in Rio de Janeiro.
The car stayed in the same family until the 1970s, when it was sold and shipped to New York, the new owner being a Mr Ronald de Andrade. The car, now over 40 years old had been well looked after and was in good original condition. Nevertheless, Mr. de Andrade chose to repaint “11647” turquoise blue with black wings.
After enjoying the car for several years, the Hispano-Suiza H6B was sold to collector Tom Lester who again chose to repaint the car, preferring a red/brown colour. Mr Lester used the car to take part in several events before moving the car on to its next owner, Dr Stanley Cope. Dr Cope’s ownership was short and in 1994 he sold the car to a Mr Dick Vento. Mr Vento enjoyed the car for several years before beginning a restoration project that he sadly was unable to complete.
In January 2015, the current owner acquired the car in a partially dismantled state and commissioned a full restoration with renown Hispano specialist Paul Jaye Engineering in Towcester, England. The restoration was comprehensive, including work on the engine, chassis and bodywork. Paul Jaye also removed any non-original components, returning the brakes to the original specifications, repairing to the wiring harness and manufacturing a new soft top and barrel cover. All details are recorded in the accompanying invoices but suffice it to say the result of the work is stunning.
Once completed, this splendid Hispano-Suiza was shown in 2017 at the Hispano-Suiza Club stand at the Salon Époqu’Auto in Lyon.
It should be remembered that in its time, the Hispano-Suiza H6B was considered the best passenger car in the world thanks to Marc Birkigt’s remarkable design. Amazingly modern, it combined aeronautic and automotive solutions, the 6.5-litre six-cylinder engine was cutting-edge for the era with an overhead camshaft and equipped with brakes on all four wheels, controlled by a servo so efficient that Rolls-Royce later acquired the license for use on their own road cars.
Lightweight for its size and fast for its time, the H6B seduced stars and celebrities alike. The writer Pierre Frondaie cemented its reputation with his novel “L’Homme à l’Hispano”, in which the wealthy and beautiful Lady Oswill falls in love with the elegant Georges Dewalter, in a plot as romantic as it is dramatic. The book was twice made into a film; firstly in 1926 with Julien Duvivier and then again in 1932 with Jean Epstein, helping to reinforce the aura of this remarkable automobile.
The car is now available for sale at The Classic Motor Hub and represents a rare opportunity to acquire one of the most emblematic models of the famous “Roaring Twenties”. With its interesting history, exemplary refurbishment and elegant bodywork, this Hispano-Suiza H6B will open doors to the most prestigious events for its fortunate next owner.