Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February, 1 2023
Cars today are pretty uniform. Barely anything aside from grille shape and badging differentiates one blob pod from another. But back in the early days of the automobile, things were much less standardized and much more freeform. Some cars from that era are rolling identity crises.
Take this relatively grand Hispano-Suiza. It looks like it’s riding on a truck chassis (though to be fair many large cars of the era essentially were), with a truck-like engine compartment housing the 2.6-liter inline-four that made approximately 30 horsepower when new. The 15/20 model designation was based on taxable horsepower.
Moving rearward, there is an open driver’s compartment with a folding windscreen in front of an enclosed passenger compartment. It’s like three different people designed three different parts of the car and pasted it together. But that’s how you spelled luxury in 1912. The 15/20 model went on sale in 1909, and about 500 were built through 1914.
These cars were launched when Hispano-Suiza only had a Spanish factory, and before they opened their more famous French arm. The catalog here states that the car was restored over a six-year span, but doesn’t say when that was. It is selling at no reserve. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 3, 2022
We’ve featured our fair share of Hispano-Suiza cars over the years, most of which are of the 1920s-1930s coachbuilt variety. And nearly all of those were Hispano’s high-end luxury offerings with big six- and 12-cylinder engines. But this is slightly different.
Prior to the H6B of 1919, many of the company’s cars were simply given model names to reflect their output (especially pre-1910). The 15/20HP came out in 1910 was produced through 1914. The 2.6-liter inline-four made 20 horsepower.
Pre-1920 Hispano-Suizas are rarely seen, and this Spanish-built example is said to have remained in Spain for most of its life. It has a pre-sale estimate of $68,000-$91,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 6, 2014
How about this for unexpected and seriously cool? This is an earlier Hispano-Suiza – before they started building cars in France. They built fast cars, they built luxury cars. And they built public transport omnibuses too, apparently.
Being a country’s main automobile manufacturer sort of lends you to being a jack of all trades and that’s what Hispano-Suiza became. They even built aircraft engines and aircraft during the war. This 15/20HP model was new for 1909 and they attached the four-cylinder engine from that model to a commercial chassis in the mid-1910s for vehicles like this. It seats 10 and there is a bench on the roof. I love it!
This thing was restored long ago – the paint is 20 years old. The current owner has had it since 2007 and the catalog states that it will need further work to be roadworthy. Good luck finding another one like it anywhere. It should bring between $230,000-$300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.