Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 2024
Based north of Paris, Delaunay-Belleville was one of France’s – and the world’s – most lauded marques prior to WWI. These were top-tier luxury cars that sat at the very top of the market. Many of their cars were coachbuilt, including this one, with the body here thought to have been produced by Audineau.
The company’s fortunes dipped during the 1920s and they lost some of their brand cachet. Somehow, the company survived WWII and even offered cars up until 1950, presumably on a by-order basis.
The HB6 (not to be confused with cross-town rival Hispano-Suiza’s later H6B), was a pre-WWI model powered by a 4.5-liter inline-six rated at 25 taxable horsepower. Just 1,308 examples were built from 1911 through 1914. This one remained unsold until 1919, when it was purchased new by the current owner’s grandfather, who used it during his wedding four years later. The car was then laid up in stables for 90 years. It now has an estimate of $162,000-$271,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 2024
Gobron-Brillie was a French automobile marque that existed from 1898 to 1930. That company was founded by Eugene Brillie and Gustav Gobron, with Brillie being the engineer behind the company’s products.
Brillie left the company at the end of 1903 and went off to found his own company under his own name. The cars were actually constructed by Schneider & Cie (now known as Schneider Electric, the huge French company). Brillie went belly up in 1908, and Schneider continued on making buses under their own name. This car is powered by a 20/24-horspower inline-four. It is thought to be the only example of the marque in existence.
It is believed to have been used regularly up to 1928, at which point it must’ve seemed like a dinosaur. The car was later hidden away, being discovered in the 1950s. It underwent a lengthy restoration and now has an estimate of $100,000-$130,000. Click here for more info.
1927 Hispano-Suiza H6B Coupe-Chauffeur by Eugene Girard Fils
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 1, 2024
Hispano-Suiza’s H6 went on sale at the end of WWI in 1919 with an engine that was essentially half of a WWI V12 aircraft engine. It would be the company’s flagship model throughout the 1920s, with the H6B arriving in 1922 and the H6C in 1924.
The engine is a 6.6-liter inline-six rated at 135 horsepower. This car was delivered new in Paris, where it was rebodied in 1933 with the coachwork you see here. It was later parked in a print shop, where it was discovered in 1967… by its current owner.
It has not been restored – and it hasn’t been used recently either, which is a shame because the engine has since seized. Running or not, it’s still excellent and comes with an estimate of $165,000-$240,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | January 2024
The J12 was Hispano-Suiza‘s grandest automobile. It entered production in 1931 in Hispano-Suiza‘s factory in France. Designed by the company’s longtime chief engineer, Marc Birkigt, it was offered to customers as a bare chassis only.
Power is from a 9.4-liter V12 that was rated at 220 horsepower. This was a stout car for the period, right up there with the Model J Duesenberg. This example wears town car coachwork by Kellner and was originally delivered to the owner of Christian Dior.
It has known ownership back to the 1970s and entered its current collection in 2003. It, like a few other cars from this collection, is absent its headlights. But no mention of that – or anything about its mechanical condition, in the catalog (just a passing mention that its restoration needs to be completed). So spend your $330,000-$440,000 at your own risk. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022
Delage’s D8 was produced in nearly constantly updated versions from 1929 through 1940. There were more than five versions of it, with this, the D8-100 being among the longest produced, lasting from 1936 through 1940.
It’s powered by a 90-horsepower (105 from 1937 on), 4.3-liter inline-eight. Bodywork was either done in-house or contracted out, and Delages often got quite the treatment from some of Europe’s finest coachbuilders.
Look no further than Franay for high 1930 style. This car, the fifth D8-100 produced and the oldest survivor, was one of five with this style of Franay coachwork. It’s long and low. So low in front that it kind of looks hot-rodded. It was on Franay’s stand at the 1936 Paris Auto Salon, and it came stateside in the ’50s. The pre-sale estimate is $200,000-$250,000. Click here for more info.
The Hispano-Suiza was a combination of the Spanish and Swiss… so it only makes sense that a number of their greatest cars were actually built by the French. Many of the models were Spanish built, but the French firm was responsible for the H6B, H6C, HS26, K6, and J12 models.
This H6B differs from the later H6C in that it has a smaller, less powerful engine and a lower top speed. It is powered by a 135 horsepower, 6.6-liter straight-six with a top speed of 85 mph. This model was available from 1919 through 1929.
The business-like Coupe Chauffeur was a car built just for that – to be chauffeured around in. The body is by French coachbuilder Henri Binder and the restoration is described as “older.” What that means I’m not sure, but the car has been in the same collection since 1962. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.
1931 Hispano-Suiza H6C Coupe-Chauffeur by Saoutchik
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 18, 2013
The Hispano-Suiza H6C was the final version of the great H6. Introduced in 1924, the model lasted into the early 1930s and was the most powerful variant of the H6. It also featured some of the most outlandish and stylish bodies by some of the world’s most prestigious coachbuilders.
Hispano-Suiza – which is roughly Spanish for “Spanish/Swiss” – was founded in Barcelona by a Spaniard and a Swiss engineer. They opened a factory in France and cars were produced in both countries. It was quite the international company. The H6C line was made in France.
This car uses a straight-eight of 8.0-liters making 160 horsepower. It was the most potent of H6s. The fact that the French factory rolled this car out is important because it allowed French coachbuilders – arguably the best of the best – to design beautiful bodies for the cars. Saoutchik is regarded as one of the most desirable coachbuilders and this Coupe-Chauffeur style is both reserved and opulent at the same time. Some of the exterior trim is silver-plated!
This car has known ownership history and has been owned by the same man since 1985, who had the car restored during his stewardship. Only about 250 H6Cs were built and they are highly prized today. This one should sell for between $400,000-$800,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.