The Most Amazing Car In The World

1924 Hispano-Suiza H6C Tulipwood Torpedo

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

For many years I have found this car to be remarkable. And I never thought I’d see the day where it changes hands publicly. Let’s start with the boring: Hispano-Suiza’s H6C debuted in 1924 and was the ultimate iteration of Hispano’s six-cylinder line of the 1920s. Production ended in 1933.

Power is from an 8.0-liter inline-six made about 195 horsepower. But forget mechanicals. This car is all about the body. This is the second H6C chassis, and it was built for Andre Dubonnet, who was one of those guys from that era who did it all. He was a flying ace in WWI, an Olympic bobsledder, a racing driver, and a lover of fine cars. He was like the French Eddie Rickenbacker, if Rickenbacker came from an extremely well-to-do family.

This car is one of three H6Cs with a factory-lowered chassis. Dubonnet sent it to French aircraft builder Nieuport-Astra for a body, and they used 1/8″-thick strips of mahogany (though people have long referred to the wood as tulipwood) to body the car, a process that used thousands of rivets. The body is said to weigh 160 pounds. Which is insane. It was even raced. The car’s competition history includes:

  • 1924 Targa Florio – 6th (with Dubonnet)

He later used it as a road car before selling it. It was discovered in 1950 with shrapnel damage on the tail caused by a WWII bomb. The car was later refreshed and then restored in the 1980s. It’s been at the Blackhawk Collection for a while, and they are presumably getting rid of some stuff. It has an estimate of $8,000,000-$12,000,000.

The car is just magnificent. So much so that I am considering making this the last [regular] post on this site, because really, where can you go from here? We’ll see. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $9,245,000.

Hispano-Suiza Torpedo

1928 Hispano-Suiza H6C Transformable Torpedo by Hibbard & Darrin

Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2013

1928 Hispano-Suiza H6C Transformable Torpedo by Hibbard & Darrin

Photo – RM Auctions

We featured a Hispano-Suiza H6C fairly recently and while that car was certainly cool, it really can’t match this one for looks. Check out the rounded fenders, swooping lines and the soft cream color scheme. It’s beautiful.

The body is by Hibbard & Darrin, a company comprised of two Americans living in Paris. Four-door convertibles really need to make a comeback (I’m looking at you, Cadillac) as the style is really elegant and imposing, something often not found on modern cars. The sweeping fenders on this car were actually added in the late-1930s after the car had seen a few owners. The engine is a 160 horsepower 8.0-liter straight-six.

This car was one of very few Hispano-Suizas delivered new to the U.S. And it’s also one of only a few H6Cs that are still around. Luckily, it happens to be one of the best looking as well. It can be yours for between $400,000-$500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $495,000.

Update: Not sold, RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2018.

Update: Not sold, RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2019.

Hispano-Suiza Coupe-Chauffeur

1931 Hispano-Suiza H6C Coupe-Chauffeur by Saoutchik

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 18, 2013

1931 Hispano-Suiza H6C Coupe-Chauffeur by Saoutchik

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.

Update: Sold $424,849.