SOLD!! as sealed bid auction January 18 (ended at 4 PM EST).
Founded in 1904 between the partnership of Marc Birkigt, a Swiss engineer, and Damián Meteu, a Catalan entrepreneur, Hispano-Suiza would build a distinguished reputation in a short amount of time. By 1911, Hispano had introduced the H6, a six-cylinder luxury automobile that became the company’s staple and quickly became the vehicle of choice on the racetrack because of its excellent performance and handling.
An updated and refined version of the landmark H6, comes this prestigious 1929 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet. Well-known among the Hispano-Suiza community and well-documented, this example, Chassis 12034 is widely considered to be one of the most elegant grand luxury automobiles of the 1920s, which makes quite the statement considering other automobiles offered during this time. Crafted by the gifted hands at Hibbard & Darrin, this Hispano would live an interesting life, being imported throughout America and Europe all while collecting an array of prestigious awards.
According to factory records, Chassis 12034 left the factory on March 2nd, 1929, and immediately went across town to Hibbard & Darrin to be fitted with its custom coachwork. Records also indicate it was delivered new in the latter half of 1929 to Mr. Clark de Pease in the United States, who was the U.S. sales agent for Hispano-Suiza. 12034 would spend much of its early life in the United States and be placed in dry storage for 30 years, according to the Hispano-Suiza Society Club Newsletter, which was put together by the late J. Heumann, world-renowned Hispano expert. After being stored for quite some time, this H6B was then acquired and imported to England by noted historic car dealer Charles Howard in the early to mid-1970s. A color photo of this example while in Charles Howard’s possession in 1975 is present. Toward the end of the ‘70s, this Hispano appeared in a Coys of Kensington auction, as the Hispano-Suiza Newsletter will note. Its next owner in the 1980s would take this Hispano and further its elegant appearance by restyling and updating it.
The restyle consisted of the front windscreen being slanted back and the faux top was changed to a desirable Hispano three-position convertible top, resulting in the side windows being more of a trapezoid shape than a rectangle. The three-position configuration allows for the top to be up, down, or partially open, giving it more of an exotic look. The fenders were updated to look more 1930s Fernandez et Darrin as evidenced in photos. The running boards were separated and affixed to the front and rear fenders and the door handles were also given a more elegant Art Deco look and feel. The dual spare wire wheels were also replaced to match the original ones. 12034 would then go into ownership of a private Swiss collector. While being trailered to him, it was involved in an accident where it ended up in a ditch with the trailer on top of it. Ensuring the body-off-the-frame restoration was done to the highest standard, famed Swiss restorer, Walter Koeng Coachworks of Basel, Switzerland was pinned with the task. The restoration would take just over two years to finish, and the outcome was truly special and the car would begin winning awards almost immediately. Among those awards were a First in Class and Best of Show at the European Concours d’Elegance in Duesseldorf Galopp, Germany, First in Class at Preis des Landes Banen in Württemberg, Germany and exhibited at the Villa d’Este Concours. Remaining in the private Swiss collection until 2011, this Hispano would find a new home once again in the United States. It would go on to partake in the Rolex Tour d’Elegance and be exhibited at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2014.Most recently, this striking Hispano-Suiza has been carefully looked after while residing in a privately owned collection that is made up of some of the most desirable pre-war classics. Within the last year, this H6B Cabriolet also added another award to its list, as it won Best Foreign Classic at the 2022 Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance, proving its restoration was completed to a very high standard and it still holds an incredibly significant spot in automobile history.
Powered by an aircraft-derived 402.6-cubic-inch six-cylinder engine with an impressive 135 horsepower, it stands ready to continue driving onto the show field or partaking in highly regarded tours around the globe. Chassis 12034 is truly stunning and is an outstanding example. Well-known and well-documented by some of the top Hispano-Suiza experts in the country, this H6’s combination of quiet, refined performance and elegance will add a valuable and striking element that is ideal for notable collections, concours and tours.