Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Lord K's Garage - #42. Hispano Suiza

Hispano-Suiza was a Spanish luxury automotive and engineering firm, best known for their cars, engines and weapons designs.

After World War I Hispano-Suiza returned to automobile engine design and, in 1919, introduced the H6, earning them a reputation even greater than that of Rolls-Royce in England. Indeed, Rolls-Royce featured many Hispano-Suiza patented features, under licence. Most notably, Rolls-Royce used for many years the famed Hispano-Suiza power brakes, reputedly the best in the world, which used the torque generated by a drum brake mounted on the transmission shaft to power those on the wheels.

1919 Hispano-Suiza H6 Duvivier Torpedo

The H6 featured an inline 6 cylinder overhead camshaft engine based on the features of the V8 aluminium World War I aero engine and a body by Hibbard & Darrin. Through the 1920s and into the 1930s, they built a series of luxury cars of increasing refinement. In fact, the 1930s V-12 car engine reverted to pushrod valve actuation to achieve even less engine noise.

1922 Hispano Suiza H6B Brunn Dual Cowl Phaeton

In 1923 the French arm of Hispano-Suiza was incorporated as the Societé Française Hispano-Suiza, the Spanish parent company subscribing for 71% of the share capital. From then on, the French company gained increased degree of financial independence, while the technical links were always kept strong. The famous H6 model was produced in three countries: Spain, France and Czechoslovakia.

1923 Hispano Suiza H6B Muhlbacher Skiff

1924 Hispano-Suiza H6B Coupe de Ville

1925 Hispano Suiza H6B Convertible Victoria

The mascot statuette atop the radiator used by this firm after World War I was the stork of the province of Alsace, taken from the squadron emblem painted on the side of the aircraft of the renowned World War I French ace (and Hispano-Suiza customer) Georges Guynemer, which was powered by a Hispano-Suiza engine. At the time, this was an emblem of revanchism.

1927 Hispano Siuza H6C Van Vooren Coupe

1928 Hispano-Suiza H6B Hibbard & Darrin Cabriolet De Ville

A fictional example of a Hispano-Suiza appears in the P.G. Wodehouse "Blandings Castle" stories; the family drove or rather were driven in a Hispano-Suiza (H6), rather than, say, a Rolls-Royce. Also in the Agatha Christie novel The Seven Dials Mystery the main character, Lady Eileen "Bundle" Brent, drives herself about in her "Hispano".

1933 Hispano Suiza J12 VanVooren Faux Cabriolet

1934 Hispano Suiza J12 V12 Rotschild Coupe Darrin

1935 Hispano Suiza K6 Brandone Coupe

1937 Hispano Suiza K6 Henri Chapron Coach Mouette

1938 Hispano Suiza - Dubonnet H6

In 1936, with another war clearly looming, Hispano-Suiza was told to stop production of cars and turn solely to aircraft engines once again. At the time they had just introduced a new series of water-cooled V-12 engines and the Hispano-Suiza 12Y was in huge demand for practically every French aircraft. However Hispano was never able to deliver enough of these engines, and many French fighters sat on the ground complete but for the engine.
Another development of the era was a series of 20 mm autocannon, first the Hispano-Suiza HS.9 and then the more famous Hispano-Suiza HS.404. The 404 was licensed for production in Britain and equipped almost all RAF fighter aircraft during the war. Production was also set up in the US, but these versions never matured even though the USAAC and US Navy both wanted to use it in place of their existing .50 weapons.

Info: Wiki


Supercars.net, Conceptcarz.com

Views: 2690


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Comment by lord_k on April 2, 2011 at 3:54pm
Well, well, well. It's an awesome source of inspiration, isn't it? And I bet a pair of HS guns cannot spoil a proper Hispano Suiza.
Comment by Luiz Felipe Vasques on April 2, 2011 at 3:49pm

My pleasure. I'm researching about anything "dieselpunkish" I can find, I'm trying to participate at an upcoming dieselpunk short stories selection... this link contained such pictures I couldn't resist in looking for any information here. Not exactly for my surprise, here I could found this beauty. :)


Reading faster than I should, at first glance I understood that some of these models contained auto guns inside, and after a "wait-what?" moment, I read more carefully. But the awesomeness-induced brain damage had already happened, and somehow I will set "a very special H6 model" in my story. :)


Maybe the HS could be there for the likes of Lamont Cranst, a bit like the Aston-Martin was to James Bond.
Comment by lord_k on April 2, 2011 at 3:30pm

To Luiz Felipe:

Gracias, amigo. Same car, there's no other like this.

Comment by Luiz Felipe Vasques on April 2, 2011 at 3:08pm
I found this link, with awesome pictures of what I believe it is the last car presented, or at least a variation: 1938 Hispano Suiza - Dubonnet Xenia. http://www.wired.com/autopia/2011/03/feast-your-eyes-on-the-1938-hi...
Comment by Mark Anthony Henderson on June 20, 2010 at 10:26pm
Awesome post! I never knew that much about Hispano-Suiza. I can see fascist secret police using these.
Comment by lord_k on June 20, 2010 at 9:25am
My pleasure, Tome.
Comment by Tome Wilson on June 20, 2010 at 9:24am
I agree. The 1938 mod with the back wheel cover looks amazing.

Probably not fun if you get a flat, but a little engineering could get around that issue.

Thank you, Lord K for this wonderful photo essay!
Comment by Cap'n Tony on June 18, 2010 at 9:53pm
Amazingly beautiful!
Comment by lord_k on June 18, 2010 at 10:40am
It's a one-off body made for Henri Dubonnet, a high-flight eccentric.
Comment by Hayen Mill on June 18, 2010 at 10:34am
That last picture is amazing!

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