Automakers have always viewed racing as a means to improve, prove and promote there automobiles. Hispano-Suiza was no different and - from early on - enjoyed a rather successful racing career. One of the primary in-house promoters for racing was Hispano-Suiza's engineer, Mark Birkigt. Enjoyed a string of racing success, the company was rewarded with strong sales. The 45-CR 'race' version, so named because it was officially rated at 45 horsepower, soon saw a road-going production version marketed as the Type Alfonso XIII.
Alfonso XIII, the King of Spain, was an enthusiastic motorist and purchased the first of many Hispano-Suizas that he would own in 1905 and would ultimately have over 30 examples in his fleet. With such a strong promoter of the brand, the company named the model after the marque's biggest patron.
The Birkigt-designed cast-iron Type 15T four-cylinder engine displaced a little over 3.6 liters and offered 64 horsepower. Top speed was in the neighborhood of 80 miles per hour.
This example, chassis number 718, is a Colonial chassis. Only four examples were ever built, and it features larger diameter wheels and a lengthened chassis.
In the mid-1980s, Patricio Chadwick and Emilio Polo were in Seville, Spain, when they met Marquis de Sanlucar de Barrameda of Sanlucar Andalucia. There, they were able to persuade them to sell his grandfather's Alonso XIII. Chassis number 718 was a complete rolling chassis with the remains of a touring body. Also included in the purchase was the second body - a seasonal winter body. It was a Double Berline body by Carrosserie Alin & Liautard. The body had not been moved in 40 years, which results in it wonderful state of preservation.
Over the years, the chassis and suspension have been sympathetically restored and rebuilt as necessary. The finish of the chassis was done to match the patina of the body. The engine and transmission received the same treatment.
The car has its original Bleriot two-bulb headlamps, possibly an early hi-beam/low beam setup, with Ducellier cowl lamps, a large roof rack and a fold-out windshield. The original interior is preserved for being almost a century old. The dash still houses all of its original instruments.
The body has two separate compound curves making up the roof sections, which almost resemble ceiling vaults. The windows are framed in wood. Other features found on the car are its original chassis plate, and the plate that reads Radiadores Vintro Barcelona on the upper radiator tank, intricate brass locks on the original Hispano-Suiza center caps, and black wire spoke wheels.
The 3620cc four-cylinder engine offers 64 horsepower and is mated to a four-speed manual transmission. There are rear mechanical drum brakes and semi-elliptical leaf springs making up the suspension.
In 2012, the car was offered for sale at the RM Auction's Amelia Island sale. It was estimated to sell for $750,000 - $1,000,000. Bidding reached $575,000 but was not enough to satisfy the vehicle's reserve. The vehicle would leave the auction unsold.