Emilio de la Cuadra, a Spanish army captain, started Hispano-Suiza in 1898. He hired Swiss engineer Marc Birkigt to design their first gasoline powered engines. By 1905, they were producing a series of large four- and six-cylinder engines for automobiles. During World War I, they provided engines for airplanes. Birkigt designed a series of pioneering aircraft engine innovations that included the first use of a cast engine block, propeller reduction gearing and a hollow propeller shaft to allow firing a gun through the propeller. When the War came a close, they returned to automobile and engine production and developed a strong reputation for building luxury automobiles.
Hispano-Suiza produced roughly 2,350 H6 cars that included the H6B and H6C models, from 1919 to 1933. The H6 featured an all-aluminum, overhead camshaft 403 cubic-inch straight 6-cylinder engine. It was essentially half of Birkigt's V12 aviation engine. The brakes were light-alloy drums at all four wheels with power assist, an industry first technology that was licensed to other manufacturers including Rolls-Royce.
This automobile is a 1926 H6B chassis which was rebodied in 1931 by master coach builder Henri Chapron for the 1932 Paris Auto Show. It is rumored that it was originally owned by the king of Tunisia, although not as yet documented. It was brought into the US in the 1950s by Alec Ulmann, who later sold it to a gentleman from Long Island, NY, Joe Weider, who drove it extensively for 30-40 years. After having a complete body-off restoration, it debuted at Pebble Beach in August 2004, where it was chosen Best in Class out of seven Hispano Suizas.
In 2005, it was exhibited after a complete restoration at the prestigious Pebble Beach, California Concours and was chosen Best in Class. It won Best in Class at the Hilton Head Concours in 2005. In 2005, at the Meadowbrook Concours, it was named 'Most Elegant Motor Car' out of 200 entries.Also photographed at :