1936 Hispano Suiza J-12 news, pictures, specifications, and information
Convertible Victoria
Coachwork: D'Ieteren
Chassis Num: 13033A
Engine Num: 321113
Sold for $880,000 at 2009 Gooding & Company.
The Hispano-Suiza J12, also known as the T68, was one of the elite vehicles produced by the prestigious Hispano-Suiza Company. The chassis alone cost upwards of $10,000, a small fortune in those days and more than most vehicles. The engines were similar to those found in fighter planes and powerful enough to carry these large and stately vehicles to a respectable speed. The chassis were outfitted by some of the greatest coachbuilders of the era.

The power-plant is impressive but purists do not hold it in the same regard as the six-cylinder unit it was replacing. The H6 was constructed in both 6.5 and 8.0 liter configurations. Swiss engineer Marc Birkigt had adapted technology used in aircraft engine technology to the unit. The crankshaft was formed from a solid steel billet that weighed 700 pounds. The 6.5-liter version had a one-piece aluminum cylinder block and an overhead camshaft. It proved its potential on numerous occasions winning races and various sporting contests.

The V-12 engine featured overhead valves and was renowned for its quiet operation.

This J12 was ordered in 1934 by Mr. Moll Van Charante, and delivered January 29, 1935. During the Second World War the car was hidden and reappeared soon after in the possession of Dr. E.P. Rink of the Wallon Hospital in Lieden, Holland. It was later owned by William A.M. Burden.

When it left Mr. Burden's possession, it was treated to a professional restoration. It was then shown by its owner, Alfredo Brener of Houston, Texas, at the 1994 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where it won the Alec Ulmann trophy.

This car has a three-piece windshield and a secondary windshield for the rear passengers. There are side-mounted spares, rear-hinged doors, Marchal headlamps and Rudge-Whitworth wire wheels. It wears one-off coachwork by D'Ieteren Freres.

In 2009, this Convertible Victoria was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Scottsdale, Arizona where it was estimated to sell for $900,000 - $1,200,000. The lot was sold for the sum of $880,000, including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2009
Convertible Sedan
Coachwork: Saoutchik
Chassis Num: 28543 43
Sold for $1,540,000 at 2010 Gooding & Company.
The Hispano-Suiza J12 made its debut in the early 1930s. The J12 was powered by a 70 pound, 7-main bearing crankshaft, and featured fully adjustable servo-assisted brakes, dual Scintilla magnetos, vitreous enameled manifolds and aluminum castings with impossibly precise tolerances. The engine was operated by a pushrod valve arrangement rather than the overhead camshaft found on the companies earlier engines.

This car is chassis number 14018 and still wears its original open bodywork by Saoutchik. The original owner, believed to be a Czech film star, took ownership of the car on December 30th of 1936. The early history of the car is not known. The earliest known history goes back to Romania, where the car was used in the making of a motion picture. After the movie, a problem arose within the 12-cylinder engine and it was sent back to France for repairs. The car, which was then reportedly owned by an Englishman, was parked at Sport-Auto, a specialist garage.

In the early 1960s, M. Gérard Crombac, the editor of the French motor magazine Sport-Auto, purchased it. At the time, he also owned an H6B. A short time later, he purchased a second J12, which was left in a static state in the Sport-Auto garage and for years the two sat alongside one another.

M Crombac had been able to purchase two open J12s, but sadly he did not posses the means to have either car properly restored. In the early 1970s, sold the Saoutchik-bodied car to Charles Howard.

A short time later, the J12 was sold to Michel Seydoux. On April 28, 1985, the current owner purchased the car out of France and had it shipped home to the United States. It has spent the past 25 years with its current caretaker. A short time after arriving in the United States, it was treated to a complete mechanical rebuild in preparation for high-speed touring. Since that time, it has participated in Hispano-Suiza Society Rallies in Spain and in California and has completed two CCCA CARavans.

This car is one of only nine original open Hispano-Suiza J12s still known to exist.

In 2010, this car was offered for sale at Gooding & Company's Scottsdale Auction in Arizona. It was estimated to sell for $100,000 - $140,000. The lot was sold for the sum of $154,000, inclusive of buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2010
In 1931 Hispano-Suiza united Swiss design, Spanish capital, and French production facilities to create what many consider to be the world's best automobile of that period. The J12 was offered only as a rolling chassis, with a choice of four wheelbases. The huge 'square' V12 (a long stroke engine was option) was an engineering masterpiece that gave the car superb performance for its weight. Bodywork was left to customer choice and most examples carried very luxury and convenience imaginable at the time.
The French automaker Hispano-Suiza was among the elite in luxury car production and the leaders of style, innovation, and design. The reputation was solidified in history with the legendary H6 series including the H6B and H6C. Their destiny in history as one of the greatest producers of automobile during the 1930s was secured with the introduction of the J-12 Type 68 in 1931.

The J12 was created for the discriminating buyer and priced well above what most could afford. The cars were fitted with nearly every imaginable luxury item available. This added a significant amount of weight, requiring a very powerful engine to carry the stately coachwork. The engine used in the H6C had been modified throughout the years, but by now, a replacement was needed. The displacement had been increased to the point where more cylinders were required. The company was familiar with V12 engines, as they had designed a V12 unit for use in an aircraft as early as 1918. The engine was used during the first World War but then put aside when peace time resumed. From 1919 through 1923, the company exported a few V8 aircraft engines. They produced a 60-degree V12 type 12jb beginning in 1924. It was rated at around 400 horsepower. It was enlarged in 1926, becoming the 12Hb, and offering over 500 horsepower. It was improved even further in 1928, becoming the 12Nb and outputting 720 horsepower.

Development began on a V12 automobile engine near the close of the 1920s with the production version being introduced at the 1931 Paris Motorshow. It was available on four different wheelbase sizes and the bodywork was left to the customer to select. The 575 cubic-inch V12 overhead valve engine offered 220 horsepower which was adequate to carry the vehicles which often weighed between 5000 - 6500 pounds. Production lasted from 1931 through 1938 with around 120 examples produced.

Wheelbase sizes included 135-, 146-, 150, and 158-inches.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2009
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