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Hispano Suiza History

1935 Hispano Suiza J12

Chassis number : 13506

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Sold for $758,855 (€532,000) at 2011 RM Auctions - Villa d'Este.
Sold for $1,045,000 at 2014 RM Auctions - Automobiles of Arizona.
The Hispano-Suiza Company had Swiss and Spanish origins and a parallel manufacturing facility in France. Marc Birkigt, a Swiss engineer, had designed the Barcelona-built Castro, which would become the basis for the first Hispano-Suiza of 1904. During his career, Birkigt would develop T-head fours, overhead-cam engines, a water-cooled V8, and the H6. As the multi-cylinder wars continued to grow, Birkigt became determined to build a large engine of his own. In 1929, he began work on what would become the J12, Type 68.

Birkigt's V-12 engine had a new design with pushrod overhead valves, twin alloy cylinder blocks mounted on a common crankcase, and a seven-main-bearing crankshaft with side-by-side connecting rods. It displaced nearly 9.5 liters and offered 220 horsepower. The engine had convex pistons and rubber engine mounts.

In the summer of 1931, a prototype chassis was put through testing. The Type 68 was shown at the Paris salon that autumn.

This particular Hispano-Suiza J12 rested on a large 4009-millimeter wheelbase and was shipped to Smith & Co., Hispano's agent in London. It was apparently delivered to its first owner, a Mr. Batcock of 1 Melville Road, Sidcup, Kent, by Motor Distributors of Leeds, which was also located in Sidcup.

Until recently, the coachwork had been believed to have been built by Saoutchik. However, it was actually constructed by Rippon Brothers of Huddersfield.

John Ellis presumably owned the car throughout the 1950s and 1960s. After he sold of his collection, the car was lost from sight. Years later, it was in the car of John Upton of London.

Around the mid-1980s, it was imported to the United States and resided for a short time in the collection of Richard and Linda Kughn. It was part of the Imperial Palace Collection from 1989 through 1999, and then it spent time with the Atwell Family Collection in Texas. John O'Quinn acquired the car in 2006.


By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2014

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2014 RM Auctions - Automobiles of Arizona

Sale Price :
USD $1,045,000

2011 RM Auctions - Villa d'Este

Pre-Auction Estimates :
€560,000-€700,000 
Sale Price :
USD $758,855 (€532,000.00)

Recent Sales of the Hispano Suiza J12

(Data based on Model Year 1935 sales)
1935 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet deVille by Rippon Brothers
Chassis#: 13506
Sold for USD$1,045,000
  2014 RM Auctions - Automobiles of Arizona
1935 Hispano Suiza J12 image  1935 Hispano Suiza J12 image  
1935 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet deVille by Saoutchik
Chassis#: 13506
Sold for USD$758,855
  2011 RM Auctions - Villa d'Este
1935 Hispano Suiza J12 image  1935 Hispano Suiza J12 image  

Hispano Suiza J12s That Failed To Sell At Auction

1935 Hispano Suiza J12's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1935 Hispano-Suiza J-12 Pillarless Sedan140222012 RM Auctions Monterey$450,000$750,000$1,000,000

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1935 Hispano Suiza J12 Profiles

1935 Hispano Suiza J12 vehicle information
Pillarless Sedan
Coachwork: Kellner
Chassis #: 14022
Engine #: 321060
1935 Hispano Suiza J12 vehicle information
Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Vanvooren
Chassis #: 14004
1935 Hispano Suiza J12 vehicle information
Cabriolet
Coachwork: deVillars
1935 Hispano Suiza J12 vehicle information
Cabriolet deVille
Coachwork: Rippon Brothers
Chassis #: 13506
Engine #: 321099