Alfonso XIII Jaquot Torpedo
Chassis #: 1558
After King Alfonso XIII of Spain showed a proclivity for Hispano-Suiza sports and race cars, this model, produced in Paris in 1912, took his name. King Alfonso XIII had over thirty examples of the Hispano-Suiza.
With a 45 horsepower, 4-cylinder engine, it is capable of over 75 mph of steady driving. This car is believed to have been owned and driven by Charles Nigg and Alphonse Carfogni, early aviation pioneers and test pilots for Avions Voisin.
This Alfonso XIII features a bullet-shaped radiator, which had first been used on a Hispano Suizas entered for the 1912 Grand Prix de France.
The Hispano-Suiza Company has created some of most elegant, respected, and exquisite automobiles of all time. The designs and custom-built bodies were owned by the most elite and exclusive clientele. Among their most memorable creations were the H6 Series and the J-12. Among their accomplishments was the production of aircraft engines. During the First World War they produced over 50,000 V-12 engines for aircraft. From 1919 through 1923 Hispano-Suiza produced an eight-cylinder aircraft engine.
The beginning of the company Fabrica La Hispano Suiza de Automovils began in 1904 but their existence and experience in the automotive community began six years prior. Emilio de la Cuadra created the La Cuadra Company in 1898 focusing on production of the electric automobile. Marc Birkigt, a French engineer, joined the Barcelona, Spain based company shortly after its inception. In the very early 1900's, the La Cuadra Company began production of a gasoline-powered engine that featured a shaft drive instead of a chain, a revolutionary design at the time. Their fortune shortly changed and the company was forced to close. The Fabrica La Hispano-Suiza de Automovils succeeded the Castro Company continuing production in Spain and employing the ingenious designer, Birkigt. The name was later changed to Fabrica La Hispano Suiza de Automovils. The very early engines were four-cylinders comprised of a 3.8 and a 7.4 liter capacity. Two six cylinder engines were introduced shortly after the fours.
In 1911 a factory in Paris was opened to satisfy the demands from their French clientele. A larger factory was built three years later in Bois-Colombes. The production of these facilities focused primarily on the H6B, a large, luxurious, and desirable automobile.By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2011