Hispano-Suiza – J12 (1935)
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- Merle & Peter Mullin (US)
Class AThe golden Age of Elegance: The Art Deco Era of Motor Car Design
Right up until the modern era, the Hispano-Suiza marque has been shrouded in a mythical cloak of luxury and covetousness. The J12 models, also known as Type 68, were regarded as the epitome of elite automobiles fashioned with an advanced, supremely expensive chassis and powered by whisper-silent V12 engines displacing almost 9.5 litres. One legendary anecdote bears witness to the quality of the mechanicals. After a hot and sweaty test ride over 1700 kilometres down to the Cote d’Azur, a J12 rolled straight back into the Paris showroom.
When it arrived, the mighty Hispano-Suiza came to rest on white paper, cooled down – and didn’t lose a single droplet of oil, petrol or water over the course of a week. Although HispanoSuiza produced 120 examples of the J12, an open-top coachwork was conferred on just eight of them. This vehicle looks back on an exciting history. Initially, coachbuilder Fernandez et Darrin in Paris bodied the J12 as a saloon, before Vanvooren in nearby Courbevoie sculpted the opulent metal dress that elegantly graces the chassis today. The current owner has been the custodian of this Hispano-Suiza J12 since 1992.