Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet deVille
As the name implies, Hispano-Suiza was a cosmopolitan marque, with Swiss and Spanish origins and a parallel manufacturing base in France. The Swiss engineer Marc Birkigt had designed the Barcelona-built Castro, which became the basis for the first Hispano-Suiza of 1904. Over the years, he developed a strong reputation for building everything from T-head fours, overhead-cam engines, a water-cooled V-8 and also the innovative H6, which was described by British historian T.R. Nicholson as “the last word in advanced transport for the rich.”
Mindful of the developments in multi-cylinder engines going on in the United States and elsewhere in Europe, Birkigt determined to build one of his own. In 1929, he began work on what would become the J12, Type 68. The engine was a new design, a V-12 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. A vast displacement of nearly 9.5 litres and convex pistons resulted in horsepower of 220, and rubber engine mounts were adopted for the first time.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in May of 2011 at the Spazio Villa Erba, Cernobbio, Como.
220 bhp, 9,424 cc overhead valve V-12 engine, three-speed manual gearbox, solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel servo-assisted mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 4,009 mm (157.8")
Source: RM Auctions
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