Hispano-Suiza Type 32 Collapsible Brougham

Since 1901 Hispano-Suiza had been manufacturing motor cars under the direction of Swiss engineer Marc Birkigt. Educated at the École de Mecanique in Geneva, Birkigt employed his skill and intrinsic talent to motor car construction. Early on these fine cars caught the attention of young King Alfonso of Spain, who was an early and enthusiastic motorist; he bought the first of many Hispano-Suizas that he would own in 1905. Hispano-Suiza really caught the public's attention when a 2.6-liter four-cylinder racer driven by Zucarelli won the 1910 Coupe des Voiturettes over the difficult Boulogne circuit in northern France. Single- and twin-cylinder cars that had dominated previous running of these light car races had been eclipsed by a more sophisticated design. Birkigt was quick to capitalize on these achievements. As a direct result of the racing successes and consequent increased demand, development of one of the best fast tourers of the immediate pre-Great War era, the Alfonso XIII model, followed as did the opening of what was initially an assembly plant in Paris.

In the First World War, Spain was a neutral country, and therefore, while the French factory was converted to the production of the now famous aero engines under Birkigt’s direction, automobile production continued in Barcelona. During this period there were two predominant models: the Type 30 with a three-liter, 16-horsepower engine and a similar but larger version dubbed the Type 32. Both were produced exclusively in Spain from 1915 until 1924. Because most of the world was preoccupied with the matter of warfare, neither of these Spanish models received much press coverage, and sales were almost exclusively confined to Spain and Latin America. According to Emilio Polo’s 1994 book La Hispano-Suiza: The Origins of a Legend 1899-1915, the cars were numbered consecutively from the first example in 1904, but records after car 1246 were lost, save for the engine testing records.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2012 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.

30 bhp, 4,712 cc four, four-speed manual transmission, semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear, rear mechanical drum brakes.

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Scott Williamson

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