Hispano-Suiza H6B Coupe de Ville
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. Birkigt then embarked on a range of well-built T-head fours, which enamored Spain’s King Alfonso XIII. By 1913, overhead cam engines were introduced, but with the outbreak of World War I, Hispano-Suiza turned to aircraft engines under the direction of Birkigt with the hands-on engineering by Louis Massuger, who was also of Swiss descent.
Rather than machining cylinders out of steel, as was the contemporary practice, Massuger and Birkigt developed a cast aluminum design with thick steel liners, which made the engine stiffer, lighter and easier to build. The initial design was a water-cooled V-8 with shaft-driven overhead camshafts.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2011 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
135 bhp, 6,597 cc SOHC inline six-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel servo-assisted mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 133.3".
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel