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The most horrendous Hispano ever built?

hispano suiza_j12_470

The french Hispano-Suiza factory of Bois Colombes closed its doors in 1938. Around 120 J-12 chassis had been produced, all these bodied by the most prestigious coach builders of the era. The car pictured above however has a strange body supposedly created in the late 1940s in Spain by an unknown amateur(?) craftsman in the style of the "modern" american cars. In our view the general lines were inspired by the 1946 Packard Coupe, especially the rear end. The only information we have is that the photos were taken at the San Sebastian seafront - probably in the early 1950s due to the Opel which can be seen in the background. The front, the radiator and "old" separate headlights were kept untouched between these too wide front wings. In photo 3 and 4 you can spot the interior with its set-up with three seat lines... somewhat bizarre for a two door coupe! It's hard to understand why they didn´t create a four door saloon with more room if the car was destined to carry a lot of people.  Also hard is to imagine what wonderful old body was destroyed in order to create something which can be considered as the ugliest Hispano-Suiza J12 ever on wheels.

(photos collection Francisco Carríon)  
Thursday, 24 July 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

A very wet Tour de France.

bugatti t57_lille_tour_de_france_470
We're looking at a rare shot of a very wet day in 1938 with the Tour de France crossing Lille (the backyard of Bruno Vendiesse). Of paricular interest of course is the Bugatti T57 Atalante driven through foot deep puddles in a way you hardly can imagine today. We have seen a few Atalante pictures ov er the years and we're always surprtised to find new details. The car is a two toen version of which various are known. Also we have seen many small and very small rear windows. Yet this one made us frown. Based on  the lack of gloss in the middle part of the roof we think this is a decapotable. There is a remarkable resemblance with #57.312 shown here. The only things we found is the different colour scheme (the two tone in the picture above is more like black over red or blue, but certainly not white. Further the much smaller petrol cap in the car as presented today and the different positioning of the rear windows. And now you've come so far please cleick the main pic and tell us what you think about the car on the left...

( Michel San Giorgi refers to a photo from the book by Laget and Montgermont)

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Front wheel drive town-car from Belgium?

1929 cord_l29_town_car_d_ieteren_470
Some cars by the coachwork alone make you think how things worked in the old times. That is to say, when you were rich.  The 1929 Cord L29 was a serious choice in itself. Not too many front wheel drives around in those days and most certainly not in 'the town-car market segment' (can you name one competitor?).

Now let's suppose you ordered a costly Cord L29 chassis and thought "Now all I need is a decent, nice conservative  coachwork from a well respected firm. After a chat with your Cord dealer, some friends at the country club, your wife finally coems up with the suggestion of D'Ieteren from Belgium. What on earth does she know about coachbuilding? Well while shopping down town Manhattat the subject came up and two well to do friends both appeared to have a car made by D'Ieteren. One being a Pierce Arrow and the other a Hispano Suiza. Well that does it. Go with the flow and order from Belgium, they seem to know their job. 

And you were right. Four owners and more than eight decades down the road the car still holds up very well. And this without any restoration work done. Go check it here, the car will be sold by Worldwide Auctioneers, August 30, Auburn.
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Another thumbnail mystery. (update, coachwork Sodomka)

white mystery_car_470
Radu Comsa found this second miniature photo in the same Bucharest shop. This time no flag or movie title to help us out. So what you see is what you get. We first thought a special bodied Mercedes-Benz, but the hubcaps made us leave that track. We see costly Grebel headlights. Nicely detailed louvre doors (possibly the only real give-away?). Built in traficators and exuberant chrome body fittings. Twin chromed spare covers and a white top. All this not the most conventional and pointing in a high end direction. The wide chrome body strips may lead us to a Paris coachbuilder? Finally we're not the only ones impressed by the car. Note the man in the open window on the left.
Monday, 21 July 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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1950 Jaguar MKV Drophead Coupe
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