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The Most Beautiful Spanish Car of All Time

With a little help from a Swiss engineer and a French coachbuilder, this 1933 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet is an absolute beauty; and it could be yours (if you have deep pockets) because it's heading to auction on 26 April.


1933 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet
Credit: Gooding and Company

This gorgeous car is being sold by Gooding and Company and is part of Peter Mullin's exceptional collection of vehicles in his now closed automotive museum in California. The 1933 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet, a highly pedigreed example that expresses the dignified luxury, understated elegance, and enduring style for which Spain’s most esteemed marque is known. The J12 was extremely advanced, with stunning performance and power matched by its ease of use. Notably, it was the most expensive car built by the company, and as costly as any automobile of its day.


Founded in Barcelona in 1904 by Swiss engineer Marc Birkigt, one of Hispano-Suiza’s first automobile customers was also its most important, the young Spanish king Alfonso XIII. During his reign, he bought about 30 cars from the marque.


All photos credit: Gooding and Company


Under the long bonnet, is a 9.4-liter V-12 engine that develops a then-formidable 220 hp. Every J12 was delivered as a chassis only, with customers commissioning a body by the coachbuilder of their choice. The example up for auction was completed by Parisian coachbuilder Carrosserie Vanvooren, creating one of the most elegant examples of J12 coachwork with a shape and style that is reserved and timeless


Selling without reserve, it carries a high-end estimate of $3.5 million.

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