Spooky: Hispano-Suiza Car Brand Hopes to Return From the Dead

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
spooky hispano suiza car brand hopes to return from the dead

It’s fitting that we’re bringing you this story today. For years, scientists have longed to resurrect a dead corpse, but there’s now a plan afoot to do the same with a long-defunct car brand: Hispano-Suiza.

Known for its production of aircraft engines as much as its series of glitzy, early 20th century automobiles, the original Hispano-Suiza brand ceased to exist in 1968, some 30 years after building its last car. Come next March’s Geneva Motor Show, we’ll see what the founder’ great-grandson has in mind for the brand’s future.

Going by the slinky, retro silhouette displayed on the company’s website, there’s a style-heavy supercar in the works. And it’s electric, the company claims.

Hispano-Suiza Fábrica de Automóviles S.A., founded in 1904, still exists under the corporate umbrella of Spain’s Grup Peralada, now run by founder Damián Mateu’s great-grandson, Miguel Suqué Mateu. The marque gained its fame from a wide range of aircraft engines, components, aircraft armament, and related aircraft inventions (including ejection seat design) manufactured by both the original Spanish company and a French arm that grew in independence until it was eventually swallowed by a competing aerospace company.

If you happened to be looking for a 36-liter, liquid-cooled aluminum V12 aero engine with a 20mm autocannon firing through the hollow propellor shaft during the interwar years, Hispano-Suiza was your best bet. Still, it was the brand’s well-appointed cars that gave it status in European high society.

Hispano-Suiza’s last car, the J12, was available only as a chassis sent to the coachbuilder of your choice, though the company did provide a 60-degree V12 engine displacing 11.3 litres for motivation. Heady stuff.

Despite its heritage, the model being shown in Geneva will dispense with gasoline, engine oil, other environmentally unsound bits, and a host of moving parts. Will it reach production? That sure seems to be the hope of the company’s boss, who promises a global car “offering great performance and manufactured in Barcelona.” Still, past attempts to stir up interest in the brand’s automotive return seemingly went nowhere.

We’ll have to wait and see what this Jessica Rabbit-esque car, clearly echoing Euro coachbuilders of the 1920s and 30s, does for its fortunes.

[Source: Motor Authority] [Image: Hispano-Suiza]

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  • Conundrum Three cylinder Ford Escapes, Chevy whatever it is that competes, and now the Rogue. Great, ain't it? Toyota'll be next with a de-tuned GR Corolla/Yaris powerplant. It's your life getting better and better, yes indeed. A piston costs money, you know.The Rogue and Altima used to have the zero graviy foam front seats. Comfy, but the new Rogue dumps that advance. Costs money. And that color-co-ordinated gray interior, my, ain't it luvverly? Ten years after they perfected it in the first Versa to appeal to the terminally depressed, it graduates to the Rogue.There's nothing decent to buy on the market for normal money. Not a damn thing interests me at all.
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  • ToolGuy "Ford expects to see Pro have a $6 billion pre-tax profit this year and Blue a $7 billion pre-tax profit."• That's some serious money from commercial vehicles (the 'Pro' part)