HISPANO- SUIZA / A MIX OF INFLUENCES

A smiling face and greeting eyes, the 1926 Hispano-Suiza on display at the Tupelo Automobile Museum

A smiling face and greeting eyes, the 1926 Hispano-Suiza on display at the Tupelo Automobile Museum

A mix of influences, a dash of beauty, a hearty pinch of clever engineering, and you have yourself a Hispano-Suiza.

One of my favorite car manufacturers (well, frankly of many) and I just can’t quite put a finger on why. Is it because the name beckons an odd curiosity as to its origins? Is it the clear beauty, luxury, and integrity evident in its design? Is because it sports one of the more entertaining of hood mascots?

Staying behind the partition chains  just  barely trying to capture a photograph

Staying behind the partition chains just barely trying to capture a photograph

This 1926 Hispano-Suiza is one of the first I’d spotted, it struck and created an interest for me that would hold for years later.

I saw this one in particular at the Tupelo Automobile Museum, a large unassuming fabricated building that will blow you socks off once you venture in. A collection gathered by a media magnate of the south, the Tupelo Automobile Museum stocks some of the world’s most unique and rare autos in city most only recognize for being the birthplace of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis. I am said to report that the Tupelo Museum collection is closing and will be auctioned off April of 2019. I am extremely thankful to have had the opportunity to enjoy and the individuals who ran it that provided me a most hospitable visit.

Showcasing some of the classic 1920s lines popular in the era

Showcasing some of the classic 1920s lines popular in the era

Wide view capturing just a third of the total Tupelo Automobile Museum collection

Wide view capturing just a third of the total Tupelo Automobile Museum collection

Introduced at the Paris Motorshow in 1919 and manufactured in France till 1933, Hispano-Suiza produced approximately 2,350 H6 variations. During WWI and as many manufacturing plants did, the Hispano- Suiza Fabrica de Automoviles assisted in the war efforts by designing and creating aircraft engines. Post WWI, Marc Birkgit’s designed the engine and used his past aeronautical engineering as an influence in the straight-six engine. A little bit of interest fact about Birkgit, also an explanation behind the vehicle name, he was a Swiss born engineer who predominantly lived and worked in Spain thus creating the Hispano-Suiza moniker. Interestingly, once the manufacturer veered away from cars, they continued their enterprising into aerospace.

Tell me what you think of the Hispano-Suiza in the comment section.


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The Bad Blonde aka Caitlin Shook has grown up in the mechanic shop world. Shook Enterprises is a south Texas automotive repair shop that focuses on the antique, classic, rare, awesome, and sometimes just plain hard to fix vehicles.

An avid fan of travel and adventure, she’s popped into every car MUSEUM and car SHOW + AUCTION she can along the way.

She began an arduous car restoration of a 1976 Porsche 912e at the age of 14 and she’s not stopped loving difficult cars since. Enjoy the journey with The Bad Blonde!