Hispano Suiza | Visionary carmaker
Enthusiasm, engineering skills and business acumen came together when Hispano Suiza was founded in Barcelona in 1904 by Swiss visionary and carmaker Marc Birkigt.
As an ingenious inventor, engineer, ship, aircraft, car engine and car builder who registered over 150 patents in his lifetime, the visionary lacked the „business genes,“ however, as Birkigt had previously discovered at the Spanish car company La Cudra, among others. There, he had designed a hybrid system consisting of an electric motor and an internal combustion engine, and successfully put the vehicles on the road, but was so far ahead of his time that he failed to achieve success. This was not to happen again, so he was assisted by financiers Damien Mateu and Francisco Seix Zaya, who took over both the business and the marketing side of the company with great success. In short, the cooperation with Mateu and Seix Zaya opened the door to success.
Not only royal enthusiasm In his new company, Marc Birkigt developed the vision of a vehicle that would have both racing qualities and be suitable for everyday driving. He presented the first vehicles as early as 1904, and in 1905 the Spanish King Alfonso XIII bought a Hispano Suiza 20 CV and was so enthusiastic that he joined the company as a shareholder. Over the next few years, elegant luxury vehicles of the very highest technical standard were produced, which not only had blue-blooded fans all over Europe. Artists, intellectuals, actors: everyone who could afford the cream of the automotive engineering cream stood in line, including Pablo Picasso, Coco Chanel or Albert Einstein. Rolls Royce even took over under license the perfectly working mechanical four-wheel servo brake with which Birkigt had equipped his H6 model, which he presented at the Paris Motor Show in 1919.
Visionary into the future Today, Hispano Suiza is still in family hands and designs visionary electric hypercars. With over 1,000 hp and the finest materials, the „Carmen“ and „Carmen Boulogne“ bolides are aimed, as in the past, at a target audience that combines automotive enthusiasm with elegance, vision and aspiration.
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