Hispano-Suiza Classic Cars for Sale
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Hispano-Suiza was one of Spain's most respected car manufacturers during its 64-year existence from 1904 to 1968.
The origins of Hispano-Suiza
The name "Hispano-Suiza" translates literally as "Spanish-Swiss". This refers to the fact that one of the key figures in the origins of the company was Marc Birkigt, a Swiss engineer who was invited to work in Spain by the entrepreneur Emilio de la Cuadra. Although their joint venture was short-lived, it did result in the formation of La Hispano-Suiza Fábrica de Automóviles in 1904. Initially focusing on automobiles, the company diverted into the manufacture of aircraft engines during World War I before returning to cars once hostilities ceased. This was only temporary, however: in 1936 the company returned to aircraft engines, and in this way contributed to the war efforts of both World War II and the Spanish Civil War. Once again, when conflict ended, the company moved its focus to cars; it even built the Rolls-Royce Nene while under license. But Hispano-Suiza was also testing the waters for something else entirely: the manufacture of turbines. In 1968 Hispano-Suiza was taken over by the rocket engine manufacturer Snecma, its chapter in automobile history seemingly at an end.
The Hispano-Suiza logo
The company had a distinctive logo that combined the flags of Spain and Switzerland with a pair of wings. In addition, its cars also featured an elegant hood ornament in the shape of a flying stork; this symbol originated as a squadron emblem that was painted on one of the French aeroplanes that Hispano-Suiza contributed to during the First World War. It is worth noting that a large proportion of French aircraft carried engines manufactured by Hispano-Suiza, something that was clearly a great source of pride for the company.
The revival of Hispano-Suiza?
Even after becoming a division of Snecma, Hispano-Suiza may someday see a return to the automobile scene. The 2010 Geneva Car Show saw the debut of a car called simply the "Hispano-Suiza". Is this the beginning of the return of a famous but long-dormant brand to the car world...?