The Hispano-Suiza H6C “Tulipwood” Torpedo – An $8+ Million Greenback Automotive With A Wood Physique


The Hispano-Suiza H6C “Tulipwood” Torpedo from 1924 is sort of actually probably the most well-known car ever made by the storied European automaker, largely as a result of its revolutionary and light-weight picket physique.

The powered rolling chassis was constructed by Hispano-Suiza at their French manufacturing unit, it was then despatched to French plane producer Nieuport-Astra the place engineer Henri Chasseriaux developed a inflexible, light-weight physique from 1/eighth of an inch-thick strips of mahogany over 3/4 inch ribs.

Quick Details – The “Tulipwood” Hispano-Suiza H6C

  • The title Hispano-Suiza means “Spanish-Swiss,” a reference to the truth that the corporate was based in 1902 by Spaniard José María Castro Fernández and Swiss engineer Marc Birkigt who designed the engines. The corporate had began out as “La Cuadra,” however was renamed after an acquisition.
  • Hispano-Suiza grew to become well-known for his or her highly effective and huge displacement vehicle and later plane engines, and for his or her luxurious cars – a significant competitor for Rolls-Royce on the time.
  • Throughout WWI the superior aero engines designed by Marc Birkigt powered over half the plane within the French and British air forces, after the conflict a number of the firm’s vehicle engines could be based mostly on them.
  • The Hispano-Suiza H6C “Tulipwood” is powered by a 7,982 cc (487 cubic inch) ~195 bhp straight-six, an all aluminum engine with a single overhead cam that started off as half of the corporate’s V12 plane engine.

The Hispano-Suiza H6

The Hispano-Suiza H6 was launched in 1919, only a yr after the First World Conflict. It was powered by a complicated new all-alloy inline-six cylinder engine that was carefully based mostly on Marc Birkigt’s V12 aero engine.

Image DescriptionThe elegant physique is definitely comprised of mahogany reasonably than tulipwood, it consists of 1/eighth of an inch thick strips over 3/4 inch ribs and the physique itself is claimed to weigh simply 160 lbs.

Unusually for the period the H6 engine had a single overhead camshaft, reasonably than the extra widespread flathead or overhead valve/pushrod design. The engine’s aluminum building helped guarantee it was far lighter than its iron counterparts, and its seven-bearing crankshaft was milled from metal billet to make sure energy.

Aside from the engine, one of many different main notable options of the Hispano-Suiza H6 was its superior power-assisted braking system – a world first. The automobile was fitted with light-alloy drums on all 4 corners with a brake servo that offered further braking energy.

This expertise was so revolutionary that the patent was licensed by plenty of different producers, most importantly by their arch rivals over at Rolls-Royce in England.

The H6 was in-built three main variants between 1919 and 1933. The primary was merely often called the H6, this was succeeded by the H6B in 1922, which in flip was changed with the H6C in 1924.

The unique H6 and H6B have been powered by a 6,597cc displacement model of the corporate’s straight-six, which was adopted by an enlarged 7,983cc model within the H6C. All engine variants used a 3-speed guide transmission sending energy again to a dwell axle rear finish.

Hispano-Suiza H6C Tulipwood Torpedo 3

Image DescriptionThe automobile has seating for 4 in whole, two up entrance and two within the rear passenger compartment. As a result of excessive sides of the automobile the rear passengers get out and in utilizing folding steps within the rear fender.

The Hispano-Suiza H6 collection stays some of the fascinating cars of its age – from both facet of the Atlantic.

The Hispano-Suiza H6C “Tulipwood” Torpedo

The H6C you see right here is an uncommon car each for its building and for its interval racing successes – with entries in each the Targa Florio and Coppa Florio in 1924 with sixth and fifth positioned finishes respectively.

The automobile began life as a powered rolling H6C chassis constructed by Hispano-Suiza at their French manufacturing unit and delivered to Dubonnet aperitif inheritor André Dubonnet – a gifted racing driver, WWI fighter pilot, and an Olympic bobsledder.

This automobile is likely one of the decrease surbaissé Sort Sport variants with a lowered radiator and a 52 imperial gallon (236 liter) gasoline tank designed for lengthy rallies.

Maybe as a result of his personal expertise as a pilot, Dubonnet commissioned plane producer Nieuport-Astra of Argenteuil to physique his automobile. Engineer Henri Chasseriaux developed an ultra-lightweight physique consisting of 1/eighth inch thick strips of mahogany laid over inside 3/4-inch ribs, all secured in place by 1000’s of aluminum rivets.

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Image DescriptionThat is the 7,983cc model of the SOHC, all-alloy Hispano-Suiza H6 engine. It’s a complicated design mentioned to basically be half of one of many firm’s V12 aero engines.

It’s not precisely the place the “Tulipwood” title originated on condition that the automobile is bodied in mahogany, nevertheless the title has adopted the automobile its complete life.

As soon as accomplished the physique was weighed, tipping the scales at simply 160 kilos (72.5 kgs) – extraordinarily mild in comparison with equally sized metal our bodies. As soon as the automobile was accomplished Dubonnet drove it in each the Targa Florio and Coppa Florio as talked about above, ending effectively inside probably the most elite group of drivers.

The automobile has a protracted and interesting historical past, it was later owned by a fragrance inheritor adopted by a marmalade inheritor. It suffered some minor bodywork harm throughout WWII when bomb shrapnel struck the rear of the automobile, nevertheless this was all professionally repaired a few years in the past.

The H6C “Tulipwood” Torpedo is now as a result of cross the public sale block with RM Sotheby’s on the 18th of August with a worth information of $8,000,000 – $12,000,000 USD. For those who’d prefer to learn extra about it or register to bid you may go to the itemizing right here.

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Hispano-Suiza H6C Tulipwood Torpedo 2

Photos courtesy of RM Sotheby’s



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