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Robb Design Portfolio: Monarch's Marque

Christian Gulliksen

Spain’s Alfonso XIII had a hankering for Hispano-Suizas. The king, who reigned from the time of his birth in 1886 to his exile in 1931, acquired his first model of the Spanish-financed, Swiss-engineered, and French-produced automobiles while he was a teenager. He eventually purchased nearly 30 of the vehicles, including the one shown here, the first Hispano-Suiza H6 made available to the public. Introduced in 1919 at the Paris Salon, the car carried open coachwork by Duvivier and could attain a top speed of 85 mph thanks to features that included an aero-derived, 6.5-liter inline-6 with an overhead camshaft and a crankshaft shaped from a 770-pound steel billet. A four-wheel braking system—an innovation later adopted by Rolls-Royce—brought the hefty vehicle to a halt. Following a restoration, Alfonso’s former H6 won the 2004 Alec Ulmann trophy at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Copyright 2013 American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Photo by Stephan Cooper
Copyright 2014 Infiniti
Photo by Pietro Carrieri
Photo by Pawel Litwinski