One of the best-known K6s; an international tour veteran
Part of the collection since 1981; award-winning older restoration
Featured in The Classic Car by Beverly Rae Kimes
Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
Born in Spain, Javier “Jay” Leon naturally appreciated the Hispano-Suiza native to his homeland, even the more famous French models of the Classic Era. It was inevitable that one of these superbly engineered automobiles would eventually join the collection that he and Berta built, and that it would be so loved that Berta would maintain it for many years more.
This K6 berline, among the last of the classic six-cylinder Hispanos, was bodied by Vanvooren of Paris with their typically rakish lines, on the longer 148-inch-wheelbase chassis. It had been owned by early enthusiast Bob Marceca of New York City, who sold it in 1976 to Richard B. Wilder of Kent, Connecticut. Mr. Leon found the car with Mr. Wilder, and in 1981 the Hispano-Suiza of his dreams was added to the collection. For the next seven years the car was occasionally driven, including in the Monterey to Lake Tahoe CCCA CARavan in September 1988, the Pacific Northwest CARavan of 1990, and overseas in the Hispano-Suiza Rally through Spain. With Mr. Leon’s health failing, Berta did the driving – with the car retrofitted with power steering to accommodate her, and her husband glowing with pride at her side.
Yet this was also a showstopper, in an attractive and subtle two-tone blue color scheme chosen from the period Cadillac palette, Marchal Aerolux headlamps, and an interior finished in stunning rosewood with a leather driver’s seat and broadcloth rear upholstery, accented by throw pillows and a handsome Art Moderne floor heater. In 1990, the Leons exhibited the car at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, winning the Alec Ulman Memorial Trophy as the most elegant Hispano-Suiza present.
Berta continued to tour with the car, following her first husband’s passing and following her marriage to Jim Hackney, up until recent years keeping it a regular presence in Classic Car Club of America activities in the Southwest. Today it is still a beautifully preserved restoration and would require little to continue showing proudly. It is offered with an impressive history file, including extensive correspondence and research.
Many in the Hispano-Suiza Society and the Classic Car Club of America knew and loved this car and its owners; thanks to its extensive use on two continents, it may well be the best-known surviving K6. It deserves to be kept on the road, in loving tribute to the couple that loved and used it, with the joy of living that characterized everything they did.
Please note that this title is in transit.
To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/am19.