Elegant one-off Baltasar Fiol body with superb proportions
Fresh five-year restoration with many original materials retained
La Hispano-Suiza Fábrica de Automóviles was founded in 1904 and remained in business in Barcelona until 1946, manufacturing cars, trucks, buses, aero engines and weapons. In 1911, a subsidiary was formed in Paris, and due to the strength of the French market for luxury automobiles, production and further development of large and costly models such as the Type H6B was moved there in 1923. The French and Spanish Hispano-Suiza companies continued to collaborate, and some years after Hispano-Suiza France presented the magnificent 8-litre Type H6C in 1924, the directors in Spain decided that the model would also be manufactured at the factory that had been established in La Sagrera.
The result was the T56 46CV, where the latter number indicated the fiscal horsepower of the engine. T56 production began in 1929 and ended in 1940; the Spanish model outlived its French progenitor by five years. While approximately 345 H6C chassis saw the light of day in France, only about 200 were made in Spain. The T56 Bis variant was a technically improved and upgraded version using some special parts imported from France.
T56 Bis chassis no. 34-16814 was delivered in 1933 to Baltasar Fiol in Barcelona, one of the most highly regarded Spanish coachbuilders, who habitually clothed fine chassis such as Rolls-Royce, Cadillac, Packard and of course Hispano-Suiza. Founded in 1914, Fiol bodies often had stylish, almost playful beltlines, greenhouse and fender treatments that gave the large carrosseries fitted to long-wheelbase luxury chassis a sporting, elegant and supple beauty. T56 Bis chassis no. 34-16814 is a masterclass example of Fiol’s rare ability to turn what could easily have been a heavy-looking pillarless sedan into an extraordinary and graceful Berline de Voyage with exquisite proportions.
Unfortunately, the early history of chassis no. 34-16814, which is presumed to have spent the majority of its life in Spain, is not known. The current owner purchased the car in 2012 from a Yolana Alonso Paez of Bilbao. It was then sensitively restored in the Czech Republic from 2014 to 2019. The engine is said to have been in perfect running condition prior to the restoration, so that was not touched, as well as the interior, which retains most of its lovely original leather, instruments, carpet and wood. The car has not been shown anywhere since and is a rare opportunity to acquire a unique automobile with impressive presence on the show field and on the road.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/ve19.