Hispano Suiza was a person of the finest automakers of the prewar period, and this 1933 J12 exemplifies why. Now aspect of California’s Nethercutt Selection, it was not long ago featured on “Jay Leno’s Garage,” exactly where Jay Leno and Nethercutt Assortment Vice President Cameron Richards talked about what created this auto so special.

The name Hispano Suiza is Spanish for “Spanish Swiss,” denoting the nationalities of the firm’s two founders. Dependent in Spain, Hispano Suiza began out earning vehicles in the early a long time of the 20th century, but obtained prominence with its aero engines, which powered World War I fighter planes. Jay actually has a 1915 Hispano Suiza powered by a person of these engines in his collection.


Right after the war, Hispano Suiza returned to building vehicles, establishing a V-12 specifically for automotive applications. Sitting under the J12’s extended louvered hood, the 250-hp 9.4-liter V-12 is a reasonably sophisticated engine for the interval. It characteristics two spark plugs for every cylinder, dual drinking water pumps, and dual magnetos to make sure ample electrical supply devoid of a distributor. It drives the rear wheels by way of a 3-velocity handbook transmission.

Hydraulic brakes had been released by Duesenberg by this time, but the J12 caught with mechanical brakes assisted by a vacuum-operated servo. Irrespective of the more primitive technological innovation, they come to feel like present day electricity brakes, Jay claims. Consumers likely would have felt much more confident with them than with then-new hydraulic brakes. 


While Hispano Suiza remained dependent in Spain, this vehicle was created in France, the place the enterprise had opened a satellite factory. It was marketed regionally to Suzanne Deutsch de la Meurthe, a wealthy Shell Oil heiress and one of the 1st French feminine pilots. Of 120 J12s made, this is one of nine with coachwork by Henry Binder, and the only one particular of those people nine with a “short” 146-inch wheelbase chassis, Richards observed.

Hispano Suiza slowly phased out its car division to concentrate on its aviation organization, and was later on acquired by French aviation conglomerate Snecma (now portion of the Safran Group). The dormant brand name was revived in 2019 with the Carmen electric powered supercar. Hispano Suiza followed that up with the track-centered Boulogne variant the adhering to yr, boasting 1,100 hp and a claimed -62 mph time of fewer than 2.6 seconds. Hispano Suiza will create 14 Carmens and five Boulognes, with prices commencing at about $1.6 million.

Verify out the comprehensive video clip to see Jay drive the vehicle and master additional about just one of the best luxury manufacturer in the early days of the car.