Hispano Suiza J12 - 1933
- For Sale
- Build Year:
- Reg No:
- USJ 267
- Engine No:
- Chassis No:
History and assessment from Jules Heumann – Hispano Suiza Society
Henri Moreau, Chef de Garage for Hispano Suiza, in the Hispano department established to service Hispano cars had his head mechanic, Louis Rossigneux assemble this car in 1949 from parts left in inventory after World War II. Louis who told me the story, was my friend and died about ten years ago. There was an original 14001 which was the factory J12 trial car and it is conceivable, though not verified, that perhaps this was the chassis used for the car in question. It is also possible that the original 14001 had disappeared and the number 14001 was convenient to use for a spare chassis, I do not know.
The car was assembled to the order of Prince Poniatowski who was a senior Vice President of Hispano Suiza. When the President of the Company, Maurice Heurteux, found out what had happened he was furious and caused Moreau to leave the company and set up a separate business to service Hispano cars. Moreau was able, however, to purchase for a token amount all of the factory automobile spares; what is left of this hoard remains today in France.
At that time Hispano Suiza had needed extra warehouse space and by coincidence had rented the old Labourdette factory. Still working there as warehousemen were several of the old Labourdette employees. It was they who built the body for 14001 and it was a very simple affair, resembling greatly the typical British sports cars of the era such as an Aston Martin. It had two very small doors and a rudimentary windshield. The fenders were quite simple in design and I do not believe there was a canvas top.
I do not know where the car spent most of its life but it was eventually purchased by Dr. Irvin Ginsburg of Buffalo, New York, who had substantial modifications performed on the car. There was a complete mechanical rebuild, followed by many modifications to the body. The doors were redesigned and enlarged as well as being hinged on the other edge. A new windshield was fitted and the rear area was made into a rear seat accessible through the new doors. A top was fabricated and installed and both the front and rear fenders underwent total redesign. The rear end of the car was remodelled.
My own conclusions about this car are that it is definitely an Hispano Suiza J12, assembled from authentic Hispano parts,not assembled by the factory but assembled 12 years after the factory had ceased production. This is a cloud which will persist about this car but, as far as I am concerned, it is a real Hispano, one that you can be proud to own.