Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Very odd way to treat a Hispano - Suiza

Hispano-Suiza H6B Landaulet
Graham White chose to discard the drophead coupe bodywork and stretch the H6B's wheelbase by 3ft 6in to 15ft 7in. Entering a period of limbo thereafter, it was still in its lengthened, denuded state when acquired by Peter Hampton in 1966. Apparently inspired by a similarly extravagant Lanchester 40hp-based creation (made to order for an Indian potentate) he had the Hispano fitted with a genuine Brewster Landau carriage body that once belonged to the Woolworth family.
Known thereafter as 'Peter's Folly', this unique car is a true child of the 1960s. Finished in black over yellow with varnished wooden wings, its driver's bench and rear postillion seats are trimmed in beige leather, while the landau itself carries beige cloth upholstery (complete with wicker seat bases and embroidered door panels etc). Still sporting a Brewster & Co, Broome St New York plaque, this 'horseless carriage' is further adorned with fork-mounted nickel plated Marchal headlamps, a combination of SPN Scintilla / Toby Baxton Ltd (London) Diver's Bell rear lights, a CAV horn (nearside running board), Boa-type horn (offside running board) and faux ivory dashboard stocked with Hispano-Suiza instruments. Retaining its trademark Flying Stork mascot, the radiator also wears a discreet plaque celebrating the car's participation in the Grand Prix Concours d'Elegance, Monte Carlo 1927. Driven by Mr Van Dijk on the occasion of his daughter's wedding, the H6B is said to handle surprisingly well. Indeed, it has been credited in the past with "a top speed well in excess of 70mph".