La Hispano Suiza, a pioneer company - The Alfonso XIII Sports Car - English edition


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The most fruitful and creative period of La Hispano Suiza were their first years, from the foundation in 1904 until WW I, when suspension system meant a new patent and therefore a step forward of the automotive technology.


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The most fruitful and creative period of La Hispano Suiza were their first years, from the foundation in 1904 until WW I, when each new engine or suspension system meant a new patent and therefore a step forward not only of the brand but also of the automotive technology.

The content of this book follows the great activity of the Spanish brand in the world of international competition, started in 1908 and continued uninterrupted until 1914. In this work we carry out an exhaustive study of each and every single improvement made to win races and its subsequent introduction in the production cars. To be noted the intensive engines of 1910, the ignition system with single or double spark plug, the different lubrication systems of the crankshaft bearings, etc.

The possibility to consult most of the original documentation not only from the brand archives, but also from the Royal Palace archives, personal documentation from relevant people having worked for HS and, finally, the more than 40 years of the author's professional experience in engine and vehicle engineering, have been definitive to write this book. The design characteristics of each engine, the problems encountered in its operation and the measures taken to solve them are studied and described in detail.

The 3D computer design of the several types of supercharged engines of 1912 has allowed confirming its perfect functionality and identifying their weak points. Technical descriptions are presented in a simple and accessible way for any reader.

One of the main elements of interest is the genesis of the modern concept of sports cars: a light and high performance vehicle. This concept was developed by La Hispano Suiza under the auspices of King Alfonso XIII, a great motor enthusiast and admirer of the Barcelona brand. In 1909 and after the spectacular results in the circuit of San Sebastian, the King ordered one of those models for his personal use. The 1910 purchase invoice of the "racing car for His Majesty”, published in this book with the permission of the Archives of the Royal Palace of Madrid, can be considered as the birth certificate of the modern sports car.

For the first time it has been compiled and published the complete list of all the car models developed by Birkigt since 1901 (La Cuadra) until 1917. All technical characteristics, all the production years and volumes of each model are detailed for both the Spanish and the French factories. The list begins with the very first petrol engine of 1901, whose designs bearing the Birkigt signature, are published for the first time ever.

The identification of all the types with their corresponding numerical denomination, even in the first 20 models when numbering was not yet officially attributed, has made possible to complete the entire list of Hispano Suiza engines of automobile, truck, aviation or special applications.

The second part of the list, initiated with the Type 31 aero engine, was published by the same author in his book “Hispano Suiza in Aeronautics: Men, Companies, Engines and Aircraft” (SAE, 2003).

Auteur Manuel Lage
Éditeur Manuel Lage
Date de parution December 2018
Format 24,2 x 33,3 cm
ISBN 9788492546442
Illustration 106 colour and 411 BW photos
Nombre de page 402
Langue English
Condition New
Binding Softbound

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