Minichamps MIN107091020 1938 Dubonnet Hispano-Suiza H6C Saoutchik Xenia Coupe (1:18 Scale)
"For me, French automobiles of the 1920s and 1930s represent the pinnacle of 20th Century art and design - the artistic realization in steel, leather, and glass of a modern idea created at a moment when hand craftsmanship embraced the machine, and a spirit of optimism fueled an explosion in artistic and technical development. As an avid collector, the preservation of these rolling sculptures for the enjoyment and a pleasure. I relish the stewardship and preservation of their exciting histories."
- Peter W. Mullin, Mullin Automotive Museum
This striking car, sometimes called the Dubonnet Xenia, was made to showoff Andre Dubonnet's independent suspension. He used a Hispano Suiza H6C chassis and modified it to include his enclosed coil spring suspension. This suspension was quite successful and Andre sold the patent to Alfa Romeo, GM, Fiat, and Delahaye.
After the 1932 Paris Salon, Dubonnet purchased a Hispano-Suiza chassis to create a rolling showcase for his ideas. The car was designed by Jean Andreau, who was known for designing avant-grade streamlined aircraft and automotive creations. The coachwork was done in the shop of Jacques Saoutchik.
The car had curved glass and included a panoramic windscreen (a feature that would not be seen again until General Motors cars in the 1950s). There were plexiglass side windows that opened upward in gullwing style. The long body was very round and resembled the fuselage of an airplane. The interior even resembles the cockpit of an airplane. The two side doors were suspended on large hinges, opening rearward in 'suicide' fashion. In the back, it tapered like a fastback and was crowned wth a triangular rear window. Another feature of the vehicle was Dubonnet's own hyperflex independent front suspension system.
The Hispano-Suiza chassis sat high off the ground, and since the 'Xenia' sat atop of its frame, it is a tall and heavy vehicle. Its design was very futuristic and well ahead of its time. It still eludes a 'concept car' look even in modern times.
Pictured here is a 1:18 scale replica of a 1938 Dubonnet Hispano-Suiza H6C Saoutchik Xenia Coupe. Only 1,002 pieces produced.
Length: 12 inches
Width: 4 inches
Release Date: February 2013
Historical Account: "Engine King" - Hispano Suiza of Spain was one of the great European marques. Marc Birkigt, a Swiss engineer, and Damian Mateu, a Swiss banker, started the company in 1904. Birkigt's first designs resembled race-abouts powered by 3.0 and 4.5 liter, inline-4 engines. The sporting nature of Hispano Suiza attracted King Alfonso who bought more than 30 cars during production.
During the war, Hispano-Suiza manufactured V8 aircraft engines for planes such as the Spad VIII. Enduring success from this engine meant that Hispano Suiza would never leave the aircraft industry. Eventually aircraft production took over automobile production, which ceased in 1936.
The first car to benefit from Hispano-Suiza's aeronautical experience was the H6. It was manfactured in three different Factories, most being built in a France. All versions of the H6 featured a light-alloy, inline-6 housed in a simple ladder chassis. Since no H6s were completed in France, all received bodies from some of the finest carrossiers in the area.