1933 Hispano Suiza J12 brings V-12 power to Jay Leno’s Garage


Hispano Suiza was a person of the finest automakers of the prewar era, and this 1933 J12 exemplifies why. Now section of California’s Nethercutt Assortment, it was not too long ago showcased on “Jay Leno’s Garage,” the place Jay Leno and Nethercutt Collection Vice President Cameron Richards reviewed what produced this car so exclusive.

The name Hispano Suiza is Spanish for “Spanish Swiss,” denoting the nationalities of the company’s two founders. Centered in Spain, Hispano Suiza started out out building cars in the early a long time of the 20th century, but gained prominence with its aero engines, which run World War I fighter planes. Jay basically has a 1915 Hispano Suiza driven by one particular of individuals engines in his selection.

1933 Hispano Suiza J12 on Jay Leno's Garage

1933 Hispano Suiza J12 on Jay Leno’s Garage


Right after the war, Hispano Suiza returned to creating cars, developing a V-12 specifically for automotive apps. Sitting beneath the J12’s lengthy louvered hood, the 250-hp 9.4-liter V-12 is a relatively complex engine for the period. It characteristics two spark plugs for each cylinder, twin drinking water pumps, and twin magnetos to make certain sufficient electrical offer without having a distributor. It drives the rear wheels as a result of a 3-speed guide transmission.

Hydraulic brakes had been launched by Duesenberg by this time, but the J12 caught with mechanical brakes assisted by a vacuum-operated servo. In spite of the extra primitive technological know-how, they experience like present day electrical power brakes, Jay claims. Shoppers probable would have felt a lot more self-assured with them than with then-new hydraulic brakes. 


Though Hispano Suiza remained dependent in Spain, this car was constructed in France, exactly where the firm experienced opened a satellite manufacturing unit. It was sold locally to Suzanne Deutsch de la Meurthe, a rich Shell Oil heiress and one particular of the first French woman pilots. Of 120 J12s created, this is 1 of 9 with coachwork by Henry Binder, and the only a single of all those nine with a “small” 146-inch wheelbase chassis, Richards noted.

Hispano Suiza slowly phased out its car division to emphasis on its aviation small business, and was later bought by French aviation conglomerate Snecma (now portion of the Safran Group). The dormant brand name was revived in 2019 with the Carmen electric supercar. Hispano Suiza adopted that up with the monitor-concentrated Boulogne variant the next year, boasting 1,100 hp and a claimed -62 mph time of less than 2.6 seconds. Hispano Suiza will establish 14 Carmens and five Boulognes, with prices commencing at about $1.6 million.

Verify out the complete online video to see Jay drive the car and discover additional about one particular of the biggest luxury brand in the early times of the automobile.


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