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Hispano-Suiza H6B Million-Guiet Dual-Cowl Phaeton

Hispano-Suiza means ‘Spanish-Swiss’; the company was the result of a collaboration, around 1900, between the Spanish electric-car manufacturer Emilio de la Cuadra and the Swiss engineer Marc Birkigt.

Pale blue is not the colour you would normally expect to see on a car such as this. Nevertheless, the Parisian coachbuilder Million-Guiet was commissioned by Norma Talmadge in 1924 to build this Dual-Cowl Phaeton, based on a Hispano-Suiza H6B. Norma Talmadge was a very popular American movie star of the 1920s; her brother-in-law was the famous actor and comedian Buster Keaton.

Hispano-Suiza produced cars and lorries, moving on to aircraft engines a little later. Initially the factory was situated in Spain, but as many orders came in from France, a branch was also opened in Paris. The H6 was the first all-French model.

The flying stork, which graced the radiator of each Hispano-Suiza after World War I, was the squadron mascot of the French fighter ace Georges Guynemer. During the war he flew a SPAD biplane, which was powered by a Hispano-Suiza V8.

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