1937 Hispano-Suiza K6 berline sans montants Vanvooren180.000-260.000 EUR - Estimate

Hispano Suiza K6 berline Vanvooren

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Copy of an old Swedish registration
Chassis n° 15114
Engine n° 333174
Vanvooren body n°2837

- Volante collection
- Prestigious provenance
- Unique and luxurious model
- Restored and preserved to a very high standard
- Ex-Raoul Dautry, Armaments Minister

Reference Number 512960

as of 1/17/2018

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Lot 15

Artcurial - Rétromobile  Contact  Location
Salon Rétromobile Hall 1  Phone  +33 1 42 99 20 56  City  Porte de Versailles
75015 Porte de Versailles  Fax  +33 1 42 99 16 39  State  Paris
France  Mobile    Country  France France
Car 1937 Hispano-Suiza K6 berline sans montants Vanvooren
VIN 15114 
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Known History

Raoul Dautry was a distinguished individual. A senior civil servant, who graduated as an engineer from the École Polytechnique, he set up a railway routing system in 1914 that gave the armed forces access to the Eastern front. He later held a number of important posts in the railway business. Consequently, Léon Blum approached him in 1937 about taking over the running of Hispano Suiza. He was interested in Dautry's experience in transport and war, as there was an urgent need to adapt the factories to the production of arms, with the impending conflict. And so the workshops of this prestigious French marque were soon to cease the production of automobiles, in order to build something much less peaceful. Before this happened, however, Raoul Dautry made sure that he acquired one of the last cars to be built, a K6, whose chassis left the production line on 9 July 1937 to be sent to Vanvooren, in Courbevoie. Once there, it was fitted with a type of body that was a speciality of this business, a pillarless saloon. At that time, Vanvooren was one of Hispano's main coachbuilders, with 98 of 204 K6s built bodied by them.

In 1944, Raoul Dautry was a government minister for Général de Gaulle and he went on to become director general of the CEA (French Atomic Energy Commission) in 1948. During the war the car was kept hidden by his driver, and in 1953 it was sold to a Colonel Lazare from the air force. It changed hands again in 1959, selling to the Parisian Hispano-Suiza dealer, Mr Garino. In turn he sold it to a Swedish businessman based in Stockholm, Sven A Hanson, in 1961. The car remained in Sweden, and was bought by Christian Kugelberg in 1966, and Per Svenfelt in 1975. From 1980 it was stored at the " Laganland Bilmuseum ", near Ljungby, Småland, before selling to the Swiss collector Jakob " Jack " Metz, in 1983. He lived in the US and kept the car on display in the museum for 30 years.


In 2010, following two years of negotiation, the owner of the Volante Collection acquired this unusual K6. A major Vanvooren specialist, he decided to bring this car back to life and entrusted the excellent workshop "René Grosse Restaurierungen" next to Berlin with the job, in a way that would retain as much as possible of the original elements, including the paintwork. The different layers of paint were analysed to find the original colour, and the body was then restored using only period techniques, without the use of modern machinery or mastic. The wooden structure was restored without being dismantled, in situ, centimetre by centimetre. The same philosophy was applied to the passenger compartment, and the original leather upholstery was repaired and retained. These painstaking and laborious methods allowed more than 90% of the original parts and materials to be preserved on this handsome automobile.

On the mechanical side, the fact that the carburettor had been replaced by a Mercedes part during the 1950s persuaded the owner to adopt the " Cattaneo conversion " that was often carried out in period. A racing driver and mechanic, Cattaneo had found the way to remedy a car's warm start problems with an air intake fitted to twin carburettors. This is what is fitted to the six-cylinder engine today, a task carried out by renowned French specialist Eric Limpalaer. The 5.2-litre OHV 140 bhp engine allows the car to run smoothly and swiftly.

Following a five-year restoration costing over 250 000 €, this stunning Hispano was justly rewarded in 2017, winning 2nd in class in the Swiss Concours d'Elégance. With its handsome pillarless body presented in exceptionally original condition, this K6 has special appeal.


The cars in the Volante collection have been extremely well looked after and conserved. However, it must be stressed that these are museum exhibits that have not been driven much in recent years, and will therefore require a routine inspection and service before use.



Photos © Fotozumbrunn / Unger