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Hispano Suiza 1924 Tulipwood Torpedo

In 1924 the “Tulipwood” Torpedo was commissioned by André Dubonnet who, at the age of 26, was an accomplished aviator and racecar driver. The Dubonnet family had amassed a fortune from the aperitifs and cognacs that continue to bear the family name. Dubonnet contracted the Nieuport Aviation Company to build a lightweight body suitable for both racing and touring. Nieuport craftsmen formed a frame of wooden ribs measuring up to 3/4-inch thick which were covered with 1/8-inch wooden veneer. Strips of tulipwood of uneven thickness and length were fastened to the veneer with thousands of brass rivets. The body was then sealed, sanded and varnished; when fully equipped, the body was to have weighed approximately 160 pounds. The torpedo tail enclosed a 46-gallon gas tank for long distance racing. In 1924 Dubonnet entered the Hispano-Suiza in the Sicilian Targa Florio and he finished 6th ; he also finished 5th in the Coppa Florio and first in the over 4.5-litre class.

   
   

 

 
Engine:
6 cylinder, SOHC
4.33" bore, 5.51" stroke
487 cubic inch
200 hp. @ 3050 rpm.

Price when new: $15,000+

Body/Coachbuilder:
Nieuport Astra Aviation Company
Bois-Colombes, France

Manufacturer:
Sté. Française Hispano-Suiza
Bois-Colombes, France