King Alfonso XIII's Hispano SuizaSeat cars are all well and fine, but once upon a time Spain had its own equivalent of the Rolls Royce or Bugatti. This fine car, widely regarded as one of the best in production, was the Hispano Suiza. From its workshops in Barcelona, this make made elegant limousines and open-topped touring cars of great luxury and exquisite finishing, whilst also producing some of the world’s earliest sports cars.

Hispano Suiza’s speciality was also comfort and opulence, and tycoons, film stars and royalty from around the globe strove to own one. None more so than Spain’s very own monarch, King Alfonso XIII, who has positively smitten with the Hispano Suiza. Such was his patronage – he owned close to 30 – that Spain’s best carmaker named one of its finest models in his honour.

This model, originally destined to be called the 15T, was renamed the Alfonso and designed to impress. Its four-cylinder, 3.6 litre engine produced 64 horsepower and a top speed of 120 km/h, making this a bit of a sports car back in 1911 – in addition to representing handmade luxury. With just four models made, this is one of the rarest cars in the world, and along with a provenance to make your mouth water it is an auctioneer’s dream.

Well, this classic vehicle is about to go to auction at Amelia Island in the US, where it is expected to fetch somewhere between $750,000 to $1 million. Beautifully preserved, extremely rare, of undeniable aristocratic provenance and still running superbly, this exquisite example of the best in Spanish car-making will soon take pride of place in some lucky – and affluent – enthusiast’s collection.

Photos courtesy of RM Auctions