Six years after it was the recipient of Best of Show, the ‘38 Hispano-Suiza H6B Dubonnet Xenia from the Mullin Automotive Museum was awarded the 2022 Bridge of Weir Design Award at the Hampton Court Palace Concours of Elegance, one of the UK’s largest concours events. Sponsored by the world-renowned leather supplier, Bridge of Weir and honoring spectacular interior and exterior design, the award was presented to the vehicle’s owner, Merle Mullin.
The Hispano-Suiza H6B Dubonnet Xenia is a one-of-one vehicle designed by André Dubonnet, an inventor, racecar driver and World War I fighter pilot. Dubonnet intended to build a car that showcased his inventions and aerodynamic designs, the foremost of which was a coil-spring hyperflex suspension later adopted by Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Buick and other carmakers.
An H6 Hispano-Suiza engine powers the car, and the body was designed by aerodynamics expert Jean Andreau, later built and engineered by luxury coachbuilder Jacques Saoutchik. The aerodynamic design coupled with Dubonnet’s signature hyperflex suspension technology give smooth handling and the sensation of flying while driving the vehicle, evocative of the pre-war fascination with machines of flight.
“We are grateful to receive the Bridge of Weir Design Award in the company of so many pristine vehicles and on the beautiful grounds of the Hampton Court Palace,” said Mullin Automotive Museum Founder and CEO Peter Mullin. “There is a sense of validation to see the Dubonnet Xenia’s story and aesthetic continue to delight Concours judges and audiences from around the world.”
The HISPANO-SUIZA DUBONNET XENIA was put into hiding through World War II and reappeared for the first time leading the French opening of the Saint Cloud Highway Tunnel outside Paris in 1946. The car was purchased by the French Hispano-Suiza Club President and restored in the 1960s. It was acquired by Peter and Merle Mullin in 2003, and it resides under the care of the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, CA.
For more information about the HISPANO-SUIZA DUBONNET XENIA and others in the Mullin Automotive Museum collection, please visit https://mullinautomotivemuseum.com/