Category Archives: Hispano-Suiza

Hispano Suiza Alphonso

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Hispano Suiza was founded in 1904 to use patents developed by the Swiss Engineer Marc Birkigt. The name means ‘Spanish-Swiss‘. In 1905 unit construction of engine and gearbox was pioneered by Birkigt and this became a feature of all Hispano Suiza vehicles.

The original cars were built at Barcelona and in 1907 a Swiss concern was permitted to manufacture under licence. Later branch factories opened in France and Skoda of Czechoslovakia also made some Hispano Suizas under licence.

The cars were successful on the racing circuit with victories at Boulogne and Mont Ventoux in 1910.  and this seems to have set seal to the manufacturer’s fame. In 1911 a move had to be made to larger premises on the Sagrera estate and a branch factory was opened at Levalbois-Perret in France. Then, in the spring of 1914, a “manufactory” was built at Bois-Colombes, in the suburbs of Paris, and the Hispano-Suiza took on its French nationality. In the UK  prior to 1914, a service depot was maintained at Fulham, and a showroom in Shaftesbury Avenue.

The young King Alfonso XIII of Spain was an early motoring enthusiast and patron of Hispano-Suiza. He was such a fan, in fact, that he is said to have owned 30 of them. The sporting Hispano-Suiza Type 45CR of 1911 was quickly named the Alphonso in his honour.

During the First World War Hispano Suiza concentrated upon aero engines designed by Marc Birkigt which ended up powering over half the French and British aircraft in the conflict. Between the wars HIspano Suiza made money from licensing many of its patents and made large luxurious vehicles in small numbers and armaments like canons for aircraft in large numbers. Just before the Second World War the Spanish arm of the company was effectively taken over by the Nationalists and the French arm of the company was taken over by the French Government.

After the Second World War Hispano did not return to making cars but remained makers of  aircraft engines and systems as well as arms until absorbed by SNECMA in 1970.

The model featured in this article is another anonymous 1:43 scale alloy and plastic models being sold by Chinese vendors on eBay.  The model is marked C.I.L. on the baseplate but no trace of that being used as a brand name can be found. MAR Online has already looked at two other models in the same series: A Rolls-Royce and an Austin Seven (article one and article two).

The front of the model is impressive with a nice brass effect radiator surround and black core as well as starting handle to the base. The Hispano Suiza wing motif is neatly modelled on the head of the radiator. The brass effect front lights have a silver painted core giving a good impression of period lights.

The model is of the Hispano Suiza Alphonso as stated on the baseplate though it is being sold as a Skoda Hispano Suiza Alphonso. It has nice coachwork lines printed and the horn and levers all fitted to the driver’s side.

The Alphonso appeared with considerable variations in the bodywork fitted but the model captures the shape of several shown in photographs on the web and in a car located in America which is pretty much identical apart from black wheels rather than yellow and a missing battery box on the driver’s side running boards.

As can be seen inside the jumble of instruments and brass connecting pipes fitted on the dashboard of the real car is not modelled which is a shame as they would have added to the realism of the interior which has a nice brass and wood effect steering wheel and a seat painted to resemble leather and no other details.

Yellow is always a tricky colour. Here the yellow paint on the metal is a close match to the yellow plastic used for the wheels, wings and base including springs. However the amount of plastic used becomes obvious when you look at the model close up but is less obvious when viewed from a few feet away.

There is quite a bit of conjecture that these models were developed for a part work that has never gone ahead. Like the others already reviewed, this is basic but with good outlines.

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Matrix Models Announced to May 2018

By Maz Woolley

All photographs are of prototypes supplied by Matrix

Matrix have now announced a whole group of new models shipping over the next few months. Most of these are also new mouldings being seen for the first time in their range. As ever luxury coach built vehicles are to the fore.  Some models do not yet have a prototype ready to be shown but most do and these are shown below.

A re-colour of an existing model is expected in March

MX10108-053 Aston Martin DB5 Shooting Brake by Harold Radford 1964 Silver


All the remaining vehicles listed are wholly new models.

No prototype picture available

MXLM03-1608 Pegaso Z-102 BS 2.5 Cupola Coupe yellow 1953 LOUWMAN MUSEUM COLLECTION Expected April


MX41002-091 Jensen Interceptor Series II FF 1970 silver Expected April


MX41302-111 Mercedes-Benz 770 Cabriolet D (W07) Hermann Göring 1937 Blue Expected April


MX41302-121 Mercedes-Benz 770 Cabriolet D 1938 black Expected April


MX50806-041 Hispano-Suiza H6B Park Ward Coupe #11608 1927 green Expected April


MXLM03-1705 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith LWB Special Saloon Vignale 1954 silver LOUWMAN MUSEUM COLLECTION Expected April


MX41302-131 Mercedes-Benz 500K Spezial Stromlinienwagen Tan Tjoan Keng 1935 white Expected May


No prototype picture available

MX41607-071 Porsche 356 America Roadster 1952 green Expected May


MX50307-021 Cord L-29 Speedster by LaGrande 1931 maroon and cream Expected May


No prototype picture available

MX50406-021 Duesenberg JN 559-2587 Rollston 1935 brown
Expected May


MX51601-011 Packard Super 8 Sport Sedan by Darrin 1940 green Expected May


MX51705-081 Rolls-Royce Phantom Tourer by Barker #820R 1929 yellow and aluminium Expected May


MX51705-251 Rolls-Royce Freestone & Webb Silver Wraith Limousine #FLW26 1957 maroon and black Expected May


MX52108-021 Voisin C28 Aerosport silver 1935 Expected May

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at