Beverly Hills, CA — The Mullin Automotive Museum’s 1938 Hispano-Suiza H6B Dubonnet Xenia earned Best of Show honors at the 25th anniversary Rodeo Drive Concours Sunday June 17.
The event presented more than 100 of the world’s rarest and most exotic cars, including a special class of roughly 40 silver cars in honor of the concours’ silver anniversary. That collection included European classics, luxury sedans, muscle cars, race cars and supercars, yet the clear standout was the Mullin’s silver Xenia with its aerodynamic body styling.
Produced in an era of tall and boxy coaches, the Xenia’s distinct features reflect the Pre-War era’s fascination with industrial machinery and aviation. The doors are fastened by a centrally mounted handle, allowing them to effortlessly slide open and backward, parallel to the body. Mimicking the feeling of a plane floating on air, the smooth handling is due to a coil-spring hyperflex suspension system that was later adopted by Cadillac, Oldsmobile and Buick.
This particular Xenia belonged to Andre Dubonnet himself, who hid the car from the Germans during World War II. In the 1960s, the car was purchased and restored by the president of the French Hispano-Suiza Club, Alain Balleret, who later auctioned it off to American Charles Morse. Peter Mullin eventually purchased the vehicle in 2003, and it is today maintained under the care of the Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation.
Among other cars on display were Astons, Porsches and Ferraris, including a 1963 Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB Coupe Aerodinamico first shown at the New York auto show that year.