ART BY CARROSSIER KELLNER
As you might know, I am a great Hispano-Suiza enthusiast thanks to my dad. Peter Larsen wasso kind to send me some great photo's of those three cars that have a Kellner coachwork. Let's get to know some more about the great work that Jaques Kellner achieved. More about Kellner you can read soon in the brand new 3 volume Kellner Affain - Matter of Life and Death. Photos and text of this article are excerpted from the Kellner Affair.
What I love so much about vintage and classic cars is that they have such a rich history. Stories are really adding a big value to a car for me. I love to see a car telling me a story with its patina, and when lucky even a whole file with letters and photographs of the whole timeline of the car. Some modern cars can already have a great story, though a vintage car with a war story is unbeatable. When you dive into those stories and history you will be amazed of how cars sometimes survived. This is also the reason why I stared some time ago with CRANKHANDLEBLOG, to get to know these stories and share them with everyone who loves those stories as well.
Hispano-Suiza H6B chassis 10462
Hispano-Suiza H6B chassis 10462 was finished in August 1922, and soon became known as the so-called Musurus Boulogne, after its first owner. Little is known about Mr. Constantin Musurus himself. He proudly presented the car at the Monte Carlo Concours d’Elégance in 1923, where it was awarded a first prize.
Legend has it that Musurus had gone to Kellner and ordered a speedster body, where the finished car was to be submitted to a committee of the ACF. If the committee agreed that the car was the most beautiful two-seater ensemble they had ever seen, Kellner’s invoice would not be disputed. If they however thought otherwise, Kellner’s demand for payment was to be nominal. It is not recorded whether such an evaluation ever took place, or why on earth Jacques Kellner, prominent industrialist that he was, would ever agree to such nonsense. But it is certainly a good story.
In 1924 chassis 10462 went to England where it was owned by Count Louis Zborowski. It was broken up in 1949, and its engine scrapped. Only the fenders survive today.
Photo credit: Nelson V. Thorpe
1925 H6C Boulogne chassis 11436
1925 H6C Boulogne chassis 11436 was first sold to John Andriesse, fitted with a speedster body that had an open rear seat in the tonneau. On July 21, 1925, Andriesse was driving at high speed on the Haarlemmerweg from Amsterdam to Haarlem, when he lost control of the car at the village of Halfweg. The car landed on its side and was totalled. Andriesse had only owned the car for a month.
It is thought that the wreck went the Hispano-Suiza concessionary Greve & Co in The Hague, who repaired it. The Grebel headlamps did not survive the crash and were replaced by Marchal bulls-eye types. Double shock absorbers were mounted at the front and likely also at the back. A new body by Kellner was installed on the chassis – a simply gorgeous dual cowl and dual windshield torpedo.
The refurbished and rebodied car was sold to Baron Joeki van Pallandt, a notorious playboy and businessman who seems to have divided his time between the boardrooms of large Dutch companies and the casinos of Monte Carlo – where a good deal of the travel between the two took place behind the wheel of 11436. According to Hans Veenenbos, the Baron fancied non-stop marathon drives, for which the H6C was of course eminently suited. It is not known how long van Pallandt kept the car. Sometime during the 1930s its fenders were mildly modernized.
At some point after the fenders had been redone, 11436 crashed once again. It is not known whether van Pallandt or the subsequent owner Maarten Kruyswijk was at the wheel.
The accident took place on the Wassenaarscheweg between The Hague and Wassenaar. Veenenbos states that “…reckless overtaking ended up in a head-on crash with an oncoming car and the Hispano dragged along the other car, which somersaulted, to come to a standstill on the other side of the road.”
11436 survived this accident too and was repaired a second time. Kruyswijk offered the car for sale in the July 22, 1939 issue of Auto Kampioen, a Dutch car magazine. After that, 11436 vanished. What an unbelievable barnfind the car would be today.
Photo credit: Nelson V. Thorpe
1935 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental chassis 68SK
Stylish Phantom II Continental conduite intérieure chassis 68SK with division that was built in 1935 for Liliane Marie Mathilde Beaumont-d’Erlander, a.k.a. Princesse de Faucigny-Lucinge – a good customer of Kellner. Every year she would order a new Rolls, always finished in bright yellow over black, like this car. While the side window treatment was classic Kellner, the sloping rear of the car resembled a 1932 semi-aerodynamic pontoon bodied Maybach Zeppelin that made a big splash at the Paris Salon that year. This photo taken in the courtyard of the Kellner works.
Photo credit: Peter Larsen - Kellner Affair