The Mullin Automotive Museum's remarkable Xenia, once owned by its designer André Dubonnet, has won a top award at the Los Angeles Classic Auto Show

The 1938 Hispano-Suiza H6B Dubonnet Xenia from the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California has won its eighth major award, this one at the Classic Auto Show in Los Angeles.

The Award of Excellence – Grand Boulevard adds to Best of Show awards won by the distinctive French car at events including the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance, and Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

This Xenia was commissioned, and owned, by pilot and racing driver André Dubonnet. He hid the car during World War II, thus ensuring its survival when so many luxury cars were destroyed or commandeered by invading troops, never to be seen again. In the 1960s, it was bought and restored by the president of the French Hispano-Suiza club Alain Balleret, who later auctioned it off to American Charles Morse.

Well-known collector Peter Mullin eventually purchased the vehicle in 2003, and it is today maintained under the meticulous care of the Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation.

The Xenia’s distinctive looks set it apart from other cars of its time, which were generally tall and boxy in style. It has many unusual features, including the centrally mounted handle used to open and close the doors, allowing them to effortlessly slide open and backward, parallel to the body.

It was known at the time for its unusually smooth ride, which was due to the coil-spring hyperflex suspension system invented by Dubonnet himself – a design later adopted by Cadillac, Oldsmobile and Buick.

At the Classic Auto Show, held on March 2-4, the Xenia was displayed on the event’s popular Grand Boulevard display, as one of 50 rare cars spanning the past 100 years. This year’s standout was the Xenia with its striking design elements and aerodynamic body styling.

‘I’m so pleased that the Xenia has been distinguished amongst other exceptional vehicles at this year’s Classic Auto Show,’ said Peter Mullin, founder and CEO of the Mullin Automotive Museum. ‘The car’s extravagant streamlining and futuristic design elements make it a showstopper in any room, and I’m continuously grateful to be able to share its extreme beauty at events around the globe.’

For more information about the Xenia or the Mullin Automotive Museum, visit the museum website.

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