Hispano Suiza showcases its history in the Peralada Castle Museum

(May 30, 2022) GIRONA, Spain — The history of Hispano Suiza is showcased, for the very first time, in the Peralada Castle Museum here where visitors will be able to contemplate the past and present of the legendary car brand founded in 1904 by Damián Mateu and Mark Birkigt.

The Hispano Suiza Room will close the usual tour of the Peralada Castle Museum. After years of researching to gather the largest number of pieces and objects related to its history, Hispano Suiza becomes part of this important collection.

The Hispano Suiza exhibition encompasses a journey through various decades: from the beginning of the 20th century, when Hispano Suiza was founded, to the present day. After passing through a luxurious hall, the public will be able to visit a recreation of the offices of Damián Mateu and Mark Birkigt, where countless business and technical ideas, emerged and took shape, turning Hispano Suiza into a point of reference, for luxury, comfort and technical solutions. In this area, the original painting "Dame with a mink" by Ramon Casas takes pride of place: it was used as an illustration on the company's original shares.

In the Hispano Suiza Workshop, a number of mechanical components are on display, proceeding from Salvador Claret’s Car Collection. Elements such as the Hispano Suiza Alfonso XIII radiator, a 12-cylinder aircraft engine crankshaft, a Hispano Suiza T15/20 engine block as well as headlights, tires, a camshaft and a vintage toolbox are on display, in addition to many other pieces.

Within the exhibition there are also several trophies that the brand won throughout its illustrious history. The 'journey to the past' ends with the exhibition of the Hispano Suiza K6, a 120 horsepower model produced between 1934 and 1937, of which some 200 units were manufactured. It was the car owned by Miguel Mateu and is now owned by the Suqué Mateu family.

The tour culminates with the current Hispano Suiza which was relaunched in 2019, with Miguel Suqué Mateu, great-grandson of the founder at the helm of the company. It features iconic pieces such as the Hispano Suiza Carmen front grille, the rear wings of the Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne, as well as other unique pieces. The two current models, 100% electric, follow the same philosophy that Mateu and Birkigt set out over a century ago: apply the latest technology to luxury cars and maintain the exclusivity of a historic brand.

"The history of Hispano Suiza deserves to be told to future generations and with the opening of this exhibition our dream of sharing our legacy with the visitors of the Peralada Castle Museum comes true", said Miguel Suqué Mateu, chairman of Hispano Suiza, great-grandson of the founder of the company who masterminded the return of the “flying stork” in 2019.

“It has taken years of hard work to put together this collection that combines the past and the present of Hispano Suiza. We had to find a proper space in the Museum to be able to showcase this fantastic exhibition. Now, our brand is the latest work of art showcased at the Peralada Castle Museum”.

On the official opening day of the exhibition, the International Federation of Historic Vehicles (FIVA) presented the Suqué Mateu Family a trophy recognizing Damián Mateu Bisa as one of the "14 heroes in the world of automotive history." These trophies are awarded annually and the winners become members of the FIVA Heritage Hall of Fame. Peter Edqvist, vice president of FIVA, presented the award to the Suqué Mateu family in Damián Mateu’s memory.

The history of the Peralada Castle Museum

The Peralada Castle Museum is located in the town of Peralada (Girona), and it is built on and old convent located next to the castle, to which it is now directly connected.

In 1923, the castle was put up for sale and acquired by Miguel Mateu Pla, an important entrepreneur from Barcelona and son of Damián Mateu. Miguel Mateu was a key figure on the cultural scene, establishing himself as one of the greatest art collectors of his time. The Peralada Castle Museum is an impressive example of his passion for art.

In 1972, Miguel Mateu´s daughter Carmen and her husband Arturo Suqué took charge of the management and conservation of the Castle's historical and cultural heritage. The Peralada Castle Museum currently includes a 14th century Church and cloister; a Wine Museum, located within the old cellars of the

Carmelite friars, where winemaking began in the 14th century; a Glass Museum, one of the most important collections in the world featuring over 2,500 pieces, and an amazing Library, with more than 100,000 volumes and a stunning collection of over one thousand editions of 'Don Quixote de la Mancha' by Miguel de Cervantes. The Museum is a clear statement revealing the passion of the Suqué – Mateu family for culture and conservation of historical heritage spanning over three generations.