Hispano Suiza was first founded as La Cuadra in 1898, in Barcelona, Spain, by Emilio de la Cuadra Albiol, its object being the production of electric automobiles. Later La Quadra engaged Marc Birkigt, a gifted Swiss engineer to work in its factory in Spain. Birkigt soon convinced Emilio de la Cuadra to allow him to build a motor car, but the Company went into financial problems and in 1902 it was sold to José Maria Castro, the biggest La Cuadra creditor, becoming Fábrica Hispano-Suiza de Automóviles. In 1904, the company went banktupt but was saved by Damien Mateu and adopted the name Fabrica La Hispano-Suiza de Automoviles of Barcelona. In 1911 a subsidiary named Hispano France was opened in Paris but in 1914 it changed its name to Hispano-Suiza. During war the company produced mainly aircraft engines but after the war Hispano-Suiza reverted to automobile manufacture. Hispano-Suiza’s were very luxurious, elegant and extremely comfortable cars, indeed a hallmark of quality. Hispano-Suiza in Paris ceased production in 1938. The plant in Barcelona kept in business through WWII, and in the 1950’s it entered the sports car market with the Pegaso, but eventually the company also had to close its doors.