Andre Dubonnet was the heir to the Dubonnet aperitif fortune and the man responsible for this automobile. Dubonnet was an accomplished amateur racing driver and inventor.
To create a rolling showcase for his ideas, Dubonnet purchased and extensively modified a Hispano-Suiza chassis that he had seen at the 1932 Paris Salon. The car was designed by Jean Andreau, a man known for designing avant-garde streamlined aircraft and automomobiles. In 1938 Dubonnet employed renowned coachbuilder Jacques Saoutchik to construct this revolutionary body – Dubonnet’s fifth prototype attempt – that he named “Xenia” after his late-wife.
Xenia was hidden during the war, and did not reappear until June 9, 1946 at the opening of the Saint Cloud highway tunnel outside Paris. Alain Balleret, President of the French Hispano-Suiza Club, purchased Xenia in the 1960s and subjected the car to restoration. In 1999 the American Charles Morse purchased it at auction. Peter Mullin purchased Xenia in 2003. Today, this car is owned by the Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation.