Viva Espana!

Cars

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Whilst witnessing Somerset lad Jenson Button score yet another Grand Prix win, this around Barcelona’s neck-jarring Circuit de Catalunya it occurred to us here at Influx, that despite the Spanish being incredibly passionate about motoring, the man in the street would be hard pressed to mention a Spanish car brand other than SEAT.

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The Iberian car corporation make great value motors encoded with a lot of passion and emotion. Witness the killer new Bocanegra (pictured above) a dark internal and external trim flourish on the sexy little Supermini that was released last week at the Barcelona motor show. Ibiza Bocanegra’s styling is also a tribute to the Spaniards’ original Bocanegra, the 1200 Sport, which debuted in its home country back in 1975 (pictured top)

The ‘70s car, a milestone in the Brand’s history as the first model to be wholly developed at the SEAT Technical Centre in Martorell, quickly went on to become a firm favourite in its home market and notched up sales of more than 11,000 in just three years.

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But there’s more to Spanish automotive history than SEAT. Brands like the legendary Hispano-Suiza, a (Spanish-Swiss joint venture as the name suggests) and Pegaso (known in recent times as a producer of commercial vehicles) produced innovative, ground breaking car design in both the pre-war era and into the fifties and sixties.

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The Pegaso Z102 (above) was a particularly beautiful little machine that evoked in the Catalunyan camargue the same sort of emotion that the Lancia Aurelia managed to conjure in the Veneto.

We’ve been inspired to delve into the almost-forgotten history of Spanish car passion for a feature later this year. Never let it be said that Latin passion for cars began and ended at Maranello.

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