Hoffman X8 Prototype: A Futuristic Car That Never Caught On
The Hoffman X8 Prototype is a car I have never even heard of, but after digging through some archives, I learned that this relic is rather unique. Released in the 1930s, the Hoffman came with a futuristic shape for its time. Its sleek stainless steel body looks like a raindrop and is eye-catching.
To no surprise, this vehicle has been touring the globe with Concourse. If you aren't familiar with Concourse, it's an organisation that appreciates the world's great classics. It hosts various events, generally including a judging element, where the quality of the car's originality is examined. This is where the world's most affluent collectors gather to show off their finest classics.
This Hoffman, despite its rarity and age, is in almost perfect condition. Its exterior style is also incredibly unique, with a rounded shape and air intakes on the sides. An interesting style for the time, and I like it.
The Hoffman's story began when the Fisher brothers aimed to take over the Hudson motor company. They needed to produce a product worthy of the industry's respect to prove their worth. To show the world that they meant business, they needed a man who knew his way around a motor but, more importantly, could craft weird and wonderful cars. They came across a car builder by the man of Roscoe C. Hoffman. The brain behind many patented and often unusual drivetrain configurations.
Being interested in the project and emphasising secrecy, Hoffman accepted the task set by the Fisher Brothers, and the results were nothing short of unconventional. The Futuristic style of flared fenders and a smooth steel body was innovative, to say the least.
Although looking futuristic, this car has an incredibly unique engine under the bonnet. It's powered by a water-cooled, overhead-valve X8 engine, which they claimed had around 100 horsepower (about 75 kW) with a top speed of 160 km/h, which for the time was exceptional.
Considering that Hoffman only made one of these cars, it is widely believed that he kept the car until 1961 when he gifted it off to the Brooks Stevens Museum, where it remained for the next 49 years. Although only one of these vehicles was made, it was not a cheap feat. They claimed that this vehicle's production cost upwards of $170,000.
This Hoffman is rarer than hen's teeth, and seeing it in such good nick is incredible. It will be paraded around Europe at the UK concourse, enjoying its first trip over the Atlantic. It might not be the most well-known car, but at least now you know something about the one-of-one Hoffman X-8 Prototype.