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Motorcars made in Andalucía

The Hurtado family, outside the Granada factory.
The Hurtado family, outside the Granada factory. / SUR
  • What began as a dream is today a reality that has positioned Granada-based family firm Hurtan as specialists in the design and manufacture of exclusive cars

If the 'American dream' included owning a car, an Andalusian dream might have been to build an exclusive one. This was true at least in the case of Juan Hurtado, who managed to transform his childhood fantasy into a successful reality.

Born in the small village of Abla (Almeria province), as a boy he dreamed of big, luxury cars. Hurtado grew up admiring the American-style cars that appeared during the US automobile industry's golden age after World War II.

In 1958 his family moved to Barcelona and Hurtado had the opportunity to get involved in motor production, working for the Spanish brands Barreiros and Pegaso. He even took part in projects developing the four-door SEAT 600.

Falling in love with a woman from Granada, Hurtado was prompted to move back to his native Andalucía. Despite Granada being relatively small and less industrial, he didn't abandon his dream of building cars with modern engines and vintage appearance.

Workshop to factory

The first car he invented in his workshop in Guadix in the 80s was inspired by the classics and sporty variants from the 50s. Eventually, what was first the Andalusian enthusiast's hobby became a serious business.

In 1992, the micro-factory Hurtan Cars was founded in Santa Fe, just outside Granada. It started producing hand-built cars with curvy retro lines and modern engines.

Very few robots are involved in the production and assembly of Hurtan cars. Emphasis is placed more upon mechanical and industrial engineers, as well as wood and leather craft workers who create customised details. Every car is unique, as the experts are able to transform clients' whims into reality.

By now, more than five hundred Hurtan cars, made in Andalucía, have been sold all around the world. The Hurtan models can be seen on French, Italian, Czech and even the Dominican Republic roads. The family firm covers a demand for unique vehicles that exists especially in Middle Eastern countries as well as in Russia and the United States. In 2010, Hurtan opened its first distribution centre in Central Europe.

The efforts of Juan Hurtado to fulfil his dream have not gone unnoticed - he has received numerous awards for creating an innovative company that is making Andalucía an exclusive car industrial region.

Nowadays Juan Hurtado is retired, but his children, Juan, Rosa and Francisco, run the family-owned company. They continue to come up with new ideas and find new partners.

A new era

Juan Hurtado junior is responsible for marketing. He started the year in a good mood as their project for a new model had been completed successfully.

"I just came back from Madrid where we presented a new luxury model - the new Grand Albaycín. We initially kept its launch a secret for different reasons, including the unstable situation due to the pandemic," he explained.

"We had planned to present our new model in 2020 but we had to wait until January 2021. Now, as we used to say, Hurtan's best kept secret is revealed. The name of the recently launched model is the new Grand Albaycín and it is powered by Mazda," added Juan.

The name however is not very new. In 2004, Juan Hurtado senior created the first Albaycín model, named after the iconic neighbourhood of Granada city. Later, he received recognition in the car world with another model, the Gran Albaycín, that was officially presented at the Top Marques Monaco exhibition of luxury aircraft, automobiles and boats in 2009.

That Gran Albaycín caused a sensation and was considered by the specialised press as "a serious vehicle that competes with models of the same style". It was actually built using the French Renault Clio as a base. The new Grand Albaycín is a two-seater sports car, which is not only based on Mazda's MX-5 platform but also has the guarantee of the Japanese manufacturer.

The Grand Albaycín is Hurtan’s new two-seater sports car powered by Mazda was launched last month.

The Grand Albaycín is Hurtan’s new two-seater sports car powered by Mazda was launched last month.

With this unique vehicle, the Andalusian boutique coachbuilder is embarking on a new era in the luxury sports car market. Thanks to the collaboration agreement established between Hurtan and Mazda, the new Grand Albaycín has European accreditation and guarantees. It means that the Andalusian car can be driven in Spain and abroad with total confidence.

"We are sure that this new Hurtan model is destined to make history in the world of motoring. Its launch is considered as the starting point for our strategic plan for growth in international markets," said Hurtado.

He also stressed that the new Grand Albaycin is the result of cooperation with VeryVip Cars, the firm's exclusive distributor in Madrid and that a network of exclusive distributors in countries such as France, Italy, Russia and the United Arab Emirates is being developed. Interest has been shown already by clients in Australia and the UK, he added.

English influence

"For some British people our new Grand Albaycín is reminiscent of the Morgan Roadster, a legendary English motorcar, or even a Jaguar," said Hurtado. "My father has always adored the English style and from the very beginning tried to imitate it."

Indeed he recalls how his father's dream was made possible thanks in part to the so-called English-style cars.

"In 1995, the annual industrial machinery business fair was held in Armilla, Granada. One of the suppliers there asked my father if he would exhibit a Hurtan car on his stand, hoping to attract customers and boost interest in his own products. The next day several Andalusian newspapers wrote about this English-style car there. A few days later, thanks to word of mouth, my father received firm orders."