Lot 169: 1948 Delahaye 135M Cabriolet
Based initially at Tours and from 1906 in Paris, Delahaye built its first automobile in 1894 and soon diversified into commercial vehicle manufacture. Its early products tended to be rather lacklustre, but then in 1935 came the first of a new generation that would change the marque�s image: the T135 Coupe Des Alpes. A fine sporting car, the T135 somewhat paradoxically borrowed its engine from one of its maker�s trucks. The 3.2-litre, six-cylinder, overhead-valve unit produced 110bhp on triple Solex carburettors, while the chassis featured transverse-leaf independent front suspension, four-speed synchromesh or Cotal gearboxes, centre-lock wire wheels and Bendix brakes.
Delahaye improved on the formula the following year with the 3.6-litre, 120/130bhp T135MS, and the sports version was soon making a name for itself in competitions, taking 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th places in the run-to-sportscar-regulations 1936 French Grand Prix and winning the Monte Carlo Rally and Le Mans 24-Hour Race outright in 1937 and 1938 respectively. Prince Bira won the 1938 Donington 12-Hour Sports Car Race in Prince Chula�s example and went on to take victory in Brooklands� �fastest road car in England� race against some formidable opposition. The model reappeared post-WW2 as the 135M with the 3.6-litre engine and lasted in production until 1951.
Delahaye had no in-house coachworks, so all its chassis were bodied by independents who created some of their most attractive designs on the Type 135. It was a most fortuitous partnership, which resulted in memorable automotive sculpture from the likes of Figoni et Falaschi, Saoutchik, Chapron, Franay, Graber and Pennock.
Following WW2, the concours-winning firm of Pennock, located in The Hague, Holland acquired several chassis from Delahaye, creating the outstanding Cabriolet offered here. Subtly but effectively detailed with chrome accents and generous bright stone shields at the rear fenders� leading edges, Pennock�s cabriolet makes effective use of the low-slung Delahaye chassis.
This particular Delahaye, with matching chassis/engine numbers, was delivered new in Holland in 1948 and has enjoyed only two owners in its 60-year lifetime. Right-hand drive like most French cars of quality at this time, it is offered fresh from a complete restoration carried out during 2007/2008, since when only 20 kilometres have been covered, and comes with the relevant invoices, valid roadworthiness certificate and Netherlands registration papers. Presented in wonderful condition, this is a comfortable, powerful and fine-handling touring car that would grace any concours d�elegance or prestigious historic event.
Cette Delahaye (num�ros de ch�ssis et de moteur correspondants), livr�e neuve en Hollande en 1948, n� a eu que deux propri�taires en 60 ans. � conduite � droite comme la plupart des grandes voitures fran�aises � l��poque, elle est propos�e au sortir d�une restauration effectu�e en 2007/2008 et n�a parcouru depuis que 20 km. Elle est accompagn�e des factures correspondantes, de son contr�le technique et de ses papiers n�erlandais. En magnifique �tat, c�est une grande routi�re classique, confortable et puissante capable de s�imposer en concours d��l�gance comme dans des �preuves historiques.
Collectors' Sports & Grand Touring Motor Cars|
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