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Lot 421: Delahaye 135M Coup�

Collectors Motor Cars, Motorcycles & Automobilia, Bonhams (12 September 2009)

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. This example comes with French Carte Grise (issued 1991) recording the date of first registration as 5th April 1952. The car was purchased by Barry Burnett and has since been partially restored, the body and brightwork having been completed, although yet to be reassembled, while the engine and gearbox likewise had been fully overhauled before being damaged by fire. Sold strictly as viewed. No reserve.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors Motor Cars, Motorcycles & Automobilia
Bonhams, National Motor Museum, Hampshire
TypeCar
Lot Number421
Estimate£8000-£12000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£15000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£17250
Year1951
Condition rating5
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number9801435
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors