Lot 264: Delahaye 135M Coupé
Based initially at Tours and from 1906 in Paris, Delahaye built its first automobile in 1894 and soon branched out into commercial vehicle manufacture. Up to the mid-1930s its products tended to be rather lacklustre but then in 1935 came the first of a new generation which would change the marque's image forever: the T135 Coupe Des Alpes. A fine sporting car, the T135 was powered by an engine which, although designed for car use, had first appeared in a Delahaye commercial vehicle. 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 3,557cc, 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 1939. In England, Prince Bira contested the 1938 Donington 12-Hour Sports Car Race in Prince Chula's example, winning the event and going 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. A desirable 135M model, chassis number '801428' was registered for many years to M. Lucien Penard of Cérigny, Bessais-le-Fromental, France. Circa 2007/2008, the car was sold to Hendrick Lueddemann, a prominent classic car collector from Bremen, Germany. Mr. Lueddemann told the current owner that the Delahaye was sold new in, or near, Marseilles in the South of France where it spent most of its life until M. Penard purchased the car some time later. Mr. Lueddemann also stated that he used the Delahaye quite often and that the car had received a complete mechanical restoration some time in the early 1990s. In recent months the vendor has spent around ¬2,500 having a specialist German restoration shop go through the Delahaye and tune it. He then drove the car in November when he was in Germany, advising us that it handles wonderfully and that the Cotal gearbox shifts sweetly.
Exceptional Motor Cars and Motorcycles|
Bonhams, La Halle Freyssinet, Paris
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