Delahaye was a family-owned automobile manufacturing company, founded by Émile Delahaye in 1894 in Tours, France. Manufacturing was moved to Paris following incorporation. Delahaye made a number of technical innovations in its early years and after establishing a racing department in 1932. The company came to particular prominence in France in the mid-to-late 1930s when its cars won a number of auto races. The company faced setbacks due to the Second World War and was taken over by competitor Hotchkiss in 1954.
The Delahaye 135 is a luxury car designed by engineer Jean François, it was produced from 1935 until 1954 in many different body styles. A sporting tourer, it was also popular for racing.
The Delahaye 135, also known as "Coupe des Alpes" after its success in the Alpine Rally, was first presented in 1935 and signified Delahaye's decision to build sportier cars than before.
Competition 135s set the all-time record at the Ulster Tourist Trophy and placed second and third in the Mille Miglia in 1936, and winning the Monte Carlo Rally in 1937 and 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1938. The Le Mans victory, with Chaboud and Trémoulet at the wheel, was decisive, with two more Delahayes coming in second and fourth.
135s finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 11th and 12th in the 1936 French Sports Car Grand Prix at Montlhéry. John Crouch won the 1949 Australian Grand Prix driving a 135MS.
The list of independent body suppliers offering to clothe the 135 chassis is the list of France's top coachbuilders of the time.
Following World War 2, the concours-winning firm of Pennock created this outstanding - and very rare - three-position drophead coupé on the Delahaye 135M chassis. Right-hand drive, like most quality French cars of the period, this matching-numbers 135M benefits from a body-off, 'last nut and bolt' restoration undertaken by its former owner - a wealthy German industrialist - some 15 years ago at a cost of 200.000 GBP. It is understood that the car had had only one previous owner.
The Delahaye then formed part of the German owner's private collection for 10 years before arriving in the UK in 2017 when it was sold to an Englishman, who UK-registered the car and used it sparingly on 'high days and holidays'. Last year the car was fully serviced and fitted with a set of new tyres, while in April 2021 it was serviced again and MoT tested, the underside being videoed as its immaculate condition was admired.
Said to drive beautifully, this magnificent French thoroughbred is finished in two-tone dark red/plum with fine coachlines separating the two colours, while the interior is upholstered in beige hide with dark red carpets. The fully lined hood is trimmed in beige West of England cloth. Photographs of the restoration, including the engine rebuild, are on file together with the MoT certificate; original handbook; and the UK V5C document recording only one owner in this country.
|Engine||3.558 ccm, 115 PS, I6|
|Steering||Right Hand Drive|
|Layout||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Color - exterior||Dark Red / Plum|
|Color - interior||Beige / Dark Red|
|Miles/Kilometers shown||26.558 kms|
|Chassis / VIN||800843|
|Location - Country||Czech Rep.|
|Location - City||Hradec Kralove|
2-door convertible body type; RWD (rear-wheel drive), manual 4-speed gearbox; gasoline (petrol) engine with displacement: 3558 cm3, advertised power: 84.5 kW / 113 hp / 115 PS (brake), torque: 265 Nm; characteristic dimensions: outside length: 4850 mm, width: 1750 mm, wheelbase: 2950 mm; reference weights: base curb weight: 1700 kg; top speed: 148 km/h (92 mph); accelerations: 0-60 mph 17.7 s; 0-100 km/h 19.1 s