Amelia Island | Lot 162
1930 Delage DR70 Tourer by James Flood
$82,500 USD | Sold
| Amelia Island, Florida
10 March 2012
45 bhp, 2,517 cc L-head inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 128.3"
• Australian-bodied tourer
• Older restoration that presents well
• Continuous history from new
Fascinated by France’s burgeoning automobile industry, the world’s first, Louis Delage moved to Paris as a young man and established himself as a consulting engineer. After a stint at Peugeot he founded Delage & Cie. at Levallois, a northwestern suburb of Paris. The first two prototype Delage automobiles were single-cylinder cars with de Dion engines.
Delage’s first six-cylinder car came in 1912, with a 2.5-liter engine designed by engineer Arthur-Léon Michelat and built in-house. In 1925, Maurice Gaultier was made chief engineer at Delage. Employed there before the war as production manager, he was a graduate of École des Arts et Métier at Lille and had a profound influence on everything that left the works thereafter. His first all-new design was the DR of 1927. It used an L-head six-cylinder engine with a Ricardo-type cylinder head, which came in two displacements, 2,170 and 2,516 cc. The DR proved very reliable and became Delage’s second-best seller ever.
This Delage DR70 was imported new to Australia as a chassis in 1930. Its first owner was Claude Vanderkelen of Toorak, brother of the then-consul from Belgium. Coachbuilder James Flood Pty., Ltd. of Melbourne clothed it with the aluminum open touring body it wears today. Mr. Vanderkelen used the car until 1938. After passing through two other Australian owners, it was acquired in the 1960s by enthusiast Ian de Beuzeville, who used it daily for a few years before undertaking a complete restoration. When completed, it competed in numerous events. Imported to the UK around 2004, it joined a Spanish collection in 2007, from which it arrives at this sale.
Although the restoration shows its age, the car is handsome and eager. The green leather upholstery shows no flaws, and the engine compartment is clean though not detailed. It is ready to be enjoyed as is or to serve as the solid and authentic basis for a full restoration.