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Hershey | Lot 145

1946 Delahaye 135 M Coach by Guilloré

$77,000 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania

6 October 2016


Chassis No.
800410
  • Offered from 56 years of ownership
  • Elegant and well-proportioned closed coachwork
  • Equipped with its original engine
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic

95 bhp, 3,557 cc OHV inline six-cylinder engine with single Solex carburetor, Cotal electro-mechanical four-speed transmission, independent front suspension with transverse leaf spring, live rear axle with quarter-elliptical leaf-spring suspension, and four-wheel mechanically actuated Bendix drum brakes. Wheelbase: 114 in.

The Delahaye’s 135, introduced in Paris in 1935, was a rare model that straddled both the pre-war and post-war eras. It boasted a brand new chassis with the same 3.6-liter, six-cylinder engine first seen in the earlier Type 138, and it proved to be a remarkable automobile upon its release. One year later, Delahaye introduced the 135 M, which offered a slightly larger engine with improved horsepower and was offered with a choice of single, dual, or triple carburetors. The 135 proved to more than hold its own in competition, as it swept the top six places at Marseilles in 1936.

In the following years, leading up to the beginning of the Second World War, the 135 further cemented its reputation, taking 2nd overall at Le Mans in 1937 and 1st, 2nd, and 4th the following year. Outside of Le Mans, Delahaye 135s also took 1st at the Rallye Monte Carlo in 1937 and 1939.

Following the conclusion of the War, production of the Type 135 resumed and continued with the same 3.6-liter engine used before the war. By this time, the company was nearing its end, as the French government had placed large taxes on cars with displacement over three liters. Even today, six decades after the final Delahaye was produced, the famous 135-series cars remain very highly regarded as some of the most compelling French automobiles ever produced.

CHASSIS NUMBER 800410

The early post-war Delahaye 135 M offered here, chassis number 800410, was beautifully crafted by the famed French coachbuilder A. Guilloré as a five-passenger coach, with excellent and well-proportioned lines and styling. According to the current owner, the car was subsequently delivered to an original owner in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where it was acquired in 1952 by Canadian enthusiast Ralph McNight and exported to Quebec. Subsequent Québécois owners were Jean Charest and Leon Frechon, before the current owner purchased the car in 1960.

In over half a century of care, the car has had its original “matching numbers” engine gone over and fitted with new bearings, during a thorough overall of the chassis before a full body-off restoration, performed in 1993 by well-known Canadian craftsman Peter Fawcett. The body was refinished in a subtle and attractive two-tone metallic color scheme, which contrasts beautifully with the handsomely appointed red leather interior. The owner reports that the car has always been well maintained during his ownership, including recent re-lining of the brakes and new batteries. It is accompanied by a collection of original paperwork, including owner’s and parts manuals, and documentation of ownership back to 1953, as well as by various spares, including a rare manifold for the factory triple-carburetor option.

Offered from an excellent long-term home, this stylish Delahaye would be a wonderful addition to the collection of any connoisseur of French motor cars.

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