1911 Delahaye 43A Charabanc
- Formerly of the well-known Michael Banfield Collection
- Beautiful recent restoration
- Great parade vehicle, perfect for friends and family
- Upgraded tires, brakes, and electric system for enhanced drivability
The origins of Delahaye lie in a company set up as long ago as 1845 to produce brick-making machinery. Emile Delahaye was a railroad engineer who designed rolling stock for the French and Belgian railroads. He designed his first car similar to the German Daimler in 1895. Two years later he sold the company to two Paris-based industrialists – Leon Desmarais and George Morane. He remained with the company but retired in 1901 due to poor health. Now located in Paris, the company became involved in a variety of engineering projects.
This 1911 Delahaye began life as a fire engine built by Societe Generale du Carrosserie et de Charonage of Paris serving southeast France. After very little time in service, it was replaced by a larger unit capable of covering a bigger area. Following its decommission, the Delahaye went to the Musee de l’Automobile du Sud-Est in St. Cannat, Provence, where it remained for many years. The museum closed in 1973 and the vehicle was purchased by Michael Banfield, a well-known British fire apparatus enthusiast. Banfield kept the vehicle for 40 years, all the while intending to restore it, though never doing so.
A new owner commissioned a ground-up restoration in 2014 while having the 12-seater charabanc-style body fitted to the chassis along with a removable canvas roof. Lots of brass, including a winged Moto-Meter, windscreen, twin coach lamps, and period King of the Road headlamps provide a bit of extravagance.
Power is supplied by a 3.0-liter four-cylinder, side-valve engine with a Ferodo-type cone clutch and three-speed transaxle connected to a dual chain driven rear axle. As a concession to modern convenience, a battery, charging system, and electric starter have been added along with metal brakes converted to Ferodo friction linings. The wooden rims have been upgraded to accommodate pneumatic tires, offering a more comfortable ride.
Restoration of this unique vehicle was completed in 2016. It is an ideal vehicle like no other to promote one’s business, participate in parades, or to take the whole family on excursions . . . with room for friends, too!