Monterey | Lot 142
1934 Delage D8 Sports Tourer
$224,000 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
24 August 2018
- No-expense-spared restoration
- High-quality two-seat sports body
- Up-rated to “S” performance
The D8 was Louis Delage’s pièce de résistance, the work of chief engineer Maurice Gualtier. With a four-liter, five-main-bearing straight-eight, it made 105 bhp and was possessed of a smoothness and silence that put it in Hispano territory, rivaling Bentley.
Delage also offered a sports version, the D8S. Available only on the short, 130-in. wheelbase, the car had a lowered chassis and an engine with higher compression and revised camshaft profile, resulting in 120 bhp. The Autocar tested one to 99 mph, then demonstrated a 0–60 time of 15 seconds, a remarkable feat and better than a supercharged Bentley.
This Delage D8 was sent out new to Tasmania, just off the southeastern coast of Australia. The second owner was on King Island, just north of Tasmania, and by 1985 it had been purchased by Paul Rodis of Melbourne, Victoria, on the mainland. Rodis undertook some work on the car, but sold it to Antony Osborne in 2001.
Osborne, an enthusiastic collector and owner of The Delage Garage in Richmond, Victoria, commenced a thorough, no-expense-spared restoration. The decision was taken to replace the car’s original saloon coachwork with a newly commissioned two-seat sports body suitable for rallying and touring. Trimmed in rich tan leather, it has carpets edged to match, Jaeger instruments, and all the appropriate appointments.
The engine and transmission were entrusted to Grant Cowie of Creek Workshop, a well-known Bentley and Delage specialist. The complete rebuild involved upgrading to “S” performance, which involved four SU carburetors and a new, free-flowing exhaust manifold. After replacing all pistons, connecting rods, bearings and timing chain, regrinding the camshaft and crankshaft, and re-boring valve guides, the entire engine was fully balanced. The gearbox and water pump were also rebuilt, along with the hydraulic brakes and synchromesh gearbox. New ring and pinion gears in the axle give a ratio that best suits the new body and up-rated engine.
Fuel delivery and ignition have been tuned to produce circa 120 bhp, resulting in a better power-to-weight ratio than many of its contemporaries and making the car capable of 100 mph motoring. With about 1,000 miles running since the restoration, it starts easily on the button and is ready to be rallied worldwide, in the likes of Mille Miglia and the Colorado Grand. It will be equally at home at prestige concours d’elegance.
The car is accompanied by a voluminous leather-bound Delage history file, detailing the mechanical work and numerous photos of the body constructed by one of Victoria’s best coachbuilders. A matching-numbers automobile arriving directly from Australia, it has been restored to the highest standard, and the quality is abundantly apparent in the way it runs and drives.