- Handsome formal coachwork by Franay
- Well-preserved restoration
- A Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
The D8-100 was the first of the sumptuous sporting eight-cylinder Delage automobiles to be built under the auspices of the firm’s onetime competitors, Delahaye. It featured an enlarged engine, producing roughly 100 brake horsepower and mated to the Cotal pre-selector transmission on either a 132- or 143-inch-wheelbase chassis, permitting the fitment of many types of coachwork. These bodies were made for the crème of European society by the continent’s finest coachbuilders, including Franay of Paris, known for the exceptional quality of fit and finish of their beautifully designed work.
Chassis number 50770 was reportedly the fifth D8-100 produced and is the earliest known survivor. This is believed to have been one of five examples bodied as this handsome coupé chauffeur by Carrosserie Franay, all of which differed in the detail of their rear sheet metal; it is further currently the only one known to have survived. Delage historian Daniel Cabart indicates that when new the car was exhibited by Franay at the concours d’elegance at Deauville on 14 July 1936, and may have been the example shown on the coachbuilder’s stand at the Paris Salon later that October. It remained in France well into the 1950s, then made its way to the United States. In the 1960s it was acquired by early collector Fred Tycher of Dallas, Texas, in whose ownership the car underwent its first restoration; it was pictured in Automobile Quarterly, Volume 14, Number 2, and shown in CCCA competition in the early 1970s. Mr. Tycher’s daughter recalls riding in it at her wedding.
The Delage was later cosmetically restored to its present livery, a very appropriate formal black which looks spectacular on its lines, as well as lovely black leather and finely pinstriped soft grey cloth upholstery. The restoration shows only minor age and little use, and is still in very good condition throughout, excepting some leaks visible in the engine compartment. Typical of Franay, the level of detail throughout is wonderful to behold, including jewel-like marker and courtesy lights, and marvelous intricately inlaid wood cabinetry in the rear compartment, including to a folding picnic table that emerges from the division window bulkhead.
This is an exceptionally striking Delage—a wonderful piece for any collection of the finest French coachwork.