- One of the great French gran routier chassis of its time
- Coachwork by a renowned coachbuilder; triple-carbureted engine
- Older restoration in attractive colors
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
Introduced in Paris in 1935, the Delahaye 135 featured a new chassis with a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine, succeeded the following season by the 135 M with a slightly larger powerplant offering single, dual, or triple carburetors for more horsepower. The model more than held its own in competition, sweeping the top six places at Marseilles in 1936, then in the following years would cement its lasting reputation by taking 2nd overall at Le Mans in 1937 and 1st, 2nd, and 4th the following year. Delahaye 135s also won the Rallye Monte Carlo in both 1937 and 1939.
Roadgoing Delahayes featured the same drivetrain as competition models, wrapped in some of the very finest coachwork crafted in Europe.
The 135 M offered here, chassis number 800217, features a handsome and subtle four-passenger coach by Guilloré, with prewar styling cues echoed in the aerodynamic taper of its front fenders with their distinctive “trouser creases” and freestanding Marchal headlamps. Titled as a 1946, its engine bears a casting date of 1945, and is crowned by three Solex carburetors. Indications are that the car was originally sold in England, as its firewall bears an importer’s plate from UK distributors Selborne Ltd. of Mayfair. It eventually made its way stateside and was restored by Restorations Unlimited of Chicago for Robert Hastert, owner of the landmark White Fence Farm restaurant. In 1985, it was shown in AACA judging by Frank Koeder, winning a National First Prize.
Since restoration, the car’s presentation has mellowed significantly, with minor areas of lifting and checking visible throughout the paintwork, and some age and discoloration to the cream leather interior. It boasts many desirable touches, however, such as the rear-mounted spare and a crank-operated sliding sunroof, and its styling and triple carburetors are sure to win it new fans in the years to come.