1930 Delage DR70 Tourer
Coachwork by James Flood & Co
Chassis no. 29663
2,516cc L-Head 6-Cylinder Engine
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Front and Rear Leaf Spring Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes
*Sporting Delage Tourer
*Brisk six-cylinder performance
*Eligible for many tours and rallies
*A fine French automobile for the connoisseur
*Exceptionally rare coachwork
Soon after moving to Paris around the turn of the last century, Louis Delage had established himself as a renowned engineer in local automotive circles. He worked at Peugeot for awhile, before founding Delage & Cie. near Levallois, a northwestern suburb of the French capital. Despite humble beginnings, Delage proved that he could be a serious constructor for some very fine automobiles.
By 1912, the company had grown considerably, and Mr. Delage and team had enjoyed great success at the Gran Prix courses around Europe. It was decided that the emphasis for growing the brand would be geared towards the upper end of the automobile market. They began producing a more powerful six-cylinder car, with a 2.5-liter engine designed by engineer Arthur-Leon Michelat and built in-house.
The six-cylinder cars evolved over the next decades, ultimately evolving into the DR model, introduced in 1927. Power came from an L-head unit with a Ricardo-type cylinder head; this engine was offered in two displacements, a 2177cc unit and the larger 2516cc version. The DR would become one of the best selling Delage automobiles of all time.
The Motorcar Offered
The sporting example offered here, chassis no. 29663, dates to 1929. Believed to have been exported to Australia in 1930 as a completed, right hand drive configured chassis, it was fitted with the larger 2,516cc six-cylinder Delage engine. Once in Australia, the new chassis was clothed by Melbourne-based coachbuilders, James Flood & Co. with a lightweight, sporting open touring body, the same as seen on the car today. An attractive design, the Delage features a low, vee'd windshield and ample space for four adults.
The Delage is believed to have been owned by a Mr. Vanderkelen, a consul for Belgium, until 1938, after which time it passed through a few other owners' hands before being acquired by a Mr. Ian de Beuzeville in the 1960's. During Mr. de Beuzeville's ownership the aging Delage was treated to a restoration, and would later be used extensively on tours and rallies by him. Around 2004, the car was imported to the United Kingdom, before joining a Spanish collection around 2007.
Finished in an appropriate dark shade of British racing green with contrasting black fenders, the Delage looks sporty and correct for the period. Displaying a nicely aged older restoration, the green interior shows a nice patina that invites further use. Fitted with many period performance upgrades such as headlight and radiator stone guards, black center lock wire wheels on black wall tires, and a racing-type wooden steering wheel, the Delage has good looks and sporting intentions. A wonderful prewar car for tours and rallies, offering brisk six-cylinder performance easily managed by the 4-speed gearbox and sizable brakes, this Delage deserves serious consideration.