1928 Delage DR70 Weyman Saloon,

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Lot 329
1928 Delage DR70 Saloon
Registration no. YV 2757 Chassis no. 26290 Engine no. 922

Sold for £ 17,250 (US$ 23,308) inc. premium
1928 Delage DR70 Saloon
Registration no. YV 2757
Chassis no. 26290
Engine no. 922


  • Chassis number '26290', with engine number '922', was imported by J Smith & Co, Delage's main UK agents, who added the six-light Weymann saloon body. This reduced import duty and the DR70 retailed at around £600. The car was purchased new by R S (Reg) Dixon, of Brandon, Suffolk, managing director of Fox Umbrellas. It was first licensed on 27th April 1928 and taxed up to 1955.
    Reg Dixon had three children and one of their young neighbours in the 1930s was Peter Holmes, who later became a Ford dealer and garage owner in the same town of Brandon. Indeed, in 1955 he made his first new car sale to Reg Dixon, who was beginning to find the Delage too big for him. Some ten years later, Reg's widow asked Peter Holmes to take the Delage off her hands. Peter Holmes kept it in an old cowshed for another ten years before carrying out a certain amount of restoration in the mid-1970s, as recorded in a local press report of January 1975. He managed to drive it only 12 miles (on trade plates) before putting it back into store. A new-style V5 registration document was issued in his name in October 1983 and he then sold the car for £4,000 to the Sharpe brothers, of Essex for their collection, though it was neither used nor registered. Neither was it exhibited in the Ramsgate Motor Museum, operated until recently by the Sharpe family.
    The Delage was sold before the rest of the Sharpe collection was dispersed, and was bought by the current owner in March 1996. It was by then in a rather sorry state, even if it had - allegedly - been driven into the auction hall under its own power. If true, driving it without water could well have contributed to the later discovery of a cracked cylinder block!
    Restoration work did not start until a year later, when the new owner retired from fulltime employment, and the project was to continue on and off for another ten years. The body was removed and stored separately after repairs were carried out to the wooden frame. New ash was used to replace any defective timbers after stripping off all the outer fabric and the internal linings and upholstery. All the seats and doors were stripped bare before repairs and re-trimming commenced.
    By this time the engine was out, and the axles were removed to overhaul the road springs and renew their badly worn bronze bushes. The chassis itself was stripped of wiring, pipework and all other fittings. Cleaned down to bare metal and undercoated, the chassis then went off for re-spraying. Then followed a long process of reassembly. All the copper pipes were renewed and all brightwork re-plated in nickel (by London Chroming). The instruments were overhauled (by Vintage Restorations of Tunbridge Wells) and all six wheels re-spoked and shod with new tyres. The electrics were totally rewired and some modern driving aids such as stoplights, indicators, dipping halogen headlight bulbs, rear reflectors and a windscreen washer installed.
    The wings and bonnet were re-sprayed by Fourways Engineering, of Borough Green, who had also helped by repairing the spring shackles. The paint was chosen to match the colour of the Everflex material used for the car's exterior, which is itself as near as possible to the original 'Delage Blue'.
    Re-covering the exterior, attaching all the linings, making up carpets and re-upholstering was carried out in stages over many months, in West Malling, by John 'The Trim' Taylor, an ex-James Young craftsman, now retired. Several hides were needed for the leather in the seats and door linings. The rear luggage trunk was of later re-construction by the owner himself, using an old one picked up at auction as a pattern and for its fittings, which were re-plated.
    In 2003/4 the engine went away to Rugby for a total rebuild. The cylinder block was cracked and had to be stitched, then new cylinder liners were pressed in, new pistons sourced, bearings re-metalled, etc. After refitting the engine, there was still a lot of other jobs to do, including the remanufacture of a distributor and overhaul of the dynamo, before the Delage was given its first ever MoT test. The car was then re-licensed in August 2006 - a gap of 50 years since the last tax disc had expired!
    Unknown at that time was the fact that the remanufactured water pump spindle was a couple of millimetres too long and the impeller was binding against the inside of the cylinder block. When it stopped turning, the engine overheated disastrously and the rings became welded to the No. 1 piston. Out came the engine again for another re-bore, and the opportunity was taken at this time (2007) to overhaul the gearbox and fit a water temperature gauge and two electric fans. Very few miles were covered in 2007 and 2008.
    Accompanying the car is the owner's illustrated account of the restoration together with a ring-binder of technical information: drawings, commentaries, notes, parts list with (French explanations), etc; a ring-binder of correspondence and history since the second owner including all recent records, invoices, etc; six albums of photographs; a quantity of Delage Register newsletters, and an owner's manual (in English). In addition, a substantial quantity of spares and tools is included in the sale (full list available) and the car comes with all necessary keys.
    Described by the private vendor as in generally excellent condition, this wonderful example of 'La Voiture Chic' is offered with old-style buff logbook, old/current Swansea V5/V5C documents, current road fund licence and MoT to April 2011.

Saleroom notices

  • This car has a revised estimate of £14,000 - 18,000
1928 Delage DR70 Saloon  Chassis no. 26290 Engine no. 922
1928 Delage DR70 Saloon  Chassis no. 26290 Engine no. 922
1928 Delage DR70 Saloon  Chassis no. 26290 Engine no. 922
1928 Delage DR70 Saloon  Chassis no. 26290 Engine no. 922
1928 Delage DR70 Saloon  Chassis no. 26290 Engine no. 922
1928 Delage DR70 Weyman Saloon,
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