<b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700
Lot 236
1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe
Coachwork by Henri Chapron
Chassis no. 48700
Engine no. 48700
Sold for US$ 297,000 inc. premium

Lot Details
<b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700 <b>1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 48700 <br />Engine no. 48700
1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible Coupe
Coachwork by Henri Chapron

Chassis no. 48700
Engine no. 48700
3,557cc OHV Straight 6-Cylinder Engine
Single Downdraft Solex Carburetor
95bhp at 3,800rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Transverse Semi-Elliptic Leaf Spring Front and Live Axle with Semi-Elliptic Leaf Spring Rear Suspension
4-Wheel Mechanical Drum Brakes

*Beautiful Henri Chapron coachwork on the Competition chassis
*Impressively complete, unrestored condition
*A preservation class contender, or straightforward concours restoration
*CCCA Full Classic™


THE DELAHAYE 135

A few, notable, automobiles are powered by engines that step outside the bounds of convention to serve multiple purposes. Ford's Model A/B four, powering everything from street cars to farm tractors, is a prime example. Jaguar's XK six, while it never served a commercial vehicle purpose, proved its mettle in LeMans winning sports cars and staid saloons.

But, taking a large look at adaptability, no engine had more diverse applications than the pushrod overhead valve inline six that Jean François laid out for Delahaye's model 135 in the early Thirties. It powered camions, but also powered a LeMans winner, placing 1, 2, 4 in 1938. It won the most grueling rallies and cruised sedately in limousines and luxurious sedans. Its creation was almost an accident.

The post-World War I recession hit Delahaye hard. It survived, aided by a marriage of convenience with Chenard et Walcker and F.A.R. Tractor, but as the Depression took hold a few years later a change in its business plan was needed. Delahaye's director, Charles Weiffenbach, "Monsieur Charles" – some say at the urging of Ettore Bugatti – initiated a drastic change in Delahaye's product strategy to create a performance image.

The vehicle for Delahaye's new direction was the Superluxe and its sports sibling, the Delahaye Type 135. Designed by Jean François under the direction of Delahaye's technical director Amédée Varlet the Superluxe and Type 135 engine, a long stroke, four main bearing inline six with pushrod-operated overhead valves, became one of the most versatile, long-lived engine designs in history.

Jean François was hard at work on a new chassis, the Type 135, to complement the more powerful engine. The chassis was particularly advanced for its time, with boxed rectangular rails, a central crossmember weldment and a welded-in floor that contributed additional stiffness and rigidity. The front suspension was independent using its transverse leaf spring as the lower control arm. The semi-elliptical leaf spring live rear axle was conventional, but also reliable and well controlled for predictable handling and the underslung frame dropped Delahaye's chassis and center of gravity so close to the ground it became a favorite of the finest coachbuilders.

Introduced at the 1935 Paris Salon, Delahaye offered the new Type 135 with both single and triple downdraft carburetor induction systems in addition to two engine sizes, 3,227cc (18 CV) and 3,557cc (20 CV), giving buyers the choice of 95hp, 120hp and two 110hp configurations. The Type 135 remained Delahaye's mainstay into the 1950's, a strong and powerful basis for both sedans and sporting vehicles, not to mention the company's recognized line of trucks.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

While Figoni & Falaschi, LeTourneur et Marchand, Guilloré, Pourtout, Saoutchik and Franay graced Delahaye Type 135 chassis with some of their best and most imaginative work it is Paris coachbuilder Henri Chapron whose prolific work defines the Delahaye style with long hoods, teardrop fenders and sleek, compact passenger compartments.

This 1939 Delahaye 135M Competition Convertible is a beautiful example of Henri Chapron's work. Built on the Competition chassis with single Solex carburetor 3,557cc 95 horsepower engine, it has a 4-speed manual transmission with synchromesh on the top three gears and sits low and tight to the ground with teardrop fenders, round hood side vents between chrome accent strips, free-standing BLC headlights with sealed beam bulbs, Marchal fog lights, cowl-mounted trafficators, leaf spring 4-spoke steering wheel, centerlock wire wheels with wide whitewall tires, rear-hinged doors and a sharply raked one piece windshield. The covered spare is inset on the deck lid. A chrome beltline molding extends from the radiator surround back through the doors, then falls smoothly to the tail.

It is a wonderful, unrestored car that is essentially complete and ready for restoration. The driver's door has an 11/21/53 lubrication sticker from Froelich Oil Company in Junction City, Kansas showing 28,900 as the mileage, the same reading the odometer shows today. The metallic green paint is what would be expected from an old car painted in the Fifties, and may have been applied over black original paint. The green leather upholstery is cracked but usable for patterns and the old beige cloth top should serve the same purpose.

The Delahaye Type 135 in all its variants is recognized by the Classic Car Club of America as a Full Classic™ and this is a rare opportunity to acquire one of the finest French classics of the Thirties with open four-seat coachwork by Henri Chapron offering the prospect of a concours-winning restoration. Better than that, it runs and drives despite some four decades in storage and could be toured after mechanical attention to the delight of onlookers and collectors.

Its availability in such well preserved, highly complete, largely original condition is a singular opportunity.

Saleroom notices

  • Since publication it has been determined that this Delahaye was delivered new from the Chapron workshop on October 1937, not 1939.
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