<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>

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Lot 10
1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 DOUBLE PARE-BRISE

Sold for US$ 450,000 inc. premium
1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 DOUBLE PARE-BRISE
Coachwork by Rothschild

Chassis no. 6563
Engine no. 6563

7,990cc Inline 6-Cylinder
Approximately 100bhp at 1,500rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Leaf Spring Suspension – Dual Rear Wheels
2-Wheel Mechanical Drum Brakes

*Majestic brass-era car in superb state of historical preservation
*Imposing coachwork by famous French coachbuilder
*Legendary large displacement engine with extravagant specification
*Few previous owners and unbroken chain of ownership



Automobiles Delaunay-Belleville

Julien Belleville began making boilers for marine steam engines sometime around 1850. In 1867, Louis Delaunay, became a partner in the company and married Belleville's daughter. He became sole owner and changed his and the company's name to Delaunay-Belleville. As the company grew, it became an industrial manufacturer of boilers for locomotives and ships, as well as a supplier for battleships in the French navy. In 1903, Louis Delaunay-Belleville recruited Marius Barbarou from Benz, and S.A. des Automobiles Delaunay-Belleville was registered. Barbarou also came from a family of boilermakers and had worked for several early French manufacturers. He became responsible for engineering and design, and one of his first efforts was the round hood and radiator, which became a signature styling element of the marque. The first Delaunay-Belleville automobile was shown at the 1904 Paris Salon. It was an advanced four-cylinder design, machined to a high standard.

The marque quickly established itself as a prestige maker of powerful, silent and fast automobiles. A Delaunay-Belleville was expensive, of superior quality, and technically state-of-the-art. Innovations included some of the earliest pressure-lubricated camshafts and water-cooled brakes. In 1906, Tsar Nicholas II purchased a 40 hp Delaunay-Belleville, the first of several. King George I of Greece and King Alphonso XIII of Spain also owned sumptuous Delaunays. In 1906, Delaunay-Belleville introduced the first six-cylinder chassis in France, the enormous 70 hp that became known as the Type SMT, or Sa Majesté le Tsar, as Nicholas II bought one of the early cars and a second in 1909. In 1910, a silent starter that could be operated from the driver's seat was made standard. Known as the Barbey starter, it was introduced three years before Charles F. Kettering developed the electric self-starter for Cadillac.

The massive O6 chassis was launched in late 1913, a few months before the beginning of World War I. It was a natural progression from the previous exclusive models, and the dual-ignition 8-liter engine was a technical tour de force: six cylinders cast in two blocks of three, sidevalves, full pressure lubrication, and an oil pump driven directly from the camshaft. In keeping with Delaunay-Belleville's marine heritage, the oil pump was designed like a small steam engine where an oscillating piston pumped and distributed the oil. A pressure gauge is fitted to the dashboard, and pump action can be controlled by the driver. 100 horsepower was developed at a very conservative 1,500 rpm, and power was fed through a multiplate dry clutch, another recent Delaunay-Belleville innovation.

Production was curtailed by the War, and it is believed that a mere 55 O6 chassis were built. Only a few were constructed prior to hostilities, and with the exception of chassis 6563, they were requisitioned by the authorities when the War broke out. The remaining O6 chassis were manufactured for senior military personnel, but production was discontinued at the end of 1916, as it was deemed too costly and extravagant, even for the highest-ranking generals.


J. Rothschild et Fils

J. Rothschild et Fils was a prominent early French coachbuilder and one of the first to develop advanced metal shaping techniques. Importantly, chassis 6563 has retained its original body and panels, made of a seldom seen composite of aluminum and tungsten, while the fenders are made of sheet steel. Introduced by Rothschild as early as 1898, the alloy used for the body panels was called partinium. It is rare indeed that the panels on such a body remain intact more than a century after they were hammered out by hand.


The Motorcar Offered

It is believed that 6563 is one of the first ten O6 chassis built by Delaunay-Belleville. The standard O6 wheelbase was 3.58 m. With a chassis length of 3.74 m, 6563 is one of the very few long wheelbase cars made. It was purchased new by Édouard Daubrée, co-founder of Michelin et Cie., developer of the earliest pneumatic tire and a household name today. In late 1913, French president Raymond Poincaré visited the Dordogne, where 6563 was part of the motorcade arranged in his honor by l'Automobile Club du Périgord. It is likely that 6563 may have been the only O6 that was not requisitioned by the military in August 1914. At the end of the War, it was presented to Pierre de Brou de Laurière, a nephew of Édouard Daubrée, and registered in his name in the town of Périgueux in the Bordeaux area.

In 1920, electric lighting was fitted. In 1924 and 1928, 6563 was returned to the factory for major work, including renovation of the engine and transmission. The car was still in the ownership of M. de Brou de Laurière in 1939 when the next war threatened. As German troops drew close, 6563 was hidden from the Nazis like so many other rare and desirable automobiles in the French countryside. The wheels were separated from the car and walled up in another house, a common trick. During the occupation of France, wheels and tires soon became impossible to find, and even if the Germans should stumble over the car itself, it would have been useless to them with nothing to roll on. So 6563 survived. Forgotten by the world and after 47 years of storage, it was discovered in 1986 by a young member of the Brou de Laurière family. The car was dismantled at that time, overhauled mechanically, given a sympathetic repaint, and a new convertible top was fitted. The car then remained in the Brou de Laurière family until it was sold at auction in February 2012, after an extraordinary total of 99 years.

History emanates from every nut and bolt of this unprecedented Delaunay-Belleville: it retains its century-old body and engine, as well as many of its original accessories. In addition, there is unbroken and verifiable ownership for a total of 103 years. This confluence of circumstances is indeed rare, and chassis 6563 is in every way a unique survivor. Firing this great automobile up, feeling it awaken and come to life is an event in itself. The thunder of the 103 year old engine has to be heard to be believed. The beat of each piston as it travels up and down the cylinders creates a sound that speaks to the deepest emotions of anyone who admires the extravagant mechanicals of the largest and greatest automobiles of a century ago. When driven, the feeling of great power and torque going to the double rear wheels is exhilarating. In its historical state of preservation, this extremely rare Delaunay-Belleville Type O6 45/50 is a truly significant remnant from the early age of motoring that allows us to go through the looking glass and enter a bygone era. It is a true supercar of its day.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the title for this car is in transit.
Contacts
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
<b>1913 DELAUNAY-BELLEVILLE TYPE O6 45/50 <i>DOUBLE PARE-BRISE</i></b>
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