Delage

Contact us when you are serious about buying or selling a fine Delage Motorcar.

We typically handle the following Delages'

1920-1930: DE & DI

D6: 70 Figoni & Falaschi

D8: 120S Pourtout coupé, 120 Chapron Cabriolet

Course: 2LCV & 15 S8-1500

We buy, sell, broker, locate, consign and appraise exceptional classic, sports and collector Delage

Contact Us to arrange a free and confidential valuation with a view to selling.

Delage; ne faire qu'une chose, mais la bien faire

Pierre Louis Adolphe Delâge was born into a lower class family on March the 22nd 1874 in the town of Cognac in the Charente département of France.

As a child he lost the sight in his left eye, however this did not prevent him from creating some of the most elegant and beautiful automobiles of the pre-WW2 era, and into the early 1950s.

His career began at a trade school Arts & Metiers in the city of Angers, from where he graduated with an engineering degree in 1893.

His employment included work in Algeria, but in 1900 he moved to Paris where he was employed in the engineering and design department of Peugeot, from where he was made an offer to join the fledgling Renault in 1903.

In 1905 he borrowed Fr 35.000 to open his own assembly plant in a converted barn on the Rue Cormeilles in Levallois-Perret on the outskirts of Paris.

The Delage Automobile Company grew rapidly and their vehicles soon gained a reputation for their stylish appearance and quality and as a dominant force in motor racing.

Delâge had a strong loyalty to France, and he endeavoured to build cars that would bring honour to his country. He began racing in 1906 and gained some early success.

By 1913, he had constructed a racing machine worthy of claiming the Grand Prix de France. His racing machines continued to evolve. In 1914, they featured double overhead camshafts and brakes on all four wheels.

René Thomas drove a Delage in the 1914 Indianapolis 500 where he emerged victorious. In 1924, he set a land speed record at just over 230 km/h.

During WW1, the newly built factory on the Boulevard de Verdun in Courbevoie was used for the production of military items.

During the mid-1920s, the Golden Era of Delage automobiles, the Delage racing cars were powered by supercharged eight cylinder engines displacing 1.5 L.

In 1927, Robert Benoist drove a Delage with an in-line eight cylinder engine to victories in The Grand Prix de France, the Spanish Grand Prix, the British Grand Prix at Brooklands and the Grand Prix of Europe at Monza.

After this brilliant accomplishment, Delâge announced his retirement from racing. Delâge left the sport on a high note, but there were troubled times ahead. The Great Depression of the 1930s took its toll and car sales plummeted.

By 1935 his company was forced into liquidation. A Delage dealer named Walter Whatley purchased the company's assets. This proved to be a pipedream for him, and soon he was looking for aid from an automotive partner who could help with the costs of engineering, development and manufacturing.

Luckily he found the assistance he was looking for at Delahaye. An agreement was reached which allowed the Delâge name to continue.

In 1934 Louis Delâge was nearly 60 years old when he found himself in a personal financial crisis made worse by his divorce. He sought solace in his Roman Catholic faith, and because he was too poor to afford a car, he often made the pilgrimage on foot or by bicycle to the sacred convent of Saint Thérèse in the city of Lisieux and to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes.

In 1947, at the age of 73 and living in near poverty, an almost forgotten Louis Delâge died. He is interred in the local cemetery in Le Pecq, a small town at the far westerly suburbs of Paris.

In 1990, in his hometown of Cognac, the - Lycée professionnel Louis Delâge - industrial school was dedicated in his memory.

VIA THEMA

  • Geneva - Switzerland
  • +41 (0) 787.055.745

“ your classic auto specialist; world-wide collector car expertise ”

We buy, sell, broker, locate, consign and appraise exceptional classic, sports and collector automobiles, arrange transport, customs formalities and registration.

Jaguar, Ferrari and Maserati expertise, though our collection includes a wide variety of other superior antique, vintage, prewar and race cars.

Contact us when you are serious about owning or selling a fine classic motor car or motorcycle. Geneva, Switzerland-based, we serve clients world-wide.

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