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

We typically handle the following Delahayes'

  • Figoni & Falaschi
  • Frères Dubois
  • Graber
  • Guilloré
  • Letourneur Marchand
  • Pinin Farina
  • Pourtout
  • Saoutchik
  • Viotto
  • Franay
  • Saoutchik
  • Antem
  • Barou
  • Beutler
  • Chapron
  • Faget Varnet
  • Figoni & Falaschi
  • Franay
  • Letourneur Marchand
  • Motto
  • Saoutchik

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

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

Delahaye Factory - Rue du Gazomètre 34 - Tours - France 1935 Delahaye 135 CS Blueprint Delahaye 235 Publication 1951 Delahaye 235 MS Cabriolet with Coachwork by Henri Chapron (chassis: 818003 - carosserie: 6943) delivered to W. Breitling - Geneva, Parc des Eaux-Vives, 1952 1952 Delahaye 235 (M?) Cabriolet with Coachwork by Antem (chassis: 818022) Delahaye 180 Brochure

1953 Delahaye 235 MS with Coachwork by Henri Chapron

Delahaye 235 MS by Henri Chapron

  • 1953
  • 62.588 km
  • Chassis: 818066
  • EU title
  • EU taxes paid
  • Sold

Delahaye - History

Delahaye automobile was an automotive manufacturing company founded in 1894 by Émile Delahaye in his home town, Tours, in France. His first cars were belt driven, with single- or twin-cylinder engines mounted at the rear. His Type One was an instant success, and he urgently needed investment capital and a larger manufacturing facility.

Both were provided by a new Delahaye owner and fellow racer, George Morane, and his brother-in-law Leon Desmarais, who partnered with Émile Delahaye in the incorporation of the new automotive company, Societe des Automobiles Delahaye, in 1898. All three worked with the foundry workers to assemble the new machines, but middle-aged Émile was not in good health.

In January 1901, he found himself unable to capably continue, and resigned, selling his shares to his two equal partners. Émile Delahaye died soon after, in 1905. Delahaye had hired two instrumental men, Charles Weiffenbach and Amédée Varlet in 1898, to assist the three partners.

Both were graduate mechanical engineers, and they remained with Delahaye their entire working careers. Weiffenbach was appointed Manager of Operations, and, with the blessing of both George Morane and Leon Desmarais, assumed control over all of Delahaye's operations and much of its decision-making, in 1906.

Amédée Varlet was the company's design-engineer, with a number of innovative inventions to his credit, generated between 1905 and 1914, which Delahaye patented. These included the twin-cam multi-valve engine, and the Vee-Six configuration. Varlet continued in this role until he eventually took over the Drawing Office, at 76 years of age, when 29 year old Jean François was hired in 1932 as chief design-engineer.

In 1932, Varlet was instructed by Weiffenbach, under direction from majority shareholder Madame Desmarais, Leon Desmarais' widow, to set up the company's Racing Department, assisted by Jean François. Those who knew him well at the factory affectionately referred to Charles Weiffenbach as Monsieur Charles.

Continually expanding, and under new ownership, Delahaye established itself as a builder of reliable and robust trucks, fine cars, industrial engines, and special service vehicles. In 1935 the company unveiled the Type 135, which was fitted with a powerful six-cylinder engine and would remain the basis of the company's racing projects for several years to come.

Victories at the prestigious Rallye Monte Carlo in 1937 and 1939 were followed by a win at the 24-hour race at Le Mans. Concurrently, Delahaye cars were earning top honours at various Concours d'Elegance with striking Art Deco coachwork from Europe's most renowned craftsmen at Figoni et Falaschi, Chapron, Saoutchik, Franay, and de Letourneur et Marchand, among others.

The Type 135 was followed by the 175 and 180 models, and finally by the Type 235, which would be the final car offered by the French firm. As had been the custom, Delahaye constructed the chassis and referred all custom bodywork to its various coachbuilders.

Although the chassis was very similar to that of the 135, it was modified to accommodate the full-width body styles typical of the 1950s. A large oval grille and two-tone colour schemes further defined the beautiful new Delahaye. While the prototype was designed by Philippe Charbonneaux for Motto of Turin, the final iteration of the car was designated Type 235, of which only 85 examples were ever produced.

The powerplant was likewise very similar to the 135's, although the 3.5-litre six-cylinder engine had greater compression and was fitted with three downdraft carburettors and a new camshaft. A single-carburettor model was still available.

With a top speed of approximately 160 km/h, the 235's performance rivalled that of the previous 4.5-litre models, and its handling abilities and driving manners were very respectable as well.

The inline six-cylinder was mated to a synchronized 4-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed electro-magnetic, pre-selector Cotal gearbox, which eliminated the use of the clutch and shift lever once the car was in motion.

It was, however, the final fling for this marque, for Hotchkiss took over Delahaye in 1954, and Delahaye cars were almost immediately put out of production. The war had not been kind to the marque, but many blamed the crippling post war taxation for the demise of this and other Grandes Routieres.

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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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