22 May 1997
1947 DELAHAYE 135 MS CABRIOLET
COACHWORK BY CHAPRON
Chassis No. 800479
Ivory white with biscuit leather interior.
Engine: overhead valve, six-cylinder in-line 3,557cc with triple Solex carburettors; Gearbox: four-speed Cotal electrically operated epicyclic; Suspension: independent front with transverse leaf spring, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: cable operated drums all round. Right-hand drive.
Delahaye were one of the pioneer manufacturers in the motor industry having started car production in 1896. In 1936 the 3½ litre six cylinder Type 135 was introduced and became immediately successful, taking 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th places in the 1936 French Sports Car Grand Prix, as well as scoring successes in the 1937 and 1939 Monte Carlo Rallies and the 1939 Le Mans Race.
A Type 135 was imported to England when Prince Chula acquired it for 'Bira' to drive in the Donington 12 Hour Sports Car Race (partnered by H G Dobbs) which it won at 57.63mph. In 1939 a contest was organised to establish the 'fastest road car' in England and this event at Brooklands was won by the 'Bira' Delahaye, beating strong contenders such as a 2.9 litre Mille Miglia Alfa Romeo.
Production of the 135 was resumed after the war in 1946; Delahaye merged with Hotchkiss in 1953 but the name was dropped to become solely Hotchkiss from 1956.
A genuine MS model, this very pretty four seater cabriolet-bodied 135 has been owned by the vendor since 1973. It was restored some years ago since when it has had little use and is in good all round condition although it would benefit from some cosmetic work to the paint and detailed attention to the engine bay. The body is original with good panel fit, good chromium plating, new biscuit leather seats trim and brown carpets. The car is being sold with some copies of relevant manuals.
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