Bonjour, this gorgeous creature is a 1938 Delahaye 135 and it’s located somewhere in the UK, the listing doesn’t say where exactly. It’s listed here on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $50,000 or make an offer.
How this car is still for sale at a paltry $50,000 is beyond me. In fact, instead of writing this I should be grabbing $60,000 out of my retirement account to buy this car sight unseen and have it shipped to the finest restoration shop. With the last 8 sales of Delahaye 135s averaging $1,057,999 – yeah! If a full restoration was $200,000, how is this not the steal of the year at $50,000? Of course, some of those 8 cars were Cabriolets and special models which sold for $1,000,000-$2,000,000. But, even if this car is only worth $300,000-$400,000 after restoration, it still seems like a no-brainer and a great investment to me.
The Delahaye 135 is informally known as the “Coupe des Alpes” because of its success in Alpine rallies. Could you imagine driving this car in a race through the Alps in the late-1930s, or even now?! Man, what a life that would be! The 135 was made in several body styles from 1935 to 1954 with only around 2,000 cars being made in total; adding to the rarity of this beauty. This particular car looks a little rough around the edges as you can see from the oddly-pitted metalwork. The seller says that this “car was completely dismantled for restoration. The body is restored from bare metal, no rust at all, no filler anywhere. wood is reconstructed, all super solid.” I’m not sure if I have the same definition of “restored” as they do. But, this seller has a great feedback rating and they deal in rare and exotic cars and car parts, so maybe I’m missing something on the seemingly-amateuristic “restoration” that has been done on (to?) this gorgeous car.
Mmmmm mmm, that’s one sexy car! I’m not sure who did the restoration, but if what the seller says is true it’s a solid basis for a real, proper, concours restoration; Pebble-Beach-style. And, if my math is correct, spending $200,000 on turning this car into a like-new machine again would prove to be a rock-solid investment. You would literally never lose money on a car like this one if it was restored by the best shop in the world. No more of this Maaco, oddball blue color/colour over pitted, wrinkly bodywork stuff, let’s get this car back to the level that it deserves to be at.
Save $25,000-$50,000 of the budget for the interior. It looks like these seats would be mouse heaven. You’ll want to redo it with the exact same materials if you plan on bringing home a trophy from Amelia Island or Pebble Beach, which would mean sourcing the correct, very organic, “stuffing” material. At least the wood framing is in good shape, according to the seller. The classic Jaeger gauges are like jewels and the dash board (literally) looks to be in decent shape; definitely restorable to keep things as original as possible. You’re not going to want to cut a hole in this dash to add a 1970s Kraco cassette deck like you put in your ’77 Malibu.
Save $50,000 for the engine and drivetrain. Now we’re getting dangerously close to my $200,000 restoration estimate! In fact, the seller says that the steering box and radiator are missing. “Hello, AutoZone? Yeah, I’ve got a ’38 Delahaye 135 and.. I say, a 1938 Delahaye 135 and.. click.. hello?” I think my estimate was way low, possibly half of what it would take to properly restore this car to concours condition. This engine is Delahaye’s 2.3L inline-six that evolved from their truck engines. This one has an upgraded 110 hp due to its three-carb setup, so that’s a nice discovery. Shifting through those four gears with this car in the Alps, or anywhere, would be a dream come true. This is the car of a lifetime for almost anyone on earth, sans maybe Jay Leno and the Sultan of Brunei. What do you think of this Delahaye 135? Could this potentially be a great deal if a person had some extra pocket change to have it restored properly?