Here’s a head scratcher. This Delahaye could be one of the most beautiful cars ever built. It also ranks among the most valuable. Yet, somehow this particular one fell victim of what appears to be an amautuar restoration that was never finished. The seller is a dealer and apparently isn’t even sure what year the car is. The title says 1938, but someone told them the engine is from a 1936 135M? Lots of unknowns here, but there has to be someone out there with concours ambitions who knows what they are looking at. Find it here on eBay where bidding ends tomorrow morning.
Perhaps the restoration work done is better than it appears in the photos, but I have a feeling you will need to redo a lot here in order to get invited to any events. Then again, it’s not everyday that you see one of these aluminum bodied beauties. These make regular appearances in coffee table books about the world’s most beautiful cars. They were pretty advanced too with a fast-shifting electric transmission appearing in 1937. I wonder if this one has it? Believe it or not, these cars had some velocity to go with their good looks too. They did quite well in rallies and races and there were even a few different high performance models built. Wins at Le Mans and Monte Carlo cemented the car’s status.
The six cylinder engine found in this car may have been derived from Delahaye’s truck engine, but it had a shorter stroke for quick revs and was capable of top speeds exceeding 100mph. The seller mentions that this engine could be from a 135M – which was a higher displacement version of the original car. There were different displacements available and multiple carb setups. As you can see, this one has three carburetors. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s from an M though. Apparently, you could get this same setup on the base engine. No wonder there’s so much confusion. There was a lot to these cars and a lot of time has passed since they were new. Records have been lost and memories have become blurred. Surely, there are a few people dedicated to the preservation of these wonderful machines?
This one is going to need a lot of attention before it’s going to drive across that 18th fairway. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it there someday though. As the years go on, many automotive marvels are forgotten. It’s hard to have nostalgia for a car this old, but luckily there is a small group of people who keep the flame alive. Some of them are motivated by money, but I’m sure a few just have appreciation for an era when cars were much more than transportation. What do you think – is this Pebble Beach material?