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DELAHAYE 135M COUPE BY HENRI CHAPRON For Sale (1948)
|Chassis number: 800977|
Engine number: 800977
Year built: 1948
The Delahaye factory did not dress any of their chassis.
Entrusted to the elite of coachbuilders, Henri Chapron would build the lionís share of Delahaye vehicles. For a number of years the Levallois specialist worked with Delahaye in such capacity as to make him, essentially, the factory coach-builder.
The basic design of this Chapron-bodied coupe is pre-WWII. However, as a post-WWII body, it comes from a time when all French coachbuilders were still adapting their earlier designs to the changing market conditions and desires of their customers.
The result, as seen on this particular car, is that the Forties automobiles are only slightly changed from their predecessors. The designs of Chapron were usually underlined with motifs of the beltline and dressings that have contributed to his reputation for stylish bodies.
Here, Henri Chapron created a new single color two door metal coupe which was built expressly for the 1948 Paris Salon. This luxurious car adopted dual chrome spears on the pontoon fenders, a fashion that would be seen that year on all the Chapron-bodied Delahayes. On this prototype the windshield was one piece, however bodies built later had a central metal rod dividing the glass.
This particular car is believed to be the prototype of the series. The production model differs in having chrome wheels with painted disks. The original car has a dark model color with dark interior and light pin-stripping on the seats. More research may be needed to establish this car as the prototype.
This grand sport coupe features unique grille design with a truncated central vertical bar supporting the relocated insignia within the grille. The interior is particularly well appointed in leather and treated to a somewhat more straightforward design than the exterior. The trunk is more a case of form following function; as it is capable of carrying several large pieces of luggage; making this car a true grand touring coupe.
Power is supplied by an in-line six cylinder engine, fitted with three downdraft Solex carburetors producing 115 horsepower. The transmission is a Cotal pre-selector gearbox.
It is believed that three coupes of similar design were made prior to WWII, and that three were made postwar, albeit with changes significant enough to warrant notice from those who specialize in this marque. The car may be considered a one-year design as in 1949 the cabriolet and the new coupe evolved with a narrowed grill and removal of the skirts on the back wheels.
The Delahaye archives show the original owner as the Marquis de Cuevas, Jorge Cuevas Bartholin. The following owners were named Vergnes, Ranos, Langlois, and Pigeon, all from France. An unconfirmed report indicates that at some point the car resided in Germany with two of its owners, before it was sold to the Netherlands.
Now available for viewing in our Kew showroom.