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1949 Delahaye 135 MS by Viotti - 1 of 3 For Sale

£325,000 As stated

Price £325,000As stated
Ad Type For Sale
Category Classic Cars
Make Delahaye
  Delahaye 135 MS by Viotti
Year 1949
Country United Kingdom
Region Norfolk
Status Trade
Ref C1329156
1949 DELAHAYE 135 MS by Carrozzeria Viotti of Turin
At the 1938 Paris Salon, Delahaye launched the new Type 135 - the 135 MS (Modifiée Spéciale). It had a thoroughly re-worked version of the existing 3. 5-litre six-cylinder engine with triple carburettors, mated to the Cotal 4-speed selector gearbox.
This particular 135 MS, resplendent in dark blue paintwork with beige leather interior and matching convertible roof, was registered new on 1st November 1949 and is believed to be 1 of 3 produced with Carrozzeria Viotti coachwork. Only two of those are currently known to exist, making this an exceptionally rare automobile.
Carrozzeria Viotti was an Italian coachbuilder based in Turin, that was founded in 1921 by Vittorio Viotti. Also based in Turin, Carrozzeria Pininfarina was founded in 1928 and is one of the most famous Italian coachbuilders. They are still designing cars today, but were well known as coach builders for Lancia, Isotta Fraschini, Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari. They were responsible for the cabriolet coachwork of the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport at the same time that Viotti built the 135 MS. Both coachworks have similarities, and they are undeniably striking in their appearance.
This 135 MS has only had two previous owners. The first owner kept the car until 1988, where it resided in the Vaud region of Switzerland. It remained in Switzerland with the subsequent owner who lived in Mettmenstetten. He embarked on a total restoration, that was completed over a 10 year period. In 2015, it won ‘Best in Show’ at the 19th Raid Suisse-Paris Concours d’Elegance. It was also recently selected to exhibit at the prestigious 2020 Concours d’Elegance at Hampton Court.
The name Delahaye is associated with one of the oldest French automobile factories, established in 1894. Delahaye lasted a mere 60 years compared to its contemporaries, such as, Peugeot, Bugatti and Citroen, which continue manufacturing vehicles today. Delahaye automobiles remain one of the most collectable in the world of classic vehicles, which is due in part to the rarity of many surviving models. Delahaye collaborated with a variety of legendary coachbuilders, which resulted in the unique styling of many individual cars.
Although short-lived, the Delahaye marque has a fascinating history. Delahaye was founded in the 1890’s by Emile Delahaye in his hometown of Tours, France. His cars performed well in motor races, such as the 1896 Paris-Marseilles, which led to increasing demand. In order to expand production, he partnered with a customer and fellow racer, Georges Morane. They subsequently included Leon Desmarais, Morane’s brother-in-law, as a partner and moved the engineering factory to Paris. Sadly, in 1901 Emile had to resign due to ill health, selling his shares to his partners. He passed away in 1905.
Not only did Delahaye produce excellent cars, but they were also known for manufacturing trucks, powerboats, firefighting equipment and industrial engines. In 1933 Delahaye again channelled its efforts towards producing prestige and racing cars. While Delahaye continued manufacturing commercial vehicles and other industrial equipment, the luxury vehicle became the company’s hallmark. They acquired the prominent marque and racecar company Delage, which led to the launch of the type 135, the car that would become the car manufacturer’s legacy.
The Delahaye 135, also known as "Coupe des Alpes" after its success in the Alpine Rally, was first presented in 1935 and signified Delahaye's decision to build sportier cars than before. The 3. 2-litre overhead valve straight-six with four-bearing crankshaft was derived from one of Delahaye's truck engines and was also used in the more sedate, longer wheelbase Delahaye 138. The 135 featured independent, leaf-sprung front suspension, a live rear axle, and cable operated Bendix brakes. 17-inch spoked wheels were also standard. Transmission was either a partially synchronised four-speed manual or four-speed Cotal pre-selector gearbox.
Competition 135’s set the all-time record at the Ulster Tourist Trophy and competed in the Mille Miglia in 1936 and the 1938 24 Hours of Le Mans. The list of independent body suppliers offering to clothe the 135 chassis includes top coachbuilders of the time, including Figoni et Falaschi, Guilloré, Pourtout, Saoutchik, Antem and Chapron.
The production of this type 135 extended over 20 years - until Delahaye was taken over by the Hotchkiss company in 1955.
Please note that this vehicle (#800574) is currently registered in Switzerland.
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