Delahaye Road Test Portfolio OUT OF PRINT


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  • ISBN: 9781855208810
  • Author:
  • Publ Date: 2010-02-01
  • Edition:
  • Binding: PaperBack
  • Pages: 140
  • Publisher:
  • Country of Publication:
  • ID - 42463


By any standards, the story of Delahaye is a remarkable one. The company founder, Emile Delahaye, displayed his first motorised vehicle at an exhibition in Paris in 1895 and after building a few more prototypes started production in a small factory at Tours. He drove one of his cars to 10th place overall in the1896 Paris-Marseilles-Paris race and also competed in other major motor racing events and, as a result, Delahaye quickly established a good reputation.

During the First World War the Delahaye factory manufactured rifles, aeroplane engine components and 1¢ ton army trucks. Along with a civilian version of the lorry, one of the first Delahaye vehicles to appear after the war was a motorised ploughing machine, and car production got going again in 1919 with a slightly revamped version of the pre-war Type 64. Later that year the Type 84 was introduced, plus a six-cylinder Type 82, and development continued throughout the 1920s.

Considering the historic status of the Type 135 with its flamboyant styling, it is somewhat amazing to discover that, until the 1940s, Delahaye didn't have an in-house body making facility and had to rely on a number of independent suppliers for coachwork. Henri Chapron in particular enjoyed an extremely cordial relationship with Delahaye, but coachbuilders like Figoni & Falaschi, de Villars and others also produced some outstanding bodies for them.

The German occupation in World War Two saw Delahaye's factories commandeered, but clever delaying tactics employed by the workforce restricted any useful output to a slow trickle. Civilian production of a 3¢ ton truck resumed in 1945, the first postwar car, the Type 135M, appearing the following year.

Unfortunately, the writing was on the wall for traditional luxury car makers such as Delahaye, their low sales figures out of step with the demand for cheap transportation manufactured in large volumes. Production of the Type 235 ended after only 85 cars had been built and merger negotiations with Hotchkiss brought things to a conclusion.

This book is a compilation of road & comparison tests, driving impressions & historical features tell of this marque's colourful heritage. Models covered: 12-16hp, 20-30hp, 23.8hp Drop-Head Coupe, 3.5-Litre, Club Coupe V-12, Type 135, Type 135M, Type 135MS, Type 135 Competition Type 145, Type 165, Type 175 S, Type 235 & Type 235-M.



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