1909 Delaunay-Belleville H4 Belvalette Phaeton

1909 Delaunay-Belleville H4 Belvalette Phaeton

The French Delaunay-Belleville was an internationally coveted prestige car in the first decade of the 20th century. Produced under the exacting direction of manufacturing magnate Louis Delaunay-Belleville, the marque made its debut at the 1904 Paris Salon. The chassis, engineered by former Benz designer Marius Barbarou, featured a distinctive round radiator, patterned after the steam boilers the car's parent firm had long supplied for naval use.

An expensive car of obviously high quality, the Delaunay-Belleville was quickly embraced by aristocrats of numerous nationalities. By 1912, owners included King Alphonso XIII of Spain and King George I of Greece. Czar Nicholas II of Russia had several.

Production of the Type H4, such as offered here, occurred during 1908-1910 at the Delaunay-Belleville works, located near Paris in St Denis sur Seine. The H4's four-cylinder engine was rated at 15 taxable horsepower and featured an advanced pressurized proprietary oiling system originally developed for steam engines. A four-speed transmission was utilized.

One of France's most prominent carrossiers, Henri Labourdette, created the double phaeton coachwork seen on the offered Type H4. A four-passenger design, it is of the type favored at the time by exceedingly well-to-do motorists with sporting inclinations. Many Delaunay-Belleville chassis were saddled with heavy and conservative formal bodies, making this example's gracefully intimate bodywork all the more desirable.

Descriptions & pictures by 360carmuseum & other

Production Start 1909
Country of origin France