1937 Delahaye 145 Franay Cabriolet

1937 Delahaye 145 Franay Cabriolet

One of an estimated five Delahaye 145 Grand Prix cars built, this chassis is believed to have been raced in period. Although opinions vary, it may have been the car used for the famous Million Franc race. After the War, it was acquired by a French enthusiast, who entrusted the car to coach-builder Franay for conversion into a road-going sports car. While the racing engine was retained, the competition body was quickly discarded and replaced by particularly striking Cabriolet style coach-work. It was ready in time for the 1946 Paris Auto Salon, where it, understandably, was one of the stars of the show. It later also won the the 1947 International Concours d'Elegance.

Sold on in 1953, it changed hands several times before it was acquired by French designer Philippe Charbonneaux. Intrigued by the car's competition origins, he removed the Franay Cabriolet metalwork and had a new cycle-fender body built and fitted. Slightly modified to suit the different chassis, the Franay panels were mounted on Delahaye 135 underpinnings. At one point the two cars were separated, until they joined the same American collection in more recent years. Since then, the replica Grand Prix body was removed and the Franay coach-work refitted.

The work was ready in time for the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, where the unique Delahaye 145 Franay Cabriolet won its class and was one of the nominees for 'Best of Show'.

Descriptions & pictures by ultimatecarpage & conceptcarz & montesquieuvolvestre & Other

Production Start 1937
Country of origin France