1939 Delahaye 135MS "Speciale" by Figoni et Falaschi

1939 Delahaye 135MS "Speciale" by Figoni et Falaschi

Delahaye had its beginnings in the late 19th century in Tours, France. Delahaye automobile manufacturing would be established in 1894 by Emile Delahaye. The company would soon gain a reputation for their reliable trucks. The company wanted to change their reputation.

Delahaye would set to work designing a new and exciting car. Jean Francois, the company's designer, would start with a 3.2-liter straight-six engine that had been created based upon one of the company's successful truck engines. From there he would design a car around it. In 1935, Francois and Delahaye would introduce the 135, which was also known as 'Coupe des Alpes'.

The 135 would feature independent, leaf-sprung front suspension and a live rear axle. The car's engine could produce 95 hp with twin carburetors, but that number could go up to 110 hp with three downdraught Solex carburetors. Applying the power to the wheels came via either a four-speed Cotal pre-selector or a four-speed manual that was partially synchronized.

The car would immediately catch the eye of many racers and the car would enjoy a good deal of success. But it would get even better when the 'M' model, which stood for competition version, was introduced in 1936. This model 135 would have a larger bore 3.5-liter engine with triple carburetors. Now the Delahaye 135 could reach speeds of around 110 mph and had the reliability to take full advantage of it.

Delahaye had begun to change its image. It would be taken a step further when 'Grand Carrosseries', like Figoni et Falaschi, would begin designing exquisitely elegant bodywork over the sporty 135 frame. One such example of the body styles to have been so beautifully mated to the raw performance was what would become known as the 135MS 'Speciale'.

Only five of such bodywork styling was ever known to be constructed and this car is one of the only known example to have survived.

Descriptions & pictures by conceptcarz & rmsothebys & en.wheelsage

Production Start 1939
Country of origin France