1949 Delahaye 135M Cabriolet by Chapron

1949 Delahaye 135M Cabriolet by Chapron

Delahaye was initially based at Tours and from 1906 in Paris. They built their first automobile in 1894 and soon diversified into commercial vehicle manufacture.

The Delahaye 135 was produced from 1935 until 1954, available in a variety of body styles, and designed by Jean François. The sporty touring car, known as the 'Coupe des Alpes' after its success in the Alpine Rally, straddled both the pre-war and post-war era. Introduced in Paris in 1935, it had a new chassis with the same 3.6-liter, six-cylinder engine first used in the earlier Type 138.

The Type 135 had cable-operated Bendix brakes and an independent, leaf-sprung front suspension, with a live rear axle. The transmission was either a partially synchronized four-speed manual or four-speed Cotal pre-selector transmission. Other standard features included 17-inch spoked wheels.

A year later, in 1936, Delahaye introduced the 135M, with a slightly larger engine with improved horsepower and offered with a choice of single, dual, or triple carburetors. It was suitable on the road or the track, taking the top six places at Marseilles in 1936. It further improved upon its reputation by taking 2nd overall at Le Mans in 1937 and 1st, 2nd, and 4th the following year. Outside of Le Mans, Delahaye 135s also took 1st at the Rallye Monte Carlo in 1937 and 1939. Prince Bira won the 1938 Donington 12-Hour Sports Car Race in Prince Chula's example and went on to take victory in Brooklands' 'fastest road car in England' race.

After World War II, the production of the Type 135 resumed using the same 3.6-liter engine used prior to the war. By this point in history, the company was struggling, as the French government had placed large taxes on cars with a displacement over three liters.

Delahaye had no in-house coachworks, so all its chassis were bodied by independent coachbuilders. The list included Figoni & Falaschi, Letourneur et Marchand, Guilloré, Marcel Pourtout, Frères Dubois, J Saoutchik, Franay, Antem and Henri Chapron. This one is a 1949 Delahaye 135M Cabriolet by Chapron

Descriptions & pictures by conceptcarz & wheelsage

Production Start 1949
Country of origin France