1932 Delage D6 Faux CabrioletSOLD
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Estimate: 40,000£ - 60,000£
Estimate: €58,000 - €87,000
Estimate: $80,000 - $120,000

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of £33.525

From the Collection of Mr. Bernie Ecclestone

72 bhp, 3,045cc overhead valve inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with transverse leaf spring, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, servo-assisted four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 124in. (3,150mm)

In 1929, Louis Delage introduced his pièce de résistance, the magnificent D8. Designed by Maurice Gaultier, it was a 4-litre pushrod ohv straight eight developing 105 brake horsepower, and built on wheelbases to 160 inches. Although the D8 was recognized as a rival to Hispano-Suiza, the hard times made the model difficult to sell. For 1930, a smaller, less expensive six-cylinder version was developed, its engine just three-quarters the size. Wheelbases were 124 inches or 129.5 inches, and most D6s were bodied in-house by Delage. Some, however, such as the example presented here, were sent out for bespoke bodies, this one receiving faux cabriolet coachwork by Henri Chapron of Levallois-Perret, Seine.

Chapron was perhaps France’s most prolific coachbuilder; during his peak period his firm built some 500 bodies annually. The late historian Jan Norbye described him as ‘often in the vanguard but careful never to be ahead of his time’.

This Delage D6 was delivered in London, probably through Messrs J. Smith & Co., and first registered on 12 January 1932. It first owner was Albert Miller, who used it until 1957 when he sold it to a nephew. The next owner was D. N. Cameron, an RAF officer, who advertised it in Motor Sport for £90 when he was posted to Aden in 1958.

The next owner was R. E. Hancox, a Delage enthusiast, who kept the car for five years before passing it on to Guildford schoolmaster David Summers in 1963. Owned briefly by Michael Leslie, it then passed to Joe Fischer of East Grinstead. Fischer offered the car for sale at a Brooks auction on 10 October 1993, when it was acquired by the Ecclestone Collection.

Today the car remains largely unrestored and although it has been selectively upgraded, some of this work has since deteriorated. The paintwork, redone in the 1980s, is driver quality, showing signs of age, most being minor in nature but they encompass most of the car. The chrome plating appears mostly original and shows ageing and minor corrosion. The radiator shell and headlight trim bands have been replated. Body fits are uneven, and the passenger side door sags on opening, which is primarily attributable to a worn hinge bushing and pin.

The roof and the boot have been recovered in black vinyl. The tyres are in very good condition. The seat upholstery is original and, while not split, shows significant signs of ageing. The leather door panels appear to be replacements, and the carpets have been replaced in red velour; the balance of the interior appears to be original. Several knobs and small interior parts are missing, but most have been located and are included with the sale. The interior woodwork was refinished years ago and some of the door trim replaced, although the workmanship here is not up to par.

The dashboard woodwork is a very attractive banded mahogany. The instrument board is unrestored and original, although the instruments are a mixture of original and replacement units.

The engine bay is clean but unrestored, largely original and driver quality. The chassis has been repainted and shows signs of regular road use. Accessories include a Boyce MotoMeter, a stone guard, and wing-mounted side lights. Friction shock absorbers are fitted in the front. The car comes with a Swansea V5C and duplicate old-style log book. The vendor reports that the fuel tank needs rebuilding, road springs will need rebushing and the brakes require service. The engine runs well and the gearbox works nicely.

In the span of automotive history, the era of the coachbuilt car represents just a small part, but it gave us some of the most interesting, creative, and extravagant cars ever built. The Chapron Faux Cabriolet presented here represents a high point in Louis Delage’s automotive career, while its condition permits its purchase and regular enjoyment by an almost any enthusiast.

Reference Number 13153

as of 9/14/2007

Car 1932 Delage D6 Faux Cabriolet
VIN 34938 
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