1950 Delahaye 135 M coach Vanvooren250.000-350.000 EUR - Estimate

Delahaye 135 M Vanvooren

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French title
Chassis n° 801621
Engine n° 801621
Vanvooren body n°1013

- Volante collection
- The last Vanvooren body
- Exemplary restoration
- One of only two known examples

Reference Number 512962

as of 2/23/2018

Dealer
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Lot 18

Artcurial - Rétromobile  Contact  Location
Salon Rétromobile Hall 1  Phone  +33 1 42 99 20 56  City  Porte de Versailles
75015 Porte de Versailles  Fax  +33 1 42 99 16 39  State  Paris
France  Mobile    Country  France France
Overview
Car 1950 Delahaye 135 M coach Vanvooren
VIN 801621 
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Known History

This Delahaye 135 M was the very last car to leave the Vanvooren workshops in Courbevoie in 1950, before the coachbuilding business finally closed its doors. It was delivered to Patriarche-Kriter, one of the largest wine producers in Bourgogne, based in Beaune. The coachwork was identical to that of another Delahaye 135 (chassis 801581) delivered in 1949, and which survives today, in the south of France. These are the only two examples known with this stunning body.

Between 19 June 1967 and 2 January 1974, the Delahaye was registered in the Essonne region with the number 51 AH 91. This changed to 135 DP 92 when the car was bought by Bernard Consten, one of the most outstanding rally drivers in French history. Crowned French champion four times, Consten also won numerous international competitions, including the Touring Class of the Tour de France no less than five times before taking over the running of the organisation. During the 1960s and 1970s, the car was twice repainted blue, and the original sunroof was replaced with a transparent element. It was fitted with new carpets, the same colour as the leather upholstery. In 1982 Bernard Consten sold the car at auction. It was bought by Mr Borras from Nîmes, who kept the car for 32 years, finally parting with it in 2013.

It was in early 2014 that this Delahaye joined the Volante Collection, having been bought by the current owner with the aim of restoring the car to its former glory. It was entrusted to the " René Grosse Restaurierungen " workshop in Wusterwitz, near Berlin, to have the coachwork restored while retaining as much of the original body as possible. The final part of the project was completed in 2016 with the addition of a layer of nitrocellulose paint in the original colour, a lovely iridescent grey. On the mechanical side, all the original components were preserved, including the pre-selective Cotal gearbox. The cost of the restoration project amounted to some 175 000 €, and is extensively documented in a large photographic file. The Delahaye Club has confirmed the year of manufacture and the number of the engine, which is the original one. The Vanvooren coachwork number (which corresponds to the13th car built after the second world war) appears on the wooden structure of the body.

In August 2016, this automobile was invited to take part in a special tribute to the marque, along with 25 other Delahayes by different coachbuilders, at Pebble Beach in the US.

The car, with its streamlined rear body shape, looks stunning today, painted a lovely shade of grey complementing the patinated, original red leather upholstery. The passenger compartment, including the dashboard, displays the high level of finish Vanvooren was known for, as a luxury coachbuilder. It touches the heart to realise that this car represents the final point in Vanvooren's history, which began in 1900 and saw the production of some 2500 individual cars. Few have survived, making this Delahaye even more special.

 

The cars in the Volante collection have been extremely well looked after and conserved. However, it must be stressed that these are museum exhibits that have not been driven much in recent years, and will therefore require a routine inspection and service before use.

 

 

Photos © Fotozumbrunn / Unger