Delahaye 235M Pilarless Saloon by Ghia
Introduced in 1935, the Delahaye 135 achieved many racing victories, including wins at the Monte Carlo Rally in 1937 and 1939, as well as an overall win at Le Mans in 1938. Concurrently, Delahaye routinely earned top honours at the most prestigious concours, with striking Art Deco-inspired coachwork from Europe’s best artisans. While other models were introduced, the Type 135 and its successor, the 235, remain the marque’s definitive models.
Although similar to the 135, the 235 accommodated the wider bodies typical of the early 1950s and featured a large, oval grille. It offered better performance with greater compression, triple carburettors and a new camshaft, resulting in a top speed of approximately 115 mph, while gearbox choices included a synchronised four-speed unit or an optional Cotal four-speed pre-selector unit. Ultimately, only about 85 examples of the 235 were produced through 1954.
The streamlined Ghia-bodied Pillarless Saloon offered here was the brainchild of Mario Felice Boano, with striking hinged wheelhouse fairings. It was restored in 1990, when it was owned by the Blackhawk Collection and displayed at Pebble Beach. It was then sold in 2004 and more recently joined the growing O’Quinn Collection in Houston, Texas. Since then, it has been preserved in the collection and continues to present well, despite certain small cosmetic imperfections to the paint and interior. Rare and fascinating with stunning lines by Boano, this is certainly one of Delahaye’s more unique designs.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in May of 2010 at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco.
152 bhp, 3,557 cc inline six-cylinder engine with single overhead-camshaft, three Solex carburettors, Cotal four-speed electric pre-selector gearbox, independent front suspension, rigid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,946 mm (116")
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel