Delahaye Million Franc Type 145

In 1937, René Le Bègue and Julio Quinlin won the Monte Carlo Rally driving a Delahaye. Delahaye also ran first and second at Le Mans. Against the government-sponsored juggernauts Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union, Delahaye brought out the Type 145, powered by a new, complicated 4½-liter V12 with three camshafts, pushrod-actuated valves, dual ignition, and triple carburettors. Called "Million Franc Delahaye" after a victory in the Million Franc Race, it was driven by René Dreyfus to a an average speed 91.07 mph (146.56 km/h) over 200 kilometres (120 mi) at Montlhéry in 1937, earning a Fr200,000 prize from the government. Dreyfus also scored a victory in the Ecurie Bleu Type 145 at Pau, relying on superior fuel economy to beat the more powerful Mercedes-Benz W154, in 1938. Type 135s also won the Paris-Nice and Monte Carlo Rallys, and Le Mans, that year, while a V12 model was fourth in the Mille Miglia. These victories combined with French patriotism to create a wave of demand for Delahaye cars, up until the German occupation of France during World War II. The Type 145 was also the basis for a small number of touring Type 165s.

Source: Wikipedia, 2012

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