Delahaye Type 175 S Roadster
Emile Delahaye, a brilliant industrial engineer in France, built his first motor car in 1895 which was subsequently placed on display at the Paris Auto Salon. Production was on a small scale, but the cars bearing his name were soon appearing at racing events and proved both reliable and competitive. In 1901 poor health resulted in the sale of the company, which also resulted in a move to a new factory in Paris. Continually expanding, Delahaye established itself as a builder of reliable and robust trucks, fine automobiles, industrial engines and special service vehicles.
Following a relatively lackluster period from the late 1920s through the early 1930s, Delahaye saw a revival of its fortunes beginning around 1933 and continuing until the outbreak of war. Based on a new series of four- and six-cylinder cars, the new models were headed by a sporting machine designated the 135. It featured independent front suspension and a higher output engine than the normal six-cylinder car. One of these new models was sent to Montlhéry where it set a ream of new records, including seven new world records, and maintained an average speed of 110 mph.
Racing successes followed as well, including the Alpine Cup and several Grands Prix events. For 1936, a new triple-carbureted engine produced 160 bhp, and it was this car that swept second through fifth places at that year’s French Grand Prix, losing first to a Bugatti.
Prewar development continued with the design and introduction of a new V12 racing engine, followed by the Type 165, a street car based on a refined version of the racing car. Unfortunately, the clouds of war were gathering, and development of passenger cars came to a halt.
After the war, Delahaye introduced a brand-new design, the 175, a four-and-a-half liter six-cylinder design based on a new block with a seven-bearing crank. Output ranged from 140 bhp to 185 bhp for the sport models. It was Delahaye’s first left-drive chassis and was planned to compete with the Lago Record. The chassis was also state-of-the-art, featuring a Dubonnet front suspension and a De Dion rear axle with drive-shafts passing through the side rails of the frames. The brakes were hydraulic, with twin master cylinders and finned alloy drums. The gearbox was an electromechanically actuated unit by Cotal.
A longer wheelbase 180 model was offered, and although the more popular of the two Delahayes offered, it found few buyers in Europe that could afford such extravagance at this time. Production ceased in 1951 after just 150 units – a mere 51 were of the 175 S version.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2010 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
165 bhp, 4,455 cc naturally aspirated overhead valve inline six cylinder engine, four-speed electro-mechanically actuated Cotal Preselector gearbox, Dubonnet coil spring front suspension, De Dion rear axle with semi-elliptic springs, and four-wheel hydraulic finned alloy drum brakes. Wheelbase: 116".
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel