1908 Delaunay BELLEVILLE Type i6

Lot 63
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Estimation :
60000 - 80000 EUR
Result with fees
Result : 50 300EUR
1908 Delaunay BELLEVILLE Type i6
Rarely offered for sale
High-quality restoration
Luxury and refinement à la française
French registration papers (as a historic vehicle)
Chassis no. 2255
Vehicle sold without technical inspection

Founded by Louis Delaunay - who changed his name to Delaunay-Belleville after his marriage - the son-in-law of the industrialist Julien Belleville, the make also known as Delaunay-Belleville was based in Saint-Denis and built cars from 1904 to 1950, the year it closed down. Its original plan was to build very up-market cars which could be recognised until the 1920s by their round or oval radiator. Very quickly, the French make stood out for its powerful engines and exceptional build quality. A pressurised lubrication system - which was unusual at the time - and the extremely careful machining of the engines made them particularly quiet and flexible. Delaunay-Belleville’s reputation soon extended outside France and it became the favourite marque of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. Initially equipped with four-cylinder engines, in 1907 six-cylinder units became the norm for their luxury models. The Type I was added to the range in 1908 and was available in two versions, the I4 and I6. This generation represented the majority of cars built until 1914.

The model presented here is a rare Delaunay-Belleville Type I6, fitted with the 2553cc six-cylinder engine. Monsieur and Madame B acquired their Delaunay-Belleville in 1972 from a Monsieur Faure. The car was then in fair condition, and judging by the photographs, the bodywork appears to have been sanded down and the paint partially stripped. Evidently, looking at the file for the car, Monsieur B had some difficulty determining the exact model and technical specifications of the car, as it was hard to find period documents, especially for such a rare model. It was only in 2002 in fact, following a meeting at Rétromobile with François Richer (co-author of the book La Delaunay-Bell
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