1946 DELAHAYE Cabriolet 135 MS PENNOCK

Lot 31
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Estimation :
200000 - 300000 EUR
Result with fees
Result : 212 760EUR
1946 DELAHAYE Cabriolet 135 MS PENNOCK
Body signed Pennock, design Chapron Genuine MS engine, very powerful Very high quality restoration Ex-Francky Dumontant French historic registration title Chassis n° 800532 Engine n° 800485 In October 1935, during the Paris Motor Show, visitors discovered, not without surprise, the new Delahaye Type 135 representing the culmination of the 6-cylinder range. Brilliant but less delicate than a Bugatti 57, the Delahaye 135 was a charming car for the discreet bourgeoisie and was appreciated by a wealthy clientele looking for versatility and reliability combined with the elegance of the great coachbuilders. Low and sleek, the car innovated in many technical aspects with a «Bloctube» chassis equipped with a central box providing much greater rigidity than the classic single-spar systems. The car also inherits the excellent independent front suspension from its predecessor, the Type 138. At its heart breathes the in-line 6-cylinder OHV engine of the same 138, this time in two versions: 18 HP (3.2 l) or 20 HP (3.5 l). As these models were well born, they were to undergo limited mechanical evolution, but their versatility allowed them to shine on all fronts. In competition, the Delahaye 135 scored an incalculable number of successes, adding two of the most prestigious events of the time to its list of achievements: the 1937 Monte Carlo Rally and the 1938 24 Hours of Le Mans, with three Delahaye cars in the first four places, at an average speed of over 130 km/h. These victories testify to both the driving qualities and the endurance of the Delahaye 135. After testing a Delahaye 135 in 1938, a journalist from the British trade magazine The Motor wrote: «Few cars offer such good road holding, handling and performance.» Such a judgement about a French car from a British newspaper perfectly describes the level of Delahaye cars at the end of the 1930s. The Type 135 had an exceptionally long career. It was a solid, durable, luxurious and sporty car that gave birth to cabriolets and coupes bodied by the best stylists of the 1936-1952 period. Delahaye supplied bare chassis, so the customer could choose which coachbuilder to choose. Two schools of coachwork were in vogue: the traditional one with Chapron, Letourneur & Marchand, Pourtout, Guilloré and the second one which sought a new style with Figoni & Falaschi, Saoutchik, Antem or Autobineau. In total, 2,592 Delahaye 135s were produced. The car that illustrates these pages was built by Carrosseriefabriek P. J. Pennock, which was founded in 1884 in The Hague, the Netherlands. This coachbuilder first made a name for himself in railway equipment, then in trucks, coaches and buses, but from the 1900s onwards he built a whole range of cars on request, including Minervas, Fiat, Packards and - as early as then - Delahayes. Most of the 135s he bodied were acquired as chassis from the factory after the Liberation. For tax reasons, the cars were sold locally, or exported to England, via an exclusive dealer based in London. Chassis #800532 was probably delivered to the Netherlands in 1947 and Pennock bodied it with this very elegant 3-positions convertible body. The styling is openly modelled on Chapron, whose 4-seater cabriolet was one of the most iconic models. Very little is known about the car’s history, except for the names of three of its owners. The names of the first two (Grell and Bruyj) seem to indicate that the car spent its life in the Netherlands, before the famous dealer Francky Dumontant discovered it and sold it in France to one of his friends in the early 1980s. It lay dormant for many years in his garage, awaiting restoration, which it only received with its current owner, who entrusted it to the highly reputed Concept et Restauration workshop, directed by Jean-Luc Bonnefoy (€25,000 worth of invoices attached to the file). The engine was also rebuilt, as was the wooden frame, by the Marcadier company (almost €7,000 in costs), while the upholstery was entrusted to the Minot saddlery (€9,500). Prestigious and above all extraordinarily homogeneous, capable of shining as much in the concours d’élégance as on the track of the 24 Hours of Le Mans or on the roads of the Monte Carlo Rally, the Delahaye 135 is an enviable model, especially in this ele - gant and refined definition sublimated by Pennock, on a pre-war design by Chapron. With its high-performance MS engine (the most advanced version) associated with a pleasant Cotal electromagnetic gearbox, and a quality of restoration worthy of the greatest elegance competitions, this Delahaye represents a rare opportunity on the market for the lover of beautiful bodies, the demanding collector, or the enthusiast of long-distance travel in vintage cars.
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