Lot 158

2022   |   Pebble Beach Auctions

1937 Delahaye 135MS Cabriolet

From The Tony Vincent Estate Collection

Coachwork by Chapron

Estimate

$325,000 - $400,000

Chassis

47533

Car Highlights

Original Cabriolet Décapotable by Henri Chapron Carrossier

Beautiful Lines Typical of This Great Coachbuilder

Finished to Grand Luxe Specification by Henri Chapron

Extensively Restored in 2000 and 2009

Certified by Noëlle Chapron, Daughter of Henri Chapron

Technical Specs

3,557 CC OHV Inline 6-Cylinder Engine

Three Solex Carburetors

135 BHP at 3,500 RPM

4-Speed Cotal Electro-Mechanical Gearbox

4-Wheel Mechanically Actuated Bendix Drum Brakes

Front Independent Suspension with Transverse Leaf Spring

Rear Live Axle with Quarter-Elliptical Leaf Springs

Register to Bid

Garth Hammers

Mr. Reffet, Paris, France (acquired new via Henri Chapron and AUTEX in 1937)

Paul Tholly, Sorbiers, France (acquired in 2006)

Hephaistos Classics, Charolles, France (acquired from the above in 2015)

Significant Cars, Indianapolis, Indiana (acquired from the above in 2015)

Tony Vincent (acquired from the above in 2015)

In 1935, Delahaye launched its groundbreaking 3.5-liter 135 model. The 135 met with instant success and transformed the somewhat dusty image of the marque into something chic and ritzy that appealed to the concours set. In 1936, the engine was bored up to 3.6 liters to become the 135M, and in the 135MS setup with three carburetors, no less than 135 bhp were on tap. Front independent suspension with transverse leaf spring, a four-speed Cotal electro-magnetic gearbox, center-lock wire wheels, and Bendix brakes completed the package.

The 135 chassis was immediately made available to the trade. What followed was a virtually endless parade of the most beautiful bodies ever made by the cream of French coachbuilding. For years, the 135M and 135MS reigned supreme at the concours d’elegance in Paris, Biarritz, and Monaco, with luxurious, racy, and stunning coachwork by Figoni & Falaschi, Saoutchik, Labourdette, and of course, Chapron, who made extravagant one-offs alongside the models made in small series. Chassis 47533 is one of these coachbuilt examples.

Order 5640 for a two-door, four-seat convertible body was placed with the Établissements Henri Chapron by Automobiles Delahaye on April 6, 1937. Chassis 47533, which was to M specification, was delivered to the coachbuilder in the Parisian suburb of Levallois-Perret on April 30. The car was finished sometime later and sold in June 1937 to a Mr. Reffet via AUTEX, the large Delahaye and Delage distributor in Paris.

The car is believed to have remained in France for the majority of its life. It was restored in 2000 at the facility of Delahaye specialist Jean-Luc Bonnefoy near Vierzon in central France, and in 2009 the engine was refurbished. At some point, 47533 was in the ownership of famous French Delahaye collector Roger Tanguy. As with all his Delahayes, he upgraded the engine to MS compétition specification and added a Compétition script on the trunk.

In late November 2006, chassis 47533 belonged to Mr. Paul Tholly of 9 Rue des Écoles, Sorbiers, France. In June 2015, the car was acquired by Hephaistos Classics of Place de la Victoire in Charolles, north of Lyon, who immediately exported it to Significant Cars in Indianapolis, Indiana. By the end of August that year, the Delahaye was sold to Tony Vincent, under whose care continual maintenance and cosmetic restoration work has been done, documented by records on file.

With its exquisitely proportioned convertible design, elegantly curved front fenders that accentuate the length of the hood, and a rear fender-sweep that combines with the gracefully sloping deck and trunk to create a cohesive and tasteful ensemble, this Delahaye is the very height of fashion and chic. It will be an elegant addition and centerpiece to any collection of European thoroughbreds.