Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Letourneur et Marchand
Please note that a new title is being processed and should be available shortly following the auction.
Claire Marie Lecomte, Paris, France (acquired new in 1938)Charly Huc, Bordeaux, France (acquired from the above in 1951)Jacques d’Orizon, Bordeaux, France (acquired from the estate of the above in the early 1990s)Dr. Jean Mage, Agen, France (acquired from the above in 1991)Don Wathne, Miami, Florida (acquired circa 2005)Charles Bronson, Westlake, California (acquired in 2009)Current Owners (acquired from the above in 2009)
Concours d’Elegance, Paris, 1938Concours d’Elegance, Biarritz, France, 1938Concours d’Elegance, St. Jean de Luz, France, circa 1951 (Grand Prix d’Honneur)Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, 2012
Founded in Paris in 1905, Louis Delage’s eponymous automotive company rose with the renown it accrued from racing, including a win at the Grand Prix des Voiturettes on July 6, 1908. By 1930, Delage had diversified into luxury tourers and launched its durable D6 Series, a straight-six, four-speed motorcar that was built, in numerous versions, through 1953. The D6-70, which debuted in 1937, proved to be an extremely popular model, featuring a 2,729 cc engine on a 124" wheelbase. Delage retained many of the most prestigious coachbuilders, such as Letourneur et Marchand, located in Neuilly-sur-Seine.
In 1937, a Delage D6-70 roadster bodied by Letourneur et Marchand and nicknamed La Sauterelle (The Grasshopper), was piloted by two women in the Moroccan Rally from Oran, Algeria, to Casablanca. The women finished a creditable 7th Overall, and the car was paraded throughout France to celebrate. Impressed by the feat of her fellow female auto enthusiasts, Claire Marie Lecomte of Paris visited Letourneur et Marchand and commissioned a road car with similar features. The coachbuilders drew up blueprint no. 5834 with pontoon front fenders, an elongated bonnet, a hidden convertible top, and a vestigial fin on the bootlid. The order was signed on November 15, 1937, and the completed car was presented to Mme. Lecomte on April 27, 1938.
The coachbuilder’s interpretation of La Sauterelle was so resplendent it participated in the Concours d’Elegance in Biarritz and Paris. According to details provided by the consignor, at the outbreak of WWII, Mme. Lecomte fled in her Delage to the free zone of Biarritz where it remained in storage, undriven due to a dearth of parts and gas. In 1951, Mme. Lecomte sold her adored Delage to Charly Huc, who returned it to running order and won the Grand Prix d’Honneur at the Concours d’Elegance in St. Jean de Luz. Huc began but never completed a restoration of the car, and following his death in the mid-1950s, the car remained in storage. In the early 1990s, Jacques d’Orizon relieved the widow Huc of the aging Delage. Months later, it was sold to M. d’Orizon’s cousin, Dr. Jean Mage. After decades of further storage, the car was exported to the US around 2005.
By 2009, the Delage found its way via French car specialist Charles Bronson to its current owners, who were enamored of its history and design. They soon commissioned a thorough restoration by Alan Taylor of Escondido, California, with each aspect addressed, renewed, or replaced, as necessary. The D6-70 was finished in ivory paint with cognac leather and is accompanied by photographs chronicling the restoration. Presenting beautifully today, with a truly captivating presence, this Delage is an outstanding French Classic, destined to be the pièce de résistance for the judicious and discriminating collector.