To encourage local manufacturers, the French Government and the Automobile Club of France hosted a competition that would boost the image of French racing and engineering. To do so they offered a million francs to any company that could beat the Italian speed record around Montlhery with a car that adhered to the upcoming 1938 Grand Prix regulations. For the challenge, Delahaye constructed the 145. It was their first purpose built racer and our feature example is the one that took the prize.
Known as the Million-Franc Delahaye, it doesn’t get much more important than our feature car, chassis number 47881. It faded from view for over six decades before making a triumphant return at the 2006 Pebble Beach Concours. At the show, authors Richard S. Adatto and Diana E. Meredith revealed that of the four 145s constructed, this was the indeed the winning Delahaye.