1946 Delahaye 135 M Coupé

Delahaye’s early offerings were somewhat ordinary, but a pivotal moment occurred in 1935 with the introduction of the T135 Coupe Des Alpes, marking the onset of a new era that would redefine the brand. The T135, a distinguished sports car, was propelled by an engine initially designed for commercial Delahaye vehicles.

The 3.2-liter, six-cylinder, overhead-valve engine generated 110bhp through triple Solex carburetors. The chassis boasted transverse-leaf independent front suspension, four-speed synchromesh or Cotal gearboxes, center-lock wire wheels, and Bendix brakes.

Building on this success, they enhanced the formula in the subsequent year with the 3.6-liter, 120/130bhp T135MS. The sports version quickly gained recognition in competitions, securing notable positions in the 1936 French Grand Prix and achieving outright victories in the Monte Carlo Rally and Le Mans 24-Hour Race in 1937 and 1938, respectively.

Following World War II, the model resurfaced as the 135M with the enduring 3.6-liter engine, remaining in production until 1951. During this period, Delahaye faced severe financial challenges due to the French government’s taxation policies penalizing cars over 3.0 liters.

In 1954, Hotchkiss took over Delahaye. Since Delahaye lacked in-house coachworks, independent designers, including Saoutchik, Henry Chapron, Franay, Graber, Pennock, and Figoni et Falaschi, crafted some of their most captivating designs on the Type 135 chassis, establishing a fruitful partnership and yielding memorable automotive sculptures.

Source Bonhams