Delahaye – 145 Coupé Chapron (1938)
- Vehicle Type:
- Coach Builder:
- Henri Chapron
- Engine CC:
- Peter & Merle Mullin (US)
Class BGRANDE VITESSE: PRE-WAR WEEKEND RACERS
This Delahaye 145 tells an entrancing story. Originally, it bade farewell at the factory gates as part of a consignment of four racing cars that were deployed by the Ecurie Bleue team for campaigning on the international Grand Prix racing circuit between 1937 and 1939. The race car was mothballed during the subsequent war years and was not up for sale. In the end, coachbuilder Henry Chapron took it on. He had a dearth of external orders and started to build a breath-taking coupé body.
A luxury coupé was conjured up on the sublime, race-bred chassis, graced with elegant, perfectly balanced proportions and positively dramatic beauty. Chapron’s lines pay tribute to the aesthetic opulence of the 1930s and blithely ignore any hint of the modernist objectivity characterising the post-war period. The engine powering the Type 145 was now replaced by a Type 165 fitted with a three-carburettor system in a racing configuration. Later on, Fritz Schlumpf, industrialist and collec- tor from Alsace, purchased the coupé and had the defective V12 engine removed. The Delahaye then emigrated from Europe to the USA where a new owner managed to track down the original engine and arranged for it to be mounted once more in the chassis. Since 2003, this unique Delahaye has enriched the collection of Peter and Merle Mullin. A further restoration saw the original engine reinstated in this magnificent beauty.