The Delahaye Type 135 Speciale with its elegant flowing lines was among the greatest pre-WW2 sports racing cars with a Bugatti and Alfa Romeo-rivalling pedigree which included winning the 1938 Le Mans 24 hours and setting the all-time record for the Ulster Tourist Trophy.
Delahaye made just 18 Type 135 Speciales in period. This highly authentic replica (evocation) was constructed by marque enthusiast, Jacques Capoulade, during the 1980s using genuine Delahaye components. It is now going under the hammer with H&H Classics at the Imperial War Museum Duxford, Cambridgeshire, on October 17th.
The sale car was modelled after one of the 1936/37 Ecurie Bleue Team Cars to which Monsieur Capoulade had access. Since completion, it has been energetically campaigned to great effect at Montlhery, Nurburgring, Silverstone, Brno, Donington and on the Mille Miglia Storica.
Despite its highly convincing lines and authentic driving experience, the beautifully crafted evocation is priced at rather less than it would cost to create today and at a mere 10% or so of the value of one of the Ecurie Bleue cars.
The Delahaye company was started in 1894 in Tours by Emile Delahaye, a brilliant industrial engineer. In order to promote his cars, he started to use them in racing events, often driving himself. The cars were built for the daily driver, but always had the spirit of competition about them. Models such as the Type 135, or Type 235 are among the most desirable items for a car connoisseur’s collection.
Damian Jones, Head of Sales at H & H Classics, comments: “This lovely Delahaye Type 135 Evocation, evokes one of the most romantic periods of automotive history when technical advances and body design combined to give us cars of great performance and breath-taking good looks. This car brings all of that together and would be a proud addition to any collection for someone keen on a car to drive with pleasure and also to race.”