Product no.: 24D0205
One of French motoring's most flamboyant figures, Louis Delage catered almost exclusively to the ever dwindling niche market of the super rich. The almost inevitable bankruptcy was filed in 1935. Delage enthusiasts feared that under the new ownership the famous oval badge would simply be stuck to existing Delahaye products. This was certainly the case for the new range of six cylinder models launched in 1935. Fortunately the Delahaye executives recognised the beauty and quality of Delage's own eight cylinder engine. For the D8-100 and D8-120 models that followed in 1936 a new, Delage exclusive eight cylinder engine was developed. These top-of-the-range machines did employ a Delahaye sourced chassis.
Just like most luxury cars of the day, the new D8 was available as a rolling chassis only. The customer could then have the car clothed by his (or her) coach-builder of choice. Chapron was the natural pick for a more understated design, while the likes of Pourtout and Letourneur & Marchand provided the more extravagant bodies. Surprisingly few D8s were sent to Figoni & Falaschi for their metalwork.
Owner Sam Mann “The car was originally commissioned by none other than Louis Delage for his own use. Built on a D8-120 S chassis, design of the all-aluminum bodywork was assigned to Georges Paulin, chief stylist for renowned coachbuilder Marcel Pourtout. Paulin lowered the car’s suspension to create an aerodynamic masterpiece. In complete contrast to other designers of the day, he did not use any chrome filets or external embellishments; a stroke of genius, facilitating the unadulterated flow of the car’s breathtaking curves and tapers.
“The prototype was first proudly exhibited at the 1937 Paris Auto Show, after which, Louis Delage enjoyed it for a number of years as his own personal car. During the 1950s, a subsequent owner had it modified by Saoutchik, another French coachbuilder, to better reflect styling of the day, but happily the car has since been restored to its original Paulin-Pourtout specification.” The Delage is now safely and lovingly preserved in Sam Mann’s collection, but classic car connoisseurs and serious and discerning model collectors will be able to add Automodello’s 1:24 masterpiece to theirs. The exclusive 1:24 replica (AM24-DLG-37P) will be strictly limited to a build of no more than 249 pieces.