- Probably a unique body style
- Prestigious model
- Superb restoration
- Same owner since 1977
- No reserve
Purchased in 1977 at an auction in Fontenay-le-Comte by the current owner, this imposing Delage D8 has undergone a comprehensive restoration in the 1980s at Lecoq workshop, acknowledged to be the ultimate restorer at the time. The chassis and body were disassembled and the upholstery and the hood were completely redone. More recently, in April 2010, the engine was rebuilt in the workshops of Auto Classique Touraine for the sum of 13,500, with complete disassembly, the engine was bored out and the block shaved, the camshafts were repaired, new pistons were installed, the cylinder head polished and the guides and valve assemblies were replaced too. The body work and upholstery have been carried out with the utmost of care, and thanks to meticulous maintenance this car has a very nice look, with well-preserved paint and impeccable seats and interior. The car features a Cotal pre-selector, making it a very easy and enjoyable drive.
This D8-100 is equipped with a very special body: a long and elegant four-door convertible made by Labourdette, a car that was probably designed for ceremonial parades as can be surmised from the handrail behind the front seats. This car is mentioned in issue 69 of the journal "L'Automobiliste" dated June 1986, in an article on these models, written by François Jolly, excellent Delage connoisseur: "Labourdette coachbuilt four-door cabriolet chassis No. 51005 from 1937: maybe the same four-door convertible on chassis D8-100 whose photo was published - specifically in 1937 - in the magazine "L'Équipement Automobile et l'Industrie Automobile", the official journal of the national association of coachbuilders. Maybe there were other chassis on the D8-100 or the D8-120 also bodied by the same coachbuilder, but this is not certain. "
The flagship of the Delage range, the D8 was developed by engineer Michelat and launched in 1934, and survived the merger with Delahaye without losing an ounce of its prestige. At that time, the difficulties that Delage faced and thanks to Walter Watney, a businessman who ran Autex, a dealer for top-end brands including Delage , the two companies merged and saved the brand, taking on the new name of "Société nouvelle des automobiles Delage". The technical consequences of this merger was the rationalization of production, with the eight-cylinder Delage adopting the cylinders dimensions (80mm x 107mm), identical to those of the Delahaye 20hp, but with two more cylinders. Thus the D8-100 and 120 both had an engine displacement of 4302cc, preserving the refinement and the quality of finish that had, in the first place, built up the brands reputation. More than ever, these cars epitomized the Delage ad: "Like a light wind in the countryside, a Delage passes by in silence and speed..."
Rare and original in this body style, this Delage D8 is emblematic of the quality and elegance of French coachwork from that period, based on one of the most prestigious chassis from the 1930s. Moreover it has the advantage of having had only one owner for more than 45 years, and having enjoyed a superb high quality restoration, has stood the test of time beautifully.