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In 1935, Delahaye launched its groundbreaking 3.5-liter 135 model. The 135 met with instant success and transformed the somewhat staid image of the marque into something chic and elegant that appealed to the concours set. In 1936, the engine was enlarged to 3.6 liters to become the 135M, and the 135MS setup featured three carburetors; no less than 135 bhp were on tap. Independent front suspension with a transverse leaf spring, a four-speed Cotal electromagnetic gearbox, center-lock wire wheels, and Bendix brakes completed the package.

The new 135 chassis was immediately made available to the coachbuilding trade. What followed was a beautiful parade of the most elegant bodies ever made by the most renowned French coachbuilders. For several years, the 135M and 135MS reigned supreme at the various concours d’elegance in Paris, Biarritz, and Monaco, with luxurious, racy, and stunning coachwork by Figoni & Falaschi, Saoutchik, Labourdette, and of course, Chapron, who made extravagant one-offs alongside the designs built in small series. Chassis 47533 is one of these coachbuilt examples.

Order 5640 for a two-door, four-seat convertible body was placed with the Établissements Henri Chapron by Automobiles Delahaye on April 6, 1937. Chassis 47533, which was built to M specification, was delivered to the coachbuilder in the Parisian suburb of Levallois-Perret on April 30. The finished car was sold in June 1937 to a Mr. Reffet via AUTEX, the large Delahaye and Delage distributor in Paris.

The cabriolet is believed to have remained in France for the majority of its life. It was restored in 2000 at the facility of Delahaye specialist Jean-Luc Bonnefoy near Vierzon in central France, and then in 2009 the engine was refurbished. At some point, 47533 was in the ownership of famous French Delahaye collector Roger Tanguy. As with all his Delahayes, he upgraded the engine to MS-competition specification and added a “Compétition” script on the trunk.

In late November 2006, chassis 47533 belonged to Mr. Paul Tholly of 9 Rue des Écoles, Sorbiers, France. In June 2015, the Delahaye was acquired by Hephaistos Classics of Place de la Victoire in Charolles, France, north of Lyon, and was then immediately exported to Significant Cars in Indianapolis, Indiana. By the end of August that year, the car was sold to noted collector Tony Vincent, under whose care, maintenance and cosmetic restoration work has been done, documented by records on file. With its exquisitely proportioned convertible design, elegantly curved front fenders that accentuate the length of the hood, and rear fender-sweep that combines with the gracefully sloping deck and trunk to create a cohesive and tasteful ensemble, this Delahaye defines the height of its era’s fashion. It will make an elegant addition and centerpiece to any collection of European thoroughbreds.

Gooding & Company
1517 20th Street
Santa Monica  90404  California
United States
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