1936 Delahaye 135

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1936
  • Chassis number 
    46810
  • Engine number 
    46810
  • Lot number 
    117
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other

Description

1936 Delahaye 135 S Compétition Court
Chassis no. 46810
Engine no. 46810

One of three belonging to husband and wife Laury and Lucy Schell, this Delahaye 135 S was built in accordance with the regulations of the 1936 Le Mans 24 Hours, a race that did not take place due to strikes in France. The car was registered new as '9591 RK 4' in the Seine Départment on 16th July 1936, but to reduce insurance costs it participated in several events during 1936 carrying the registration and papers of '1707 RK', the first of the Schells' 135 S Delahayes.
For its participation on 5th September 1936 in the RAC Tourist Trophy, held on the Ards circuit near Belfast, and on 13th October 1936 at the Donington Grand Prix, this 135 S was nicknamed 'Blue Buzz II', its stablemates in the Schells' factory-supported Écurie Bleu being 'Blue Buzz I' ('46835') and 'Blue Buzz III' ('47187). During this first period of its life, between 1936/1937 and while still in its original configuration, '46810' was usually assigned to driver René Carrière.

During the 1936 season '46810' participated in the following events:
13th June, Le Mans 24 Hours, competitor number '12', Schell/Carrière, race cancelled
9th August, Grand Prix de Comminges, competitor number '4', Carrière, retired
5th September, RAC Tourist Trophy, competitor number '9', Field, withdrawn
20th September, Côte Mont-Ventoux, competitor number '57', Carrière, 1st
3rd October, Donington Grand Prix, competitor number '22', Carrière/Field, 8th

1937 season participation:
17th – 21st March, Paris-St Raphael Rally, competitor number '42', Lucy Schell, 5th
16th May, Tunis Grand Prix, competitor number '22', Carrière, 2nd
23rd May, Grand Prix de Bône, competitor number '22', Carrière, 3rd
6th June, Marseille 3 Hours, competitor number '6', Carrière, 4th

After this final event of 1937 and throughout 1938, '46810' did not participate in any competitions. The reasons for this are unknown.

At the beginning of 1939, '46810' was sold to driver Eugène Chaboud, and the car was then registered in Seine et Oise as '192 YC 2' in the name of Écurie Francia, which had been founded by the driver Joseph Paul. Écurie Francia's 135 S Delahayes were re-bodied in the Chappe Frères workshops, emerging with a modernised and more aerodynamic front end. Écurie Francia's stable consisted of three 135 S models: '46094' for Joseph Paul, '46810' for Eugène Chaboud, and '47193' for Marcel Contet.

1939 season participation:
2nd April, Grand Prix de Pau, competitor number '22', Chaboud, withdrawn
8th – 15th April, Paris-Nice Rally, competitor number '2', Chaboud, 1st
7th May, Coupe de Paris, competitor number '52', Chaboud, 12th
7th May, Olazur Handicap, competitor number '52', Chaboud, retired
21st May, Grand Prix of Antwerp, competitor number '8', Chaboud, 6th
18th June, Le Mans 24 Hours, competitor number '19', Chaboud/Cabantous, retired
6th August, Grand Prix de Comminges, competitor number '18', Chaboud, retired

This car's competition career ended just before the declaration of WW2 and at the end of 1940 '46810' was sold to Fernand Grivelet (of Grivelet Wines). The car was then registered '3760 RN' in Paris and would remain with Grivelet for some 30 years. In 1952 Grivelet had '46810' re-bodied in Germany by Hebmüller in the form of a coupé of very Germanic appearance. In this form the Delahaye passed through the hands of a succession of owners from 1973 onwards: in France, Belgium, and finally the Netherlands.

The last Dutch owner, Paul Carati, a Delahaye enthusiast, sold the car to the current vendor, another passionate connoisseur of the marque. The new (French) owner had the German body removed and then commissioned Carrosserie Bonnefoy to re-create the Écurie Francia aluminium racing coachwork that '46810' had carried at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1939. Specific to the 135 S, the Type 103 J engine is numbered '46810' and is original to this car.

This is how '46810' is presented today following complete restoration to very high standard, carried out by well-respected specialists.

'46810' comes with a most substantial history file containing a French Carte Grise and numerous period photographs and press cuttings (inspection recommended). The current vendor states that this magnificent Delahaye wants for nothing and deserves to be driven on the world's great racetracks; indeed, during the Classic Grand Tour of Le Mans in 2016, nearly 200 kilometres were covered to the driver's immense satisfaction. An important part of Delahaye's competition history, 'Blue Buzz II' is eligible for many of the world's most prestigious concours and racing events and would be an exciting addition to any significant private collection.

Bonhams would like to thank Mr. Jean-Paul Tissot, President of the Delahaye Club, for his invaluable assistance in the preparation of this description as well as for test driving the car at Montlhéry when the video was made.