This Delage D8-85 Cabrio has coachwork by Henri Chapron and carries chassis number 40168. After the owner took delivery of the vehicle, he had a few additional alterations made, such as additional chrome, restyled headlight guards, and a reshaped grille.
This vehicle is very elegant with a few flamboyant features such as the excessive, but stylish, use of chrome. The car has a drop-top configuration with seating for two. There is a rounded front end grille which nearly juts over the vehicles front fender. The long bonnet slopes slightly towards the windshield with the rear of the vehicle sloping downwards. The fenders give the illusion of motion at a stand-still.
Louis Delage was partially blind at birth but this did not seem to be an issue for creating some of the more memorable, graceful, and elegant automobiles of all time. When he was young he worked with some of the greatest engineering talents of the time. It was not long before he was building cars that bore his own surname.
Delage was an ambitious individual and very loyal to his country, France. He set out to win honor for France on the racetracks of Europe, which he did in 1913 when a Delage won France's top honor, the Grand Prix de France.
In 1924 Delage introduced the Grand-Luxe road going car. Up to this point, his passion and expertise had been applied to only racing machines. The Grand-Luxe was the result of years of experimentation, testing and winning. It had an innovative design and powered by an overhead camshaft engine with twin ignition. In 1929, the GL was replaced by the new D8.
In 1932 the D8 S and D8 SS were introduced. These cars featured an increased in horsepower, double drop frames, lightweight components, and a lower and sleeker bodystyle. As was the case with many other marque's of the time, The Great Depression was too much to avoid or outpace. Delage was forced into liquidation in April of 1935.
This makes the Delage D8-85 the final series to be completely designed and built by Delage. It was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in October of 1934 with an estimated 100 examples being constructed.
This example was commissioned by an Algerian doctor, built by Henri Chapron and updated later by Clabot. Robert Clabot had been trained at Saoutchik and opened his own carrosserie in 1946. Most of his work dealt with the Citroen CV-11, but he did accept commissions on several other chassis. The results were typically flamboyant, and distinct, that reflected his time spent working with Saoutchik. This car features a modern grille that pre-war inspiration. The headlights are faired into the fenders and compliment the waterfall grillwork nicely.
The Algerian doctor kept the car until the 1960s when it was purchased by Mr. Wagannaar of Bergen, Holland. Under his care a restoration was commissioned and the car was finished in light green. After Wagannaar died, the car was purchased by Stichting Beheer Automobiel Museum Deventer in the Netherlands. It remained there for many years before being purchased by UK auctioneer Jeffrey Pattinson. In 2003 ownership changed again. It was treated to a comprehensive program of upgrades including a mechanical restoration.
This car was offered for sale at the 2007 RM Auctions held at Meadow Brook where it was estimated to sell for $450,000 - $650,000. Bidding reached as high as $330,000 but it failed to satisfy the reserve and the vehicle was left unsold.Also photographed at :