Delahayes have always been remarkable automobiles. They are interesting, quick, responsive, and very often astonishing to look at. Emile Delahaye began building rear-engined, belt-driven cars in 1894. Introduced at the 1935 Paris Salon, the Type 135 was a delight with its spirited and lively chassis, independent front suspension, light steering, and buttery-smooth Cotal electromagnetic gearbox. In racing form, the 135 Series was a fierce competitor, taking the first six places at the 1936 Marseilles race, a second at Le Mans in 1937, and first, second, and fourth place at Le Mans in 1938.
In 1938, a new, top-of-the-line model of the Type 135 was introduced at the 1938 Paris Salon, the MS (Modifeee Speciale). Its power plant was a thoroughly updated version of the existing 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine. A larger cylinder head and bigger valves improved breathing and horsepower was increased to 130hp and with proper gearing and slippery coachwork, could reach an incredible top speed of 110 mph.
In spite of the performance, it is the coachwork that defines a Delahaye. The greatest artists of the time created some of their best work on Delahaye chassis; Henri Chapron, Letourner et Marchand, saoutchik, Guillore, Franay, and Graber were just a few whose art graced Delahayes. However, if one coachbuilding firm deserves special distinction, it would be Figoni et Falaschi.