1937 Delage D6-3L
|Model History||Auction sales research||Specifications||Body styles and Chassis Data|
In 1913 a team of Type Y cars powered by six-liter engines finished the Grand Prix de France at LeMans in first, second and fifth place. Two of them were taken by drivers Thomas and Guyot to the 1914 Indianapolis 500. Thomas won the race and Guyot finished in third. On some of the worlds greatest racing scenes, the Delages had proven victorious.
Following on this success and in preparation for the 1914 French Grand Prix, Delage commissioned his designer, Arthur-Leon Michelat, to create a double-overhead-cam four that displaced 4.4-liters. The engine was given vertical shaft drive for the camshafts and operated the valves desmodromically, without springs. Powered by the new engine, the Type S finished in eight place.
After the First World War, the Type S cars were purchased by Harry Harkness. Barney Oldfield drove the car at the 1916 Indy 500 and placed fifth. At various other circuits, the cars were met with varying results.
The Type S was followed by a series of six-cylinder sprint cars. A 10.7-liter V12 Type DH soon followed and set a new European speed record in March of 1927 and a new world's record of 143.31 mph in July.
During the mid-1920s Louis Delage aggressively competed in the European Grand Prix Championship which he eventually won. The racing program had been successful in Grand Prix competition, the Indy 500, and numerous other sporting events but it had cost the company dearly. It was too much for the Delage Company to afford, so at the close of the 1927 season, the racing program was abandoned. When the world entered the Great Depression, the writing was on the wall for the Delage Company. It entered into receivership in 1935 and was soon taken over by rival Delahaye. Under the new regime, the racing program was revived, with Delahaye 135 Speciale chassis powered by Michelat-designed six-cylinder 3-liter pushrod engines. In 1937 a D6-3L came in fourth at LeMans. A second place at LeMans was achieved in 1939. Another second place was achieved at LeMans in 1949.
This 1937 Delage D6-3L Grand Prix Race Car has chassis number G4331 and its early racing history is unknown. By the late 1970s it second racing career was embarked in Argentina when Luis 'Lucho' Clucellas purchased a bare chassis. The car was put together by Juan Rocha and clothed in aluminum by Hugo Galicio.
The Cotal electromagnetic preselector gearbox was built up by Rocha out of accumulated parts. The body was fashioned after the car driven by Gerard in the 1938 Tourist Trophy race. Visually, it is similar in many ways but different in others, such as the tail and the fenders which are more in style with a Bugatti. The car was never painted. The car was later sold to Michael Dellepiane who used it in competition for several years during the 1980s. In the early 1990s it was imported to the U.S. It was purchased by its present owner in 1998 who commissioned a restoration in the early 2000s. The car has participated in the Colorado Grand, the annual 1000-mile vintage rally, in 2005 and 2006, earning honors as 'Prime Motoring Fool.'
This vehicle was brought to the 2007 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by RM Auctions, where it had an estimated value of $250,000 - $350,000. Though the bidding did not reach the estimated value, the lot was sold for a high bid of $210,000 including buyer's premium.
In 2009, this D6-3L Grand Prix Race Car was offered for sale at the Sports & Classics of Monterey auction in Monterey, California presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $175,000-$225,000. The lot was sold for the sum of $165,000 including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2009
|Auction Sales Information|
|Auction||Monterey Sports and Classic Car Auction|
|Auction||Sports & Classics of Monterey|
|Sports & Classics of Monterey||1936-1940|
|Monterey Sports and Classic Car Auction||1934-1937|