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1933 Delage D8S news, pictures, specifications, and information

Roadster
Coachwork: deVillars
Chassis Num: 38012
 
Sold for $3,740,000 at 2007 RM Auctions.
This 1933 Delage D8S Coupe Roadster by deVillars was the 1934 Paris Show Car. It was featured in numerous publications at the time, including the prestigious Vu magazine with images and a statement describing it as 'triumphant in any concours d'Elegance.' It was even shown in the Delage catalog for the year. This car has chassis number 38021 finished in a de Villars Coupe Roadster body featuring a long and low hood with sweeping skirted fenders and a raked windshield. It retains its original white color and white chassis and matching white wheels and white brake drums. The color white is used throughout the vehicle, including the interior which features a large white steering wheel.

After being shown at the Salon de Paris, the Coupe Roadster was sent to the Delage showrooms on Champs Elysees. It carried a sticker price that equaled its ambiance and exclusivity, at over 100,000 French francs.

The first owner was Sr. Aurelio Lerroux, the son of Sr. Alejandro Lerroux the Prime Minister of Spain. The second owner was Sr. Rico, a friend of Aurelio Lerroux and the brother of the major of Madrid. Under his care, the car was brought to Spain in April of 1935.

From there the car would pass to the Gran hotel Velasquez in Madrid where it served as a hotel shuttle for the important hotel guests.

It was later put into storage where it would remain for around 40 years. When it was brought out of storage it had a red paint scheme and still retained all of its originality, including engine, transmission, body, chassis, and mechanical components. It was completely original and had only three owners since new.

The car was treated to a body-off restoration during the care of its current owner. It was completed several years ago but still shows well in modern times.

It was brought to the 2007 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by RM Auctions, where it was one of the stars of the event. The RM Auctions was the first time in 50 years that the car has been shown in public. Its history, originality, rarity, and pedigree was highly sought after at the auction, with bidders driving the final selling price to $3,740,000 including buyer's premium. This is a car that has not been shown on the concours trail and represents a unique opportunity to easily collect numerous First in Class and Best of Shows at the world's most exclusive concours d'Elegance events.

The Delage D8 automobiles were very exclusive and elegant automobiles and a pinnacle of luxury and sohistication for Louis Delage's automobiles up to that point in history. The were refined automobiles bred for a racing history that was mature and accomplished. The design was courtesy of Maurice Gaultier who had been with the Delage marque, off-and-on, since 1910. He worked on the drive train development for Delage, later leaving to work for Georges Irat, and returning in 1925 as chief engineer.

The Delage D8 was debuted to the public at the 1929 Paris Salon. It was fitted with a four-liter pushrod overhead valve straight eight engine with five main bearings and an available 105 horsepower. It was smooth and silent that was nearly unmatched in the industry. It rested on a chassis suitable for coachwork from the leading coachfirms in the industry.

The next iteration of the D8 was the D8S which was a sporty version that rested on a 130-inch wheelbase and featured military aircraft engine technology. It had a brand new engine head with short springs located next to the valve to avoid any breakage. The carburetor was specially created for the D8S and followed aviation building principles. The sump was cast with six longitudinal tubes through it to provide ample air-cooling. The result was a 120 horsepower powerplant that was capable of carrying the elegant coachbuilt bodies to speeds reaching 100 mph. Zero-to-sixty was reported around the 15 second range which meant it could outrun a supercharged Bentley.

In 2010, this Deleage won Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2010
Coupe
Coachwork: Freestone & Webb
Chassis Num: 38220
 
Sold for $522,500 at 2012 RM Auctions.
Sold for $522,500 at 2012 Gooding & Company.
The origins of the famous saying 'One drives an Alfa Romeo, is driven in a Rolls-Royce, but gives only a Delage to his favorite mistress' remains unknown. The company's slogan, however, was 'The Car with a Reputation' and 'Gained by Performance.'

In 1905, Louis Delage started his automobile company in Courbevoie on the Seine and within a year's time had begun racing and winning. The victories scored on the racing circuit helped build the company's reputation. His obsession to win the European Grand Prix Championship was realized in 1927. His passion for racing helped spawn many memorable and milestone designs. With his dream realized, he closed his race department, sold off his race cars and returned to the manufacture of automobiles.

The D8 series was introduced in 1929 and was fitted with a straight-eight engine offering just over 100 horsepower. The chassis sold for a staggering $3,125, which was half that of an Hispano-Suiza. In 1931, Delage offered a sports version, the D8S. Offered only on the short, 130-inch wheelbase, the car had a lowered chassis and an engine that produced 120 horsepower. The Autocar tested one to 99 mph, and then demonstrated a zero-to-sixty time of 15 seconds - performing better than a supercharged Bentley.

There were fewer than 100 D8Ss sold. By 1935, Delage was financially devastated and had to sell out to arch-rival Delahaye, which continued production albeit at $5,220 for a bare chassis, nearly $2,000 more.

Louis Delage proudly claimed that his cars won more awards at concours d'elegances of the time than any other marque. Most Delages wore bodies by French coachbuilders, though this car sports coachwork by the conservative British firm of Freestone & Webb. This D8S Coupe is one of the fewer than 20 D8S models known to survive of the 99 built, and the only one bodied by Freestone & Webb.

Most of the Delages typically wore flamboyant coachwork by French designers. This car was first owned by Earl of Stadbroke, who commissioned British coachbuilder Freestone & Webb to body this D8S. Founded in 1923, the first was often associated with Bentley and Rolls-Royce. They were one of the first to take out a Weymann license and later developed a relationship with Mercedes-Benz that lasted until the end of the 1930s. At times, the firm would produce more intimate bodies. It is believed that only one Delage D8S was bodied by the Northwest London concern. It is fitted with central lubrication, Marchal headlamps and driving lights, a pillar-mounted spotlight, Andre adjustable shock absorbers and a radiator-mounted Delage Auto Thermometer.

In 2002, the car was acquired by the Milhous Brothers of Boca Raton, Florida. It remained a part of their collection until early 2012 when it was purchased by its current owner.

This D8S is painted in a sinister black with la contrasting tan leather interior and carpets. The dashboard is fitted with Jaeger instrumentation calibrated in Imperial units.

In 2012, this car was offered for sale at the Pebble Beach, CA auction presented by Gooding & Company. It was estimated to sell for $550,000 - $650,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $522,500, inclusive of buyer's premium.
It is believed that there were 99 examples of the D8S constructed from 1931 through 1933. These were highly sought-after high-performance machines that were stylish and elegant.

The D8S was built on a conventional chassis with half-elliptic springs on all four corners. The brakes were cable operated. The true genius of the vehicle lay under the long and graceful bonnet - the eight-cylinder power-plant which was capable of carrying the cars of speeds around 100 mph.

The D8S was followed by the D8SS which brought with it further improvements and enhancements. The chassis was dropped by more than three inches which aided greatly in the vehicles handling. They were available on a shorter wheelbase, though only a few chose this option. Those that did got a vehicle that was very sport, lightweight, and nimble. Horsepower on the D8SS rose from 120 to 145.

The D8S and D8SS were constructed during a very difficult point in history. The Great Depression was bringing an end to many marques. Those who did survive had found a way to corner the market, often offering low cost vehicles or offering vehicles with many amenities to attract new buyers. Introducing an eight-cylinder engine at this time was thought to be foolish, yet Louis Delage found a way to make it work. Though, this would be short lived as the company entered liquidation in the mid 1930s and was purchased by its rival, Delahaye.

By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2007
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