Some of the Elegance at Amelia


1933 Delage D8S

Now in its third decade, the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance is among the top automotive events in the world. Always held the second full weekend in March, 'The Amelia' draws over 250 rare vehicles from collections around the world to The Golf Club of Amelia Island and The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island for a celebration of the automobile like no other.

The 2017 edition of the Amelia Island Concours had many spectacular vehicles, and here are just a few that graced the well manicured lawn.

1933 Delage D8S

This 1933 Delage D8S roadster with coachwork by DeVillars was the star of the 1934 Paris Auto Salon. Delage sold the car for over 100,000 francs (approximately $20,000). It has a 130-inch wheelbase and four-liter push rod overhead valve straight-eight producing 145 horsepower. The engineering team designed a new military aircraft engine and the D8S carburetor was an aviation type to avoid icing - surrounded by heated oil. The cable operated brakes, unusual for the period, are vacuum assisted.

1933 Delage D8S

Some unique details are a jack mounted to the steering box, a handy wrench attached to the fuel pump and the head lamps have diffuser lines worked into the silver plated bowls. The first owner was Alejandro Lerroux, Prime Minister of Spain. It was passed through the Lerroux family and then to the Gran Hotel Velasquez in Madrid. This is the original white color scheme. The frame is white, the brake drums are white, the steering wheel is white and the instruments on the chrome trimmed dashboard are white-faced.

1935 Duesenberg SJ

The Model J was produced in Indianapolis from 1929 until 1937 with a 420 cubic-inch DOHC engine producing 265 horsepower in stock form and 320 horsepower in supercharged form. Each of the chassis sold received custom coachwork built to the whims of the owner. Prices ranged from $13,500 to $25,000. Five torpedo Phaetons were built to Gordon Buehrig's design. The first body was produced by Brunn and two subsequent bodies were built by Weymann.

1935 Duesenberg SJ
This car is one of the last two Torpedo Phaetons, which were built by the A.J. Walker Company to the Gordon Buehrig design specifications. It was originally delivered new to E.L. King of Winona, Wisconsin as J-558 on chassis $2558. Mr. King was apparently not satisfied with the car and Duesenberg agreed to replace the complete chassis and engine. The original body was installed on chassis #2608 with engine J-582.

1937 Delahaye 145

1937 Delahaye 145 by Franay

In the 1930's Hitler pumped millions of Deutsche Marks into Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union. This was a propaganda effort to intimidate the world with German technological might. In 1937, the French government and the Automobile Club of France offered a 1,000,000 franc reward to the constructor and driver of any French car that could best the Germans at Monthlery. The contest ultimately came down to a competition between Delahaye and Bugatti. Delahaye, with the superb driving talents of Rene Dreyfus, was victorious. The following year, Dreyfus went on to win eight more races in the car, one of three newly engeineered 12-cylinder model 145's. This racecar, now France's most famous, was hidden away during the war and eventually sold to a private client in 1945. 1937 Delahaye 145 The new owner ordered elegant coachwork from Marius Franay. However, before delivery, the car was seized and auctioned by the French government for crimes of collaboration. It was purchased by Franay and eventually sold to its first owner, rumored to have been Prince Ranier of Monaco.

1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K

1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Roadster

Mercedes-Benz began producing a line of large and fast grand touring cars beginning in 1932. The 540K model was offered from 1936 to 1938 and was the design work of Hermann Ahrens and built to order by Karrosserie Sindelfingen (a Mercedes-Benz in-house coachbuilding subsidiary).

1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K

This roadster is powered by a 180 horsepower, 5401cc overhead valve inline eight-cylinder engine with driver-activated Roots-type supercharger and twin updraft pressurized carburetors. It is coupled to a four-speed manual transmission with synchromesh on third and a dog clutch on fourth, independent wishbone coil front suspension, independent swing-arm rear suspension and four-wheel servo-assisted hydraulic drum brakes. It rides on a 128 inch wheelbase. Just 419 chassis were built, and of those, only 26 carried the longtail Spezial Roadster coachwork.

1938 Delahaye 135

1938 Delahaye Type 135

This 1938 Delahaye 135 MS Coupe with coachwork by Figoni & Falaschi was displayed on the Figoni/Falaschi stand at the 1938 Paris Salon. Also on display at the time was a Delahaye V12 Roadster.

1938 Delahaye 135

The chassis was built atop of the new 135 M Special, also known as MS, and powered by a four-main bearing 3557cc engine that was comprised of light alloy cinder heads and had a 8.4:1 compression ratio. Pushrods operated the 42 mm vertical inlet valves. The engine breathed through triple down-draft Solex carburetors and emptied into six exhaust ports which eventually feed into a single exhaust pipe. Power was rated at 125.

1938 Jaguar SS100
1938 Jaguar SS100 Graber Coupe

The bare chassis was shipped to Hermann Graber at Wichtrac, Switzerland in May of 1938 to construct this one-off two-door, two-window, five seater coupe body for Monsieur Michel Dionisotti of Geneva, Switzerland. Each owner since has been well documented. The car was first restored in 1994 and was re-restored in 2014. The car rides on a 120 inch wheelbase and is powered by a 3485cc overhead-valve six-cylinder engine with dual SU carburetors developing 125 horsepower, coupled to a Moss 4-speed manual gearbox. It is fitted with semi-elliptic leaf springs and four-wheel drum brakes.

1938 Talbot-Lago T23

This 1938 Talbot-Lago Type 23 with body work by Figoni and Falaschi became the prototype and first production model of the 'Teardrop' coupe. The T23 Model rides on a 116 inch wheelbase with a 4-liter six-cylinder engine producing 115 horsepower with a Wilson four-speed pre-selector gearbox.

1938 Talbot-Lago T23

This Talbot-Lago 'Coupe Royal' is the only 9220 style Tear Drop built on the T-23 chassis and was the prototype Tear Drop to the subsequent run of T-150 SS Tear Drops. It is also the only Tear Drop to be equipped with exposed Marchal headlamps. A previous owner initiated a restoration in the early 1960s which resulted in partial disassembly but which was never completed. The current owners acquired the car in 1998 and commissioned a restoration to original condition.

1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B

In the 1930s, the 8C 2900 Alfa was not a mere sports car but was the most advanced, modern and compelling sports car money could buy. Approximately 32 of the 29 chassis were made and it is believed only 12 are Touring Spiders, seven of which are the long chassis like this car. This car's known history starts in 1949. In February 1949 it was raced in Sao Paulo by amateur driver Mario Tavares Leite who had the car imported from Italy to Brazil. Mario won races with the car in 1949 and 1950 after which the car disappeared. Later it had a Corvette engine installed and the chassis was modified. It is possible this car traveled to Brazil from Argentina in the mid-to-late 1950s, without the Touring body and with the Corvette V8 only to be reunited with the original Touring coachwork years later.

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