No more than a dozen or so of these 4.5-liter V12's were constructed and fewer remain today. The 'Million Franc Car' with its cigar shaped bodywork is still accounted for, and at least three other 145 models. Two Coupes were bodied by Henri Chapron, one carries chassis number 48772 and the other is 48773. Both of these Chapron Coupes were on display at the 2006 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where Delahaye was the featured marque. Both currently reside in the same stable.
48772 was commissioned during the late 1930s, but it was not completed for many years due to the onset of World War II and the buyer having payment issues. In 1951, the chassis was married with its body and sent to its owner in New York. The owner entered it into competition and by the close of the season, the engine required a rebuild. The work was never completed and the car remained in-need of repair for twenty years. It was just a matter of time before this masterpiece was re-assembled and given the care it deserves. It has been treated to a complete restoration and in 2004, it was sold at Retromobile.
Chassis 48773 was purchased by Chapron in the late 1940s and given a similar body to the first car. There are a few differences, such as a two-tone paint scheme and a full-frame rear window. 48772 has a smaller window in the rear divided in two down the middle. The biggest difference is under the hood. 48773 is powered by a Type 165 engine which was given performance tuned features to match its sporty persona. The car is equipped with a multi-plate clutch and a upgraded crankshaft. Both coupes have similar shapes and extensive use of decorative chrome.
48773 is now powered by a Type 135 Sport engine. It was treated to a restoration and later shown at the 1985 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It would return in 2006, along side its sister car, where Delahaye was the featured marque.
The example shown is chassis number 48772.
In 1937, the French discovered a way to get Grand Prix engine performance at Grand Touring engine cost. The resulting beauty, the Delahaye Type 145, remains a favorite of sports car enthusiast and collectors who love the fusion of power and elegance. In the late 1930s, French entrepreneurs, along with the government, offered a million-franc prize to the manufacturer who made the car that could best compete on the international circuit. Designer Jean-Francois took the challenge and came up with a brilliant concept: he mounted three low gear-driven camshafts to operate inclined valves via pushrods. The result was a light car that was twice as powerful as its German and Italian competitors. No more than a dozen of these magnificent 4.5-liter V12s were made, but the cars won LeMillion as a one-seater and both LeMans and the Mille Miglia as a two-seater. With 235 horsepower, they were capable of top speeds in excess of 162.5 mph. This example took first place in the 1938 Grand Prix de Pau and the Grand Prix de Cork as well as second place in the Cote de la Turbie.By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2016
No auction information available for this vehicle at this time.
(Data based on Model Year 1937
Vehicles That Failed To Sell1937 Delahaye Type 145's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
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