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1949 Delahaye Type 135M Cabriolet

  • Coachwork by Henri Chapron
  • Chassis Number: 801355
  • Engine Number: 801355
Delahaye introduced the Type 135 at the Paris Salon in 1935 and it came with a new chassis powered by the same 3.6-liter, six-cylinder engine first used in the earlier TYpe 138. A year later, Delahaye introduced the 135 M, which came with a slightly large engine with improved horsepower and a choice of single, dual, or triple carburetors.

The Delahaye 135 claimed the first six places at Marseilles in 1936, and the following year it took 2nd overall at Le Mans and 1st, 2nd, and 4th the following year. It claimed the overall position at the Rallye Monte Carlo in both 1937 and 1939.

After World War II, the production of the Type 135 resumed using the tried-and-true 3.6-liter engine. By this point in history, the French government had placed large taxes on cars with a displacement of over three liters, leading to the untimely demise of the legendary marque.

This particular 135M Cabriolet with coachwork by Chapron was acquired by Charles Nagler for the family collection in 1972 from Michael Berry. At the time it had been referred to as a 1938 model, though research later revealed it was built in early 1949, which the car having been delivered to Chapron for coachwork on February 22nd and completed sometime in March.

Since this is a 135 M it is equipped with a high-performance triple-carbureted engine and Cotal gearbox.

While in the Nagler's collection, it was shown in 1937 at a concours d'elegance in Toronto, as well as in that year's Sports Cars in Review exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum. A restoration followed and after the work was completed it was occasionally shown and toured into the early 1990s, then remained largely stowed away until the early 21st century. It was given a cosmetic restoration in 2016 by 203 Custom Car Works of Ypsilanti, Michigan, with an interior by Mark Larder and chrome by Brightworks of Piqua, Ohio.

IN 2018 it was shown at the Concours d'Elegance of America of St. John's where it was awarded a Lion award.

By Daniel Vaughan | May 2020
The postwar period was very difficult for European manufacturers due to material shortages, extremely high taxation on new cars, and overall difficult working conditions.

This did not stop Delahaye from producing automobiles as soon as possible after the end of the war. The 135M chassis and engine dated from before the war. It was very competitive in the race circuit and provided a powerful platform for expensive custom-built cars for those with the wherewithal to afford the best that money could buy.

It was natural for Delahaye to start post-war production with these designs. Like all the principal French automakers, Delahaye complied with government requirements allocating the majority of its vehicles for export. In 1947 88% of Delahaye production was exported. Nevertheless, Delahaye's small volume, with 573 cars produced in 1948, was unsustainably low.

This car's engine is equipped with three Solex carburetors and it is coupled to a 4-speed Cotal electromagnetic transmission. The chassis features Lockheed hydraulic brakes, an independent front suspension, and a live rear axle. These make the 135M a joy to drive, and with beautiful custom coachwork by Henri Chapron, it is a joy to behold.

Many Delahayes were coachbuilt by the house of Chapron. After World War II this continued until 1953, mainly due to excessive French taxes on such large cars as the Delahaye, Delage, Hotchkiss, Salmson, and Talbot-Lago.

Provenance *
* Please note, dates are approximate

2020 RM Sothebys : Amelia Island Auction

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $350,000-USD $450,000 
Sale Price :
USD $240,800

1949 Delahaye Type 135M Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Delahaye Type 135M

(Data based on Model Year 1949 sales)
1949 Delahaye 135 M Cabriolet by Chapron
Chassis#: 800940
Sold for USD$123,200
  2023 RM Sothebys : Amelia Island
1949 Delahaye Type 135M image  1949 Delahaye Type 135M image  
1949 Delahaye 135M Cabriolet by Chapron
Chassis#: 801355
Sold for USD$240,800
  2020 RM Sothebys : Amelia Island Auction
1949 Delahaye Type 135M image  1949 Delahaye Type 135M image  
1949 Delahaye 135 Coach by Chapron
Chassis#: 801432
Sold for USD$35,345
  2020 RM Sothebys : Paris
 
1949 Delahaye 135M Cabriolet
Chassis#: 801221
Sold for USD$475,000
  2019 Gooding & Company : Amelia Island
1949 Delahaye Type 135M image  1949 Delahaye Type 135M image  
1949 Delahaye 135 M cabriolet Guilloré
Chassis#: 801242
Sold for USD$96,984
  2016 Artcurial : LeMans Classic
 
1949 Delahaye 135 M Cabriolet 'Malmaison' by Pourtout
Chassis#: 801199
Sold for USD$495,000
  2016 RM Sothebys : Amelia Island
1949 Delahaye Type 135M image  1949 Delahaye Type 135M image  
1949 Delahaye 135 MS coupé Ghia Turin
Chassis#: 800514
Sold for USD$180,194
  2016 Rétromobile 2016 by Artcurial Motorcars
 
1949 Delahaye 135 M Cabriolet by Guilloré
Chassis#: 801221
Sold for USD$451,000
  2016 RM Sothebys : Arizona
1949 Delahaye Type 135M image  1949 Delahaye Type 135M image  
1949 Delahaye 135M Cabriolet
Chassis#: 800 755
Sold for USD$359,674
  2015 Bonhams : Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais
 
1949 DELAHAYE 135M CABRIOLET
Chassis#: 800863
Sold for USD$399,155
  2014 LES GRANDES MARQUES DU MONDE AU GRAND PALAIS
 
1949 Delahaye 135M Replica Roadster by Crailville
Chassis#: 800820
Sold for USD$350,003
  2010 RM Auctions - Sporting Classics of Monaco
 

Delahaye Type 135Ms That Failed To Sell At Auction

1949 Delahaye Type 135M's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1949 Delahaye 135M Cabriolet By Chapron8009402024 Mecum : Glendale$220,000$325,000$375,000
1949 Delahaye 135M Cabriolet8009402024 Worldwide Auctioneers : Scottsdale   
1949 Delahaye 135 M Estérel Roadster8013392023 Bonhams : Les Grandes Marques du Monde à Paris $200,000$220,000
1949 Delahaye 135 Cabriolet par Henri Chapron8009402022 Artcurial : Retromobile $200,000$300,000
1949 Delahaye 135 M Cabriolet by Guilloré8008632019 RM Sothebys : Paris $250,000$325,000
1949 Delahaye 135M Cabriolet8014722018 Gooding & Company : Scottsdale, Az. $275,000$350,000

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1949 Delahaye Type 135M

Additional valuation insight and sales data
History
Specifications
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Other Delahaye Type 135M model years

1949 Delahaye Type 135M Vehicle Profiles

1949 Delahaye Type 135M vehicle information
Cabriolet
Coachwork: Henri Chapron
Chassis #: 800940
Engine #: 800940
1949 Delahaye Type 135M vehicle information
Cabriolet
Coachwork: Henri Chapron
Chassis #: 801355
Engine #: 801355
1949 Delahaye Type 135M vehicle information
Cabriolet Malmaison
Coachwork: Pourtout
1949 Delahaye Type 135M vehicle information
Cabriolet
Coachwork: Henri Chapron
1949 Delahaye Type 135M vehicle information
Cabriolet
Coachwork: Guillore
Chassis #: 801221
1949 Delahaye Type 135M vehicle information
Cabriolet Malmaison
Coachwork: Pourtout
Chassis #: 801199
Engine #: 801199
1949 Delahaye Type 135M vehicle information
Coupe de Ville
Coachwork: Saoutchik
1949 Delahaye Type 135M vehicle information
Cabriolet
Coachwork: Saoutchik
Chassis #: 801424

Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.