Louis Delage founded his automobile business in 1905, beginning with just three employees, two lathes and a tiny workshop in Levallois-Perret, about 4km outside of Paris. One of his employees happened to be the former chief engineer for Peugeot, so at least Delage knew from the onset to surround himself with talent. In the early years, Delage mainly built small voiturettes utilizing deDion-Bouton engines, but as his interest in motorsport grew, so did the size, quality and performance of his automobiles. By 1910, a new factory was needed to accommodate demand for their in-house designed four-cylinder models. Following World War I, production expanded again to include a six-cylinder model and they gained ever greater success on the world motorsport stage. By the 1920s, Delage had hit its stride. The 20s and 30s were considered by many to be the glory days of the company, with ever more beautiful and advanced automobiles leaving the works, winning races around the world and finding favor with the elite. Considered to be Delage’s pièce de résistance, the D8 was the largely work of gifted chief engineer Maurice Gaultier. At its heart was Gaultier’s 4 liter pushrod straight eight, running on five main bearings and producing 105 brake horsepower with a smoothness and silence that was the envy of virtually every other automaker. The D8 was offered with two chassis configurations, the standard D8 “Normale” or the sports oriented D8S which featured more aggressive chassis tuning as well as amendments to the valve gear and higher compression for 118 brake horsepower at 3,800 rpm. As an option, this engine could be fitted to the Normale chassis and the model was referred to as the D8 C, which is the spec of our featured vehicle. Delage’s elite clientele took to the D8 with great enthusiasm, and the chassis became a favorite for coachbuilders the world over. Such was the acclaim given La Belle Voiture Française—“The Beautiful French Automobile”—that its makers proudly boasted, “At the Concours d’Elegance held during 1930 in the principal cities of Europe, Delage Straight Eights received more awards than any other car.” Chassis number 34738 was bodied by the renowned French coachbuilder Henri Chapron and is the only Chapron-bodied D8 C known to survive today. Chapron was known not only for his impeccable, understated style, but also for the exceptional build quality he imparted in his automobiles. Rather unusually, this beautiful Delage was not originally registered France but rather in Renfrewshire, Scotland, on July 14, 1931, as HS6322 (a registration number which remains with the car to this day). By 1939, it had changed hands to Roland Stanley Bevan of Taunton, Somerset, who maintained it for 20 years, after which it was purchased by Douglas Henry Shrimpton of Dorset. Subsequently, around 1960, the car was purchased by Vojta Mashek, a renowned early French automobile collector from Chicago. In 1966, Mashek sold the Delage to Homer Fitterling of South Bend, Indiana. Mr. Fitterling was well known for, among other things, an “every year” collection of Corvettes, a great number of Duesenbergs, and this very Delage, which he reportedly used to tow the Duesenbergs to shows! The most recent caretaker, a longtime collector in the Midwest, purchased the Delage from Mr. Fitterling in 1973. It was intact, solid, and ran well, but it was ready for restoration. Between 1992 and 1994 the job was entrusted to the renowned facility of LaVine Restorations of Nappanee, Indiana. Subsequently, the car was displayed at the 1994 Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance and from 2004 to 2007 was exhibited at the ACD Automobile Museum in Auburn, Indiana, in their Gallery of Classics. Though now two decades old, the restoration presents exceedingly well, having been carefully freshened with new Aubergine paint on the main body, complementing the black fenders. The style is conservative but extremely elegant, featuring a close-coupled style body with a long bonnet, gracefully formed cycle fenders and fabulous torpedo-shaped running boards with integrated storage boxes. A large cabriolet top with exposed irons looks elegant up or down, and an upholstered trunk rounds out the look. This is a fabulous looking automobile from any angle. The light grey leather seating presents in outstanding condition and is trimmed by exquisite inlaid wood work on the dash and door panels. The Jaeger instruments are faced in cream to contrast the dark wood. The body features excellent brightwork and the engine compartment has been superbly detailed, having been lightly used while in the stewardship of the last owner. It is offered with an extensive history file covering its ownership and restoration and including correspondence with Delage registrar and historian Peter Jacobs, as well as a copy of the Profile Publications volume on the D8, in which this car is pictured. With excellent history, wonderful Chapron style, and the distinction of being the last known Chapron-bodied D8 C, this is a tremendously significant Delage for an enthusiast of beautiful French - or just plain beautiful - automobiles.