In the aftermath of World War II, Delahaye had survived battered but not broken. Until production of their landmark 135-series could resume, the company paid the bills by building commercial trucks and buses. Once the 135M was revised for the post-war climate, however, Delahaye was back in business as one of France’s premier sports car makers. The revised 135M was in essence the same as the pre-war model but it featured a widened track, and more powerful, refined versions of the same 3,558 c.c. six-cylinder engine, with output as high as 160 horsepower in ultimate specification. As it had before the war, Delahaye partnered with many great French coachbuilders such as Chapron, Franay, and Letourner & Marchand to skin its fabulous 135M chassis. But it was the work of Figoni et Falaschi that made the biggest impact on Delahaye’s image. The partnership was in many ways, the ideal marriage of the flamboyant high-style of Figoni, and the engineering excellence of Delahaye. Giuseppe “Joseph” Figoni was born in Italy in 1894, and immigrated to France with his parents when he was just three years old. As a teenager, he apprenticed with a carriage-maker before serving in the French military for seven years. In 1923, he opened his own body repair shop in Boulogne and quickly won the admiration of clientele who called upon his skills for not only repairs, but also for his ability to perform modifications to suit his clients’ wishes. Inevitably, this grew into a full-fledged carrosserie by 1925. He exhibited a natural talent for proportions and detailing, continuing to build upon his reputation for high quality craftsmanship. In 1935, Figoni partnered with Ovidio Falaschi, a Tuscan businessman with a penchant for fast, stylish motorcars. Falaschi’s financial backing allowed Figoni to experiment with increasingly flamboyant designs, yet he managed to maintain his fine sense of balance and proportion. The Goutte d’Or (literally “drop of gold”) coupe on a Talbot T-150 marked his arrival as a true Avant Garde stylist, one that would attract the attention of the world’s elite figures. One such figure was T’hami El Glaoui, who served as the Pasha of Marrakesh. El Glaoui was an influential figure in Moroccan politics, which was a French held colony at the time. His powerful stature in the caste system and his sympathetic stance with the French government afforded him many business opportunities at home and abroad; enough to amass a huge fortune that at one point topped $50M. El Glaoui enjoyed the fruits of his fortune, indulging in multiple palaces and the finest of French automobiles. In the late 1940s, T’hami El Glaoui commissioned Figoni et Falaschi to construct a body atop a Delahaye 135M chassis. The resulting design was a handsome, four seat GT car that featured a three-position cabriolet top with external pram irons, and elegant, full-figured proportions. It was almost understated, yet still retained just enough of the typical Figoni drama with its chrome flashes and curvaceous details. The design proved quite popular with Figoni’s other clients, and he would go on to build a series of approximately 18 cars, built on a common theme though with each example slightly different from the next. This 1948 Delahaye 135M, S/N 801620, is one of those original El Glaoui series cabriolets, believed to the last in the series of 18 cars and one of just 9 known to survive today. Originally, S/N 801620 was ordered by an Englishman, Mr. B. Grieg after he visited the Paris Auto Salon and fell in love with what he saw on the Delahaye stand. At great cost, he ordered his 135M with a Figoni et Falaschi body, on the assurance it would be unique. While each car in the El Glaoui series was built to a common theme, they were indeed unique in detail, particularly in the treatment of the front end, the shape of the grille and differing chrome embellishments on the body sides. It is believed that Mr. Grieg felt his car wasn’t as unique as he had hoped for, but regardless, he enjoyed it for a number of years in his native England. In the 1960s, it then became part of the collection of fellow Englishman Mr. Hubert Rees. Mr. Rees then sold the car in 1971 to A.K. Wilson, a Toronto-based enthusiast and connoisseur of French motorcars. Following Wilson’s passing, the Delahaye joined the collection of William Anderson of Massachusetts who oversaw its restoration and subsequently showed the car in multiple events around the country, earning a CCCA National First Prize along the way. It then passed through two very significant collections, that of Judge Joseph Cassini and then to James Patterson of Louisville, KY, before most recently becoming part of an important private collection of coachbuilt French automobiles. Today, 801620 presents in stunning condition in the elegant livery of black over a lush red interior. Paint and body quality are exceptional, the car having been preserved in superlative condition since its restoration. Fit and finish are outstanding, and the brightwork presents in fine order. On this car, the archetypal Figoni “sweepspear” treatment is toned down in favor of linear chrome accents on the body sides, while the black Stayfast three-position top, black wall Michelin tires and chrome wire wheels lend a particular subdued elegance to this exquisite automobile. The cockpit, which is trimmed in lush red leather, shows only the slightest creasing from use but remains supple and beautifully presented. The steering wheel and dash are finished in a lighter shade of red as original, and it of course retains all original instrumentation including the original Phillips Radio. The rear seats are quite usable for additional passengers, making this a fine choice for touring or concours events alike. With the top fully open, the windscreen can be folded forward to transform this elegant drophead into a full-fledged sports car. The original, matching-numbers engine (number 801620) features triple carburetor specification and is mated to a conventionally shifted four-speed transmission, eliminating the maintenance intensive nature of the alternative pre-selector. In keeping with the rest of this car, the engine is beautifully detailed with proper finishes, correct hardware and correctly presented ancillaries. The same goes for the undercarriage which, again, is fully detailed and exceptionally clean as one would expect from a concours-quality restoration such as this. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a beautiful, fully-restored example of the highly desirable Figoni et Falaschi El Glaoui Cabriolet. One of only 9 known to exist and understood to be the final of the series, this magnificent automobile is presented in exquisite condition and is suitable for virtually any major concours event or tour the world over.
One of only two Delahaye 135 M Coupe built by Antem This Delahaye 135 M Coupe chassis no. 800990 has a breathtaking design with lines particularly fluid Totally restored Record with pictures of the restoration available Very few miles covered since the extensive restoration This Delahaye has a French registration
Body made by Pourtout in 1948 First example of this "transition" model combining the pre-war style and the integral pontoon line Was exhibited on the Pourtout stand at the 1948 Paris Motor Show Participated in many Concours d’Elégance (like Enghein-les-Bains in 1949 or the concours of "La Grande Cascade" at the Bois de Boulogne in 1949 too) Property of the Marquis de Cuevas in 1952 (he owned and managed a famous ballet company) It then went through the hands of several French owners In 1988-1989, the body, paintwork and upholstery of the car were restored by the Atelier Automobiles Anciennes in Chambray-les-Tours (AAAT) Claude Pourtout, Marcel’s Pourtout son, who supervised the restoration work, certified that this car was built by his father’s company Sold at an auction in New York in 1989, the car has since been part of various American collections This matching number car works perfectly. Only 43,405 km from new. Ready to appear at the main international Concours d’Elegance events US papers. European taxes paid.
1936 Delahaye 135 Competition Disappearing Top Convertible Figoni et Falaschi, Paris Chassis No. 46864 Engine No. 46864 All numbers matching throughout All owners known from new Original Figoni body #581 Extensive documentation, history Figoni Patented Disappearing Top Competition engine, chassis and transmission Competition history Original Owner's Manual 100 Point/Concours Condition This 1936 135 Competition Disappearing Top Convertible is notable for many reasons, including its streamlined design by Joseph Figoni, with the Figoni et Falaschi patented (795.769) disappearing top, pioneered on this car. It was specially ordered when new, to be equally at home on a boulevard... or on a racetrack. It has a racing engine, gearbox and chassis. It is restored to 100-point level for Concours d'Elegance competition, and is the winner of many prestigious concours awards. But most importantly, as the premier example of 1930s French coachbuilding, this beautiful automobile can be seen and valued as fine art, with all the implications for further appreciation that the fine art market commands. “A true movable feast for the eyes.” “The chassis 46864 is correct in all respects” -- Club Delahaye France Archives Rarely do competitive racing chassis and engine and imaginative aerodynamic coachwork come together in the same car. This was Figoni et Falaschi's signature style applied to a convertible... the new flowing streamlined coachwork for which Figoni-Falaschi would become internationally famous. It most dramatically illustrates Figoni’s famed streamlined creations, in this case for a wealthy Parisian named Wolf, a personal friend of Figoni’s. Wolf could afford the best of the best, so he challenged Delahaye and Figoni to create a car with elegant line, fine et elancée, with the fast and reliable Competition 3.5 liter six-cylinder engine, and the competition chassis... bearing in mind his intent to race the car and enter in rallies, as well as concours events and various showings for Figoni. “This is one of the most elegant creations of Joseph Figoni and one of the most important Delahaye cars.” -- Club Delahaye France Archives This design is a one-off, piece unique, combining the Delahaye identity in the grille and hood with generous teardrop fenders flanking Marchal headlights tucked tightly to the grille and a pair of Marchal fog lights fitted low below them. The fender shape is echoed at the rear with skirts enclosing the rear tires. Chrome accents highlight the fender trailing edges matching the chrome accent sweeping back from the peak of the grille, down across the doors then filling the rear fender joint and small chrome spline down the rear deck. Monsieur Wolf granted the privilege of showing his car to his close friend Figoni, for tours and other showings of the streamlined coachwork. Figoni himself drove this car, as Wolf’s eyesight was poor enough to limit his driving. Later, Wolf hired the famous French racing team of Guy Mairesse and Paul Vallée to campaign the car in various racing events. We have a photo of the team piloting the car in the Rallye de Monte Carlo in 1949, kindly supplied by Claude Figoni, Joseph’s son. The car achieved sixth place out of a field of 230 cars, in an extremely difficult and dangerous race on the rutted muddy wreck-strewn roads of postwar Europe. You'll appreciate the gorgeous interior's sparkling jewel-like engine-turned dashboard, soft and supple light gray (gris) quill ostrich leather seats and door panels, piped in dark blue leather. The light-colored upholstery is a perfect complement for the stunning Bleu Foncé exterior. Carpets are dark blue as is the soft top and trunk lining. There are so many small touches that make this car unique -- like the upswept curve at the center base of the folding windshield, a theme picked up on the polished wood door panels, and on the upholstery. And, the car also has a set of matching fitted luggage as per the original build sheet. The luggage is finished in reverse colors of dark blue (bleu foncé) quill ostrich with gray (gris) edging and handles. The entire ensemble of internationally competitive wind-cheating luxury coachwork is simply breathtaking. Refined detailed elegance and streamlined design combine masterfully with competition engine and chassis in this piece unique objet d’art, considered to be one of Joseph Figoni’s finest creations. Show, tour or simply stare at her; a visual feast. To be savored.