1936 Delahaye Type 135 Competition Court Teardrop Coupe by Figoni et Falaschi
Offered by RM Auctions | New York, New York | November 21, 2013
This car is gorgeous. Elegant, French, swoopy lines wrapped around what was then a sporty chassis and engine combination. This car was the 1936 equivalent of – there is no modern equivalent to compare it to. Today’s car companies don’t wrap art around their race cars. It’s all about function. Style like this is, unfortunately, a thing of the past.
The Type 135 was introduced by Delahaye in 1935. There were other models in the line including the 135M and 135MS. This is the base model, which used a 3.2-liter straight-six making up to 110 horsepower. The Type 135 stayed in production until 1940 and did not go back into production after the war like the other two models.
This Competition model (which features bits and pieces from Delahayes race cars, like a shorter chassis and a very rare four-speed manual transmission) was bodied by Figoni & Falaschi by special order. It was the last of six Type 135 Coupes built by the coachbuilder and it is different from the other five: the headlights, for example, are fared into the fenders. This car was also a Delahaye factory demonstrator before being hidden during WWII.
Ownership history is known from the early-1950s (it was likely owned by Delahaye up to that point). It sat parked in Italy for 40 years until being uncovered in the late-90s and restored by its new American owner. It has been displayed here and there, winning awards wherever it goes. Coachbuilt French Teardrops have been popular for a long time and because they are art-in-motion (just like Joseph Figoni intended) they will likely remain so.