Figoni et Falaschi Narval

1947 Delahaye 135MS Narval Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019

Photo – Mecum

If this car were to be built today, it would ride about four inches lower. At least. That upside-down bathtub styling just looks right at home sucking on the ground. But the roads were different in 1947. Especially in France. And who am I to nitpick a Figoni et Falaschi design?

The Delahaye 135MS is powered by a 3.6-liter inline-six probably making about 145 horsepower. These cars were produced both before and after the war, technically from about 1938 through the end of Delahaye production in 1954.

The “Narval” name, if you haven’t figured it out, alludes to the car’s somewhat narwhal-like appearance. Only seven such Delahayes were bodied like this, and this one has been in the same hands for the last 50 years. It’s a million-dollar car, no doubt. You can see more about it here and more from Mecum’s Monterey sale here.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $2,600,000.

Talbot-Lago Teardrop Coupe

1937 Talbot-Lago T150C-SS Teardrop Coupe by Figoni et Falaschi

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Here we go. It seems like 10 years ago cars like this were winning every major show and bringing the top money at every big sale. Then it sort of cooled off. We’re glad to see something this exotic back on the big auction stage.

Talbot-Lago introduced the T150 in 1937. They produced a competition model, which appended a “C” to the T150 model designation. Some of these were competition cars sold to the public which were bodied by coachbuilders as road cars (see photo above). The “SS” signifies a short-wheelbase car, which was even more desirable. This car is powered by a 140 horsepower, 4.0-liter straight-six.

This is one of two “Goutte d’Eau” coupes bodied by the legendary Figoni et Falaschi. What that means is it’s a Teardrop Coupe and the front fenders are enclosed. Those wheel covers make the entire car look extremely aerodynamic. The design is one of the best of the era and this car would be a centerpiece to any collection.

Hidden during WWII, it was re-bodied as a convertible in Switzerland in the late 1940s. The current owner acquired the car in 1987 and in 2000 had it brought back to original specification. The result is fantastic. It should bring between $3,500,000-$4,150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $3,757,824.

Delahaye 135 Competition Court Cabriolet

1936 Delahaye 135 Competition Court Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 11, 2017

Photo – Artcurial

The Delahaye 135 was the first model in a series of cars that would be built from 1935 through 1954 (with some time off for the War, of course). The 135 would be offered in a few different forms, but the Competition Court was the top-of-the-line model. The engine in this car is a 3.8-liter straight-six, which is not original to this car (it would’ve had a 3.5-liter unit when new).

It rides on a Competition chassis (which was sort of discovered by its most recent owner when the car was restored). It originally featured a Faux-Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi, but it was converted to a full cabriolet by the same guy who swapped the engine – but the design stays true to the original. This is one of six 135 Competition Court cars that originally sported a Figoni coupe body (here’s another). It’s a beautiful car with a good story (like how it was hidden from the Nazis) and it should bring between $1,275,000-$1,900,000. Click here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Five Coachbuilt Delahayes

Five Coachbuilt Delahayes

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 11, 2017


1936 Delahaye 135 Competition Court Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi

Photo – Artcurial

The Delahaye 135 was the first model in a series of cars that would be built from 1935 through 1954 (with some time off for the War, of course). The 135 would be offered in a few different forms, but the Competition Court was the top-of-the-line model. The engine in this car is a 3.8-liter straight-six, which is not original to this car (it would’ve had a 3.5-liter unit when new).

It rides on a Competition chassis (which was sort of discovered by its most recent owner when the car was restored). It originally featured a Faux-Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi, but it was converted to a full cabriolet by the same guy who swapped the engine – but the design stays true to the original. This is one of six 135 Competition Court cars that originally sported a Figoni coupe body (here’s another). It’s a beautiful car with a good story (like how it was hidden from the Nazis) and it should bring between $1,275,000-$1,900,000. Click here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.


1938 Delahaye 135M Coupe Sport by Chapron

Photo – Artcurial

The 135M was built on both sides of World War II and it was basically a standard 135 with a better engine. In this case, that engine is a 3.5-liter straight-six, which, depending on carburetor setup, put out 90, 105, or 115 horsepower. This car is a 115 horsepower variant. This example was one of two ordered new from Chapron by a man from Algeria and its early history is not known.

It reappeared in Luxembourg sometime before 1986 and passed between owners before being liquidated as part of Evert Louwman’s purchase of the Rosso Bianco collection. Presented as an all-original car with “refreshed paintwork,” this car should sell in the neighborhood of $425,000-$635,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1939 Delahaye 135MS Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi

Photo – Artcurial

If you didn’t guess it, the Delahaye 135MS was a step up from the 135M. In this case the engine is a 3.6-liter straight-six putting out 160 horsepower. This numbers matching car (body, engine, chassis) was bodied by Figoni & Falaschi in the a highly desirable cabriolet style.

It was originally ordered and owned by a famous French singer and stayed in her family until the late 1940s. The body was modified around 1950 when it was used in a film. Fortunately, the current owner (who has had the car since 2012) restored the car to its original glory, winning two awards at Pebble Beach as a result. This beauty should bring between $1,275,000-$1,700,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1950 Delahaye 148L Coach by Saoutchik

Photo – Artcurial

The Delahaye 148 was a long-wheelbase version of the 135M. It wasn’t as sporty, but that doesn’t mean they still didn’t garner incredibly crafted bodies from France’s finest coachbuilders. Because it is a derivative of the 135M, the 148 is powered by a 3.5-liter straight-six. Power depended on the number of carburetors and this is likely a 115 horsepower car.

Saoutchik built some of the most exotic bodies for old cars and this windswept two-door fastback fits right in with what they’re known for – in fact, it was shown on their stand at the 1950 Paris Motor Show. The current owner has had it since 1970 and while he kept it in running order, he drove it sparingly. It shows just less than 19,000 original miles. It’s all-original and should bring between $750,000-$1,050,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1951 Delahaye 135M Gascogne Coach by Dubos

Photo – Artcurial

With the 135M spanning both sides of the second World War, you see designs that vary pretty wildly between early and late cars – especially since each of them were bodied by a professional coachbuilder. In this case, it is Carrossier Louis Dubos of Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. It’s powered by a 3.6-liter straight-six.

Remarkably, this car has been owned by the same family since 1959. The restoration dates to the latter half of the 1990s, and has been driven only a few times since 2000, thus will require a thorough inspection before being declared roadworthy. The other four Delahayes we featured are all quite pricey, but this attractive and usable example will likely sell for between $75,000-$105,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Artcurial’s auction lineup.

Update: Sold $126,297.

Delahaye Torpedo Roadster

1937 Delahaye 135 Competition Court Torpedo Roadster by Figoni et Falaschi

Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 8, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

There are cars that serious collectors must have. This is one of those cars. Figoni et Falaschi-bodied cars are some of the most desirable coachbuilt cars in the world. And the Delahaye Torpedo Roadster is one of their most iconic designs. It’s the teardrop bodystyle combined with open air motoring. It is Paris in the 1930s.

The Delahaye 135 was introduced in 1935 and it uses a 3.6-liter straight-six making 95 horsepower. The Competition Court version of the 135 was the top-of-the-line model and this chassis was shipped to Figoni et Falaschi to receive this body for Delahaye, who showed the car at least once before selling it.

This car arrived in New York in 1939 and has been in American ownership since. The engine was actually replaced in 1939 and painted red at some point. In 1970 it was freshened and repainted its original colors – the ones you see here. It’s been with the same owner for 50 years so this is the first time this car has come up for public sale in a long time.

Only 13 streamlined Figoni et Falaschi bodies like this would be built and this is one of only two short-chassis Torpedo Roadsters that still exist. This is a multi-million dollar car with an “estimate available upon request.” Click here for more info and here for more from RM at Amelia Island. And look at these lines – tell me it isn’t worth it:

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Update: Sold $6,600,000.

Four Beautiful Delages

1937 Delage D6 70 Coach Panoramique by LeTourneur et Marchand

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2014

1937 Delage D6 70 Coach Panoramique by LeTourneur et Marchand

This sale is packed with amazing cars and I don’t have time to feature them all (why does Retromobile have to be so close to the Arizona auctions!?). I’m stacking today’s post with four beautiful Delage automobiles, starting with my favorite of the bunch.

The Delage D6 was in production (in several different iterations) from 1930 through 1954 (with a break for the war). The D6-70 was built for 1937 and 1938 only. It uses a 2.8-liter straight-six making 78 horsepower. The body is the remarkable Coach Panoramique style by LeTourneur & Marchand.

This is a very desirable, very usable car and it is expected to sell for between $135,000-$200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $101,342

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1936 Delage D6 70 Cabriolet Mylord by Figoni et Falaschi

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2014

1936 Delage D6 70 Cabriolet Mylord by Figoni et Falaschi

Here’s another D6-70 that was built toward the end of 1936 and first registered in August of 1936. It uses the standard 2.8-liter straight-six making 78 horsepower. This was the top-of-the-line six-cylinder Delage you could buy – although any car bodied by Figoni et Falaschi could be considered pretty top-of-the-line.

The “Cabriolet Mylord” bodystyle is pretty and very regal-looking. The top can either be all the way down, all the way up, or sort of halfway in between where only the back seats are covered and it creates sort of a parachute effect. At any rate, this is a beautiful car that should bring between $250,000-$325,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

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1933 Delage D8 S Cabriolet by Pourtout

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2014

1933 Delage D8 S Cabriolet by Pourtout

The Delage D8 was the biggest car Delage built. It also had the biggest engine. The D8 S had an even bigger engine than the standard D8. Only 145 examples of the D8 S were constructed. It uses a 4.0-liter (or 4.1… it was 4,061cc) straight-eight making 120 horsepower.

This car is original and preserved. The Cabriolet bodystyle is by legendary French coachbuilder Marcel Pourtout. One design aspect I really like are the 1920s/1930s-style body-colored Rudge wheels. This is one of stars of the show and a really beautiful automobile that evokes the period brilliantly. It should sell for between $1,360,000-$1,630,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,281,647

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1931 Delage D8 Roadster by Chapron

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2014

1931 Delage D8 Roadster by Chapron

The Delage D8 was introduced in 1929 and this 1931 model uses the 4.1-liter straight-eight, in this case making 102 horsepower. The body is by Henri Chapron and I would describe it as “restrained elegance.” It’s not flashy – but it is also earlier than the other three cars in this post. Dramatic design really flared up the farther they got into the 1930s.

This car was restored in the 1960s and has been maintained since. It would be a relatively inexpensive way to get behind the wheel of a Delage D8 – it’s expected to sell for between $550,000-$675,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $438,318.

Delage D6-70 Figoni et Falaschi

1936 Delage D6 70 Cabriolet Mylord by Figoni et Falaschi

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2014

1936 Delage D6 70 Cabriolet Mylord by Figoni et Falaschi

Photo – Artcurial

Here’s another D6-70 that was built toward the end of 1936 and first registered in August of 1936. It uses the standard 2.8-liter straight-six making 78 horsepower. This was the top-of-the-line six-cylinder Delage you could buy – although any car bodied by Figoni et Falaschi could be considered pretty top-of-the-line.

The “Cabriolet Mylord” bodystyle is pretty and very regal-looking. The top can either be all the way down, all the way up, or sort of halfway in between where only the back seats are covered and it creates sort of a parachute effect. At any rate, this is a beautiful car that should bring between $250,000-$325,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Figoni et Falaschi Bentley

1947 Bentley Mark IV Coupe by Figoni et Falaschi

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2014

1947 Bentley Mk IV Coupe by Figoni et Falaschi

There’s nothing too remarkable about the Bentley Mark VI. It’s not a car that stands out to me as brilliant or beautiful or anything special other than it being an old, post-war luxury sedan. That is, until you have one of the most prestigious coachbuilders in history slap one of their windswept bodies onto it.

The Mark VI was introduced in 1946 and lasted through 1952. This car uses the 4.25-liter straight-six making about 132 (or “adequate”) horsepower. In total, 5,208 were built in various bodystyles.

This car was built for a Parisian who used it to commute to Monaco. It was originally dark gray and it came to America in 1964 – where it has been since. It was restored in 1990 – and painted red – when it showed up and won Best in Class at Pebble Beach. In 2012 it was repainted black – which is a much better color than red for this car.

According to Bonhams (and Joseph Figoni’s son Claude), this is the only “true” (not sure what that means) post-war Bentley bodied by Figoni et Falaschi. It’s certainly striking and it’s certainly the only one like it in the world. It should sell for between $500,000-$650,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ auction lineup.

Update: Sold $605,000.

Figoni & Falaschi Teardrop Delahaye

1936 Delahaye Type 135 Competition Court Teardrop Coupe by Figoni et Falaschi

Offered by RM Auctions | New York, New York | November 21, 2013

1936 Delahaye Type 135 Competition Court Teardrop Coupe by Figoni et Falaschi

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.

This is one of three short-chassis Figoni coupes that still survives. It is estimated to bring between $3,000,000-$4,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in New York.

Update: $2,420,000.

Figoni & Falaschi Teardrop Cabriolet

1938 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS Teardrop Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi

Offered by RM Auctions | New York, New York | November 21, 2013

1938 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS Teardrop Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi

Talbot-Lago is one of those French marques that is widely associated with swoopy Art Deco coachwork from some of the most renown French coachbuilders of the pre-war era. The T-150C was introduced by Talbot-Lago in 1937. It had a competition chassis and the “SS” refers to it having a short wheelbase.

The engine is a 4.0-liter straight-six putting out 140 horsepower. Many of the cars were bodied by Figoni & Falaschi and the Teardrop bodystyle is their signature look. This Teardrop also happens to be a cabriolet. This is said to be the only short-wheelbase example with its original chassis, engine, and body.

Only 11 T-150C SS models were built and only two received Figoni Teardrop Cabriolet bodies (they did a third cabriolet on the longer wheelbase). This, the first one one has an interesting history: it was acquired by a merchant in Lille in 1941. He later moved to Paris and became a double agent under the Germans and had to flee to Brazil toward the end of the War.

It was confiscated and sold and by the mid-1950s, it found its way to Chicago. The current owner acquired it in 2008 and commissioned a stunning restoration that will easily win the car awards. These are truly amazing cars with flowing lines and a downright beautiful design. This is what RM is talking about when they call a sale “The Art of the Automobile.” It is art in motion. It will bring millions (between $8,000,000-$10,000,000). Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

Update: Sold $7,150,000.