1936 Delahaye 135 CS Pilots: E. Chaboud, J. Trémoulet Team: Eugéne Chaboud & Jean Trémoulet Race: 1st GC (S 3.6 class) at Le Mans in 1938 Ixo - LM 1938 (diecast)
Delahaye Automobile was founded by Émile Delahaye in 1894, in Tours, France. He started manufacturing belt-driven cars with single- or twin-cylinder engines mounted at the rear. Business was going good, and in 1911, they released the first car with a V6 engine, the Type 44. Right after World War I, like every French manufacturer, Delahaye was going through difficulties, but slowly the brand started to get back up. By 1932 they even managed to reactivate their racing department. The good results their cars were achieving in racing events started to bring in sales revenues, to the point that Delahaye cars were becoming common on big races like the Mille Miglia and 24 Hours of Le Mans. There were even monopostos in Grand Prix races.
The Delahaye 135 was first presented in 1935, and was from the new bread-to-race crop of cars. In fact, it became known as the “Coupe des Alpes” after its success in the Alpine Rally. It was powered by an inline-6 3.2 liter SOHC – interestingly, derived from one of Delahaye’s truck engines. The 3.2 engine produced 92 hp, but a racier version fed by three downdraft Solex carburetors had an output of 110 hp, allowing a top speed of 148 km/h.
The Delahaye 135 CS (Competition Speciale), was a special version of the 135, designed specifically for racing. Delahaye made a total of 14 of the CS. It had a chassis that was 25 cm shorter than the 135 touring car. The shorter chassis promoted a better weight distribution and that consequently improved handling and performance. The engine was enlarged to 3600 cm³ and delivered 120 hp, that transmitted power to the ground through a four-speed Wilson epicyclic gearbox. Piloting one of these 135 CS (chassis #47190, built in 1936), the French duo Eugéne Chaboud and Jean Trémoulet finished in first place in the 1938 24 Heures du Mans. They drove 3180.9 km at an average speed of 132.539 km/h.
Yep, another clunker, and a charming one. As always, when it comes to these oldies, Ixo delivers. It’s definitively not breathtaking but VERY good. And if you factor in price, it’s a quite good buy.