Delahaye 135 Competition
Disappearing Top Convertible
et Falaschi, Paris
No. 46864 Engine
This Figoni-designed 1936 135 Competition Disappearing Top Convertible created such a stir when first displayed in 1936 that it was referred to as “The Talk of Paris”. It 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
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.
1936 Delahaye 135 Competition Disappearing Top Convertible