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1936 Delahaye 135 Competition
Disappearing Top Convertible

Specifications

 

History      Awards      (back to main Delahaye page)

 

This Delahaye 135 Competition Convertible has been authenticated by Club Delahaye France, and Figoni records, as the original body (Figoni # 581) and chassis (Delahaye # 46864) with all pertinent numbers on the car matching the original Figoni and Delahaye records. 

The Competition Engine

Delahaye 135 Competition Convertible 1936 Figoni et Falaschi engine from left side

The car is powered by a 3.5 liter (3557cc) overhead valve, 120 horsepower, inline six-cylinder Delahaye engine, foundry-marked T35 (built in 1935).  It is coupled to a 4-speed manual competition transmission with synchromesh on the top three gears. This car was ordered with the competition engine version, with triple downdraft Solex 40PAI carburetors, a higher-compression cylinder head, an oil cooler, and two fuel fillers in the trunk. 

Delahaye 135 Competition Convertible 1936 Figoni et Falaschi engine from right side

The engine and 4-speed competition gearbox are positioned low in the chassis, thus contributing to the benefits of a better-balanced vehicle.

The Long-Wheelbase Competition Chassis

Delahaye 135 Competition Convertible 1936 Figoni et Falaschi undercarriage from the rear

The Delahaye Type 135 Competition long-wheelbase chassis was a factory competition special, ordered by Monsieur Wolf to satisfy his dual purpose street and track requirements. At Delahaye, the competition engine was placed into the rugged Type 135 Competition chassis, a durable advanced design for its time, proved in the coming years at races like the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Delahaye 135 Competition Convertible 1936 Figoni et Falaschi undercarriage from the front

In the front, you'll find an independent suspension using transverse leaf springs as the lower control arm (see photo above). Powerful brakes and 17" Rudge-Whitworth chromed wire wheels with 5,60 x 6,00 Michelin tires were fitted. The wheelbase is 116 inches, front track is 54 7/8 inches, and rear track is 58 3/4 inches. The exhaust line and muffler are correct.

Other special competition components include:

» Hand brake on right side, competition style
» Aluminum clutch housing
» Semi-circular radiator tank, competition style
» Front and rear suspension RAX /friction shocks perpendicular to frame, competition style
» Single plate firewall, correct for competition
» Rear axle final drive ratio 12 x 41, correct for competition
» Compression ratio of 7.58 to 1 is correct.

The Streamlined Disappearing Top

Delahaye 135 Competition Convertible 1936 Figoni et Falaschi streamlined disappearing top

When Joseph Figoni took delivery of Wolf's rolling chassis from the Delahaye factory, he set out to make the most streamlined body possible. He wanted the convertible top to be lowered within the body. Today, we take this complex process for granted. But back then, Figoni, a streamlining pioneer, had to invent a very effective disappearing top for this car. The folding mechanism is described in French Patent 795.769, «Perfectionnements aux véhicules décapotables», applied for October 1, 1935 and issued January 13, 1936, just preceding the construction of this car.

Delahaye 135 Competition Convertible 1936 Figoni et Falaschi disappearing top patent

The Type 135 Competition would be successful on nearly every venue in which it competed. It earned victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Monte-Carlo Rallye, the Paris-Saint-Raphael race, several Grand Prix races, and many other events both before and after WWII. In 1937, a year after this long-wheelbase 135 Competition was delivered to Monsieur Wolf, similar Type 135 Competitions won the Monte Carlo Rallye, and placed first and second at Le Mans. And our car, so beautiful at Concours showings, is an integral part of that championship heritage, itself placing 6th in the 1949 Monte Carlo Rallye. We have a photo with Guy Mairesse and Paul Vallée as the racing team, kindly supplied by Claude Figoni, Joseph’s son. Mairesse and Vallée campaigned the car for Wolf, per Club Delahaye France.

Classic Car Club of America
Senior Premier Winner
First, 100 Points Every Showing

 

 


Offered for sale     “Purveyors of fine cars to the trade” 

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Concours Coaches

836 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037  USA
e-mail: Ken Smith, kcsmithlj@mac.com
Or call 858.459.8886 between 9 and 5 PST,
Monday through Friday.