The Delahaye years
1937: winning big prizes
- André Vaucourt
- August 27, 2013
- Delahaye - René Dreyfus and the upset at Pau, by Leif Snellman
- Delahaye 138 - 1933-'35: why Delahaye decided to go racing, by André Vaucourt
- Delahaye 135 - 1935-'36: a new chassis for the luxury market, by André Vaucourt
- Delahaye 135 - 1936: dominating the 1936 French racing season, by André Vaucourt
- Delahaye 135 - 1936: Delahaye wins nine out of 18 races, by André Vaucourt
- Delahaye 135/145/155 - 1938: Delahaye wins the Pau and Cork GPs and comes 1, 2, 4 at Le Mans, by André Vaucourt
- Delahaye 135/145 - 1939: not a very good year for Delahaye, and a terrible year for the world, by André Vaucourt
- Delahaye 135/145/155 - 1945-'46: after five years of war, by André Vaucourt
- Delahaye 135/145/155 - 1947-'48: racing with cars over 12 years old, by André Vaucourt
- Delahaye 145 - What became of the Delahaye 145 V12 chassis no. 48771?, by André Vaucourt
- Delahaye 145 - The history of Delahaye 145 V12 chassis no. 48775, by André Vaucourt
- Delahaye 145 - The brief history of Delahaye 145 V12 chassis no. 48772, by André Vaucourt
- Delahaye 145 - The short history of Delahaye 145 V12 chassis no. 48773, by André Vaucourt
- Delahaye 155 - Delahaye's 155 V12 chassis no. 48774: the worst car they ever built, by André Vaucourt
Joseph Paul/Marcel Mongin, René Dreyfus/Henri Stoffel
1937 Le Mans 24 Hours
In 1937, Delahaye had a very successful year. The marque won at the Monte, took second and third at Le Mans and also won the prestigious Prix du Million.
|26/31 Jan||Monte Carlo Rally||20||46075||Le Begue/Quinlin||1st|
|21 Feb||Pau GP||4||47193||Dreyfus||3rd|
|17-21 Mar||Paris Saint-Raphael Rally||90||7442RJ4||G.Rouault||1st|
|19 April||British Empire Trophy||26||47193||Dreyfus||5th|
|2 May||Coupes du Printemps|
|Coupe de Vitesse||??||47190||Tremoulet||2nd|
René Le Begue and Jolio Quinlin receive their cup after winning the Monte.
“Raph” skids dangerously at the Pau GP with his 47187. On his left from front to rear: no.26 Paul, no.12 Perrot, no.10 Carrière.
Germaine Rouault with her massive 138, nearly as good as any 135.
Dreyfus and Ghersi did not finish the Mille Miglia with their 47193.
Schell and Dreyfus at the British Empire Trophy.
For the Coupe de Vitesse 47190 was driven by Tremoulet, on the left. “Jack Seylair” is seated at the wheel of no.26.
At the Coupes du Printemps at Monthléry, there were two new cars, both of them late comers, 46625 and 47190.
46625: Sold new to “Helde”, who never raced it. This 135S, coach-built by Chapron, was sold to Henri Langlois, alias “Jack Seylair” which pronounced by a Frenchman means “I am accelerating”, who had it registered in Paris in April 1936 as 794RK3, but only started racing it with his friend Paul Benazet in 1937 and into 1938 with rather mediocre results. After the war, it had numerous non-racing owners and is now owned by Franc Allocca in USA.
47190: This is the last of the 135S racing cars, sold to Eugène Chaboud in March 1937 and registered in Paris as 8158RK9. Only a few races in 1937 and 1938, but an outright win at the Le Mans 24 Hours, with his friend Jean Tremoulet. But 20 days later, at the Spa 24 Hours, the car was completely destroyed and written off after having left the road and hit a tree.
|16 May||Tunisian GP, Carthage||18||47193||Dreyfus||2nd|
|23 May||Algerian GP, Bone||?||46094||Paul||2nd|
|6 June||3 Hours of Marseille||6||46810||Carrière||4th|
|19/20 June||Le Mans 24 hours||14||46094||Paul/Mongin||2nd|
|25 June||Presentation Monthlery||-||48773||Dreyfus new V12||-|
Joseph Paul with tie drives his 46094 at the Tunisia GP.
A second place for Paul/Mongin in no.14 and a third for Dreyfus/Stoffel in no.10 at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Henri Stoffel comes over to congratulate Marcel Mongin (at the wheel) and Joseph Paul (with his legs hanging out) after their third place at Le Mans. Thanks to Didier Mongin, Marcel Mongin's grand nephew, for this wonderful photo.
Presentation of the first 145 chassis, no.48773, at Monthléry on June 25. The small air intake for the carbs would be doubled in size before its first race.
The new V12 engine and chassis no. 48773, designed by Jean François, was presented at Montlhéry on June 25, 1937. Only 10 races were run from 1937 to 1939, and after the war, it was rebodied by Chapron as a coupé no. 6517, sold to Robert Cuny and registered in Paris as 5636 RQ1 in April 1948. It had a few owners in Europe before being exported to the US, where it had a few more owners, and was sold by Myron Schuster to Peter Mullin in 2003. It is now in the Peter Mullin Museum in California.
|4 July||ACF GP Monthlery||22||47193||Carrière||4th|
|18 July||Marne GP Reims||18||47193||Schell/Dreyfus||5th|
Dreyfus drives 48773 at the ACF GP, its first race, but fails to finish.
The new 145 for its first race at the Marne GP driven by Dreyfus. The car overheated and did not finish.
At the Marne GP, the second new Delahaye 145, chassis and engine no. 48772 driven by Dreyfus made its debut, but again failed to finish due to overheating and excessive tyre wear. Only 12 races for this car from 1937 to 1938, and none in 1939. After the war, the car was rebodied by Chapron as a coupé, no. 6351, and sold to Auguste Veuillet who registered it in Paris as 31 RS3 in January 1950 and then exported it to the US in 1951 where it had a few owners. Forgotten in the Henry Austin Clark Long Island museum for 18 years, it was sold by Hubertus von Donhoff to Peter Mullin in 2004, and is now in his California museum.
|24 July||Donington 12 Hour||39||47188||“Bira”||1st|
|31 July-6 Aug||Paris- Nice Rally||16||1707 RK||Paul||1st|
|27-31 Aug||Prix du Million||-||48771 V12||Dreyfus||wins|
An amazing first place at Donington Park for this lone Delahaye driven by Bira.
Joseph Paul driving to victory in the Paris-Nice rally on the ex-1707RK of the Schells.
René Dreyfus after the victory at the Million Franc Prize. Just behind his right tyre is Jean François, the engineer responsible for the design. The tyres are completely worn out.
In the Paris-Nice rally, Pouderoux was driving a ”135 Competition” short chassis coupe probably fitted with a racing engine “103J”. He came 2nd but was never seen again!
The third new Delahaye 145, chassis and engine no. 48771, won the Prix du Million (about 650,000 dollar to the day's value) in August 1937, and won again the Pau GP and the Cork GP in 1938. Only 7 more races in 1938 and none in 1939. After the war, the car was rebodied as a roadster by Franay, who became the new owner in 1953 and registered it in Paris as 7292CC75 in July. After a few more owners, the car was sold by Philippe Charbonneaux to Sam Mann in 1998, and it is now (rebodied as a racing car) in his New Jersey collection.
|4 Sept||Tourist Trophy||6||46094||Mongin/Paul||5th|
|-||48771 V12||entry refused||DNA|
|-||48772 V12||entry refused||DNA|
|-||48773 V12||entry refused||DNA|
|19 Sept||Coupes d’Automne|
|19 Sept||BRDC 500 Miles||17||47188||“Bira”||7th|
|26 Sept||Lapize hillclimb||?||47190||Tremoulet 30.6”||1st|
Marcel Mongin driving Paul's 46094 at the Tourist Trophy. He came 5th.
Tremoulet in car no.60, driving 47190 in the Coupe de Vitesse, finishing 3rd.
Bira drives his 47188 at the BRDC 500 Miles, the only Delahaye present.