French Classic Cars Collection 1937-1951
Auction organised by Osenat at Retromobile Paris, on Feb. 3rd, 2024.
Sales details on www.osenat.com

Delahaye 135M

N°801.025 – CABRIOLET GRAND LUXE CHAPRON – 1948

A last minute rescue

Discovery of a Desperate Delahaye

Poor Delahaye! In 2009, when we discovered it, it was in a desperate state.

Delahaye 135M Cabriolet Chapron for sale - restoration

A Bold Restoration Challenge

Nevertheless, even if it wasn’t very reasonable – not reasonable at all – we decided to take on its restoration.

Delahaye 135M Cabriolet Chapron for sale

Revival of a Luxury Icon

Today, it has been restored to its full glory as the late 1940s Chapron “Grand Luxe” convertible, having traveled several thousand kilometers since its restoration.
We pieced together its history as best we could and discovered that it was the second time the Delahaye had narrowly escaped total destruction. In March 1962, its owner had entrusted it to a mechanic with the intention of scrapping it, but the mechanic found a buyer for… 150 FF!

Delahaye 135M Cabriolet Chapron for sale

Details

From Paris to the Côte d'Azur

The first owner of the car was Mr. Leblanc, manager of the “Distilleries de Bretagne et Normandie réunies”. Mr. Leblanc was located at 5 rue Lincoln in Paris, just a few steps from the Avenue des Champs Elysées where the Parisian showcase of Delahaye was coincidently located, just around the corner from Rue Lincoln.

Documents from the Chapron archives show that choices of the model, options and personalized settings had been done meticulously.

We do not know how long Mr Leblanc kept the car, but we find her later in 1963 in the hands of Mr Michel Picard, architect living in Le Lavandou, in the South of France. Michel Picard sold it in 1966 for 150 Francs.

The car entered the JWA-Classic collection in 2009. It was a wreck that hadn’t been driven for decade.

Cabriolet Grand Luxe

Delahaye 135M Cabriolet Chapron for sale - documentation
Chapron’s workshop sheet

The Delahaye 135 M 801.025 is one of the first post-war Delahaye, a time when the economic revival allowed some people to access with frenzy to expenses they had had to deprive themselves of for years.

The delivery of this upgraded “S” Cabriolet is described as “Very Urgent” on Henri Chapron’s body shop sheet. And indeed, barely two months after its entry as a chassis, the car was invoiced to its new and happy owner.

It is a beautiful convertible in the purest “Chapron” line, both classic and timeless. The bodywork benefits from several options that justify the term “improved” found in the bodybuilder’s files: luggage rack on rear trunk, “aviation” bumpers, “sport hood”, “chrome wheels”, …

The engine is of the “M” type with three carburetors.

Cabriolet Grand Luxe

The car arrived in 2009 in the JWA Classic collection. It was in a completely dilapidated state.
But it was an authentic “Grand Luxe Cabriolet” signed by Chapron and matching number.

French Classic Cars Collection 1937-1951
Auction organised by Osenat at Retromobile Paris, on Feb. 3rd, 2024.
Sales details on www.osenat.com