duminică, 3 aprilie 2016

Delage D8 C Cabriolet by Chapron 1930 - World Of Classic Cars -

Delage D8 C Cabriolet by Chapron 1930

Certainly considered to be Delage’s pièce de résistance, the D8 was the work of chief engineer Maurice Gaultier. His engine was a four-liter pushrod straight eight, running on five main bearings and producing 105 brake horsepower with a smoothness and silence that was the envy of virtually every other automaker, with the possible exception of Hispano-Suiza.
Reception to the D8 among Delage’s elite clients was enthusiastic, and the chassis rapidly became a favorite for coachbuilt bodies the world over. Such was the acclaim given La Belle Voiture Française—“The Beautiful French Automobile”—that its makers proudly boasted, “At the Concours d’Elegance held during 1930 in the principal cities of Europe, Delage Straight Eights received more awards than any other car.”
Delage D8 C Cabriolet by Chapron 1930

The D8 was offered in two variants, the basic Normale model and the uprated sports edition, the D8 S, which featured amendments to the valve gear and higher compression for 118 brake horsepower at 3,800 rpm. When this engine was fitted to the Normale chassis, the model was referred to as the D8 C, such as the one offered here.


Chassis number 34738 was bodied by the renowned French coachbuilder Henri Chapron and is the only Chapron-bodied D8 C known to survive today. Unusually, however, it was first registered not in France but in Renfrewshire, Scotland, on July 14, 1931, as HS6322 (the registration plates remaining with the car to this day). By 1939, it had passed to Roland Stanley Bevan of Taunton, Somerset, who maintained it for 20 years, after which it was purchased by Douglas Henry Shrimpton of Dorset.
Delage D8 C Cabriolet by Chapron 1930

Subsequently, around 1960, the car was purchased by Vojta Mashek, a renowned early French automobile collector in Chicago. In 1966, Mashek sold the Delage to Homer Fitterling of South Bend, Indiana, the famed enthusiast known for, among other things, an “every year” collection of Corvettes, a vast assembly of Duesenbergs, and this Delage, which he reportedly used to tow the Duesenbergs to various shows!
The current owner, a longtime collector in the Midwest, purchased the Delage from Mr. Fitterling in 1973. It was intact, solid, and ran well, but it was ready for restoration, a job tackled between 1992 and 1994 by the renowned facility of LaVine Restorations of Nappanee, Indiana. Subsequently, the car was displayed at the 1994 Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance and from 2004 to 2007 was exhibited at the ACD Automobile Museum in Auburn, Indiana, in their Gallery of Classics.
Though now two decades old, the restoration presents exceedingly well, with sumptuous grey leather seating, excellent brightwork, and a superbly detailed engine compartment.