Vintage Delage Tyres
On the following pages, Longstone Classic Tyres give classic tyre fitment recommendations for Delage cars.
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History of Delage
Delage was a French luxury automotive and racecar manufacturer created in 1905 in Levallois-Perret, near Paris, by Louis Delâge; it was bought by Delahaye in 1935 and discontinued operations in 1953. Louis Delâge launched the firm in 1905 with a loan of Fr 35,000 and a monthly salary of F 600. The Type A, a voiturette, was the first type to arrive in 1906. It was powered by a 4.5 or 9 horsepower one-cylinder De Dion-Bouton engine.
Delage has been interested in racing his products since the outset. In 1906 and 1907, a few automobiles competed in the Coupe de Voiturettes, but in 1908, a unique race car, the Type ZC, with an engine built by Nemorin Causan, won the Coupe des Voiturettes at Dieppe. Delage was overjoyed, but gave in to pressure from his primary supplier, de Dion, and claimed that the winning car was powered by a de Dion engine.
Delage manufactured ammunition during World War I. With the exception of limited Army manufacturing, passenger automobile production almost ceased. However, the Delage plants were fully operational in support of the war effort. After the war, Delage shifted away from tiny automobiles and established a reputation for bigger vehicles. The CO came first, with a 4,524 cc 80 by 150 mm 3.1 by 5.9-inch fixed-head side-valve six engine producing 20 horsepower. Readers may recall the 1924 Lyon Grand Prix, where Bugatti debuted the legendary Type 35. However, it was the V12 Delage that not only won the race but also finished second and third to Campari's supercharged Alfa P2. The small V12, with pistons measuring just 1.67 inches in diameter, piqued the curiosity of a teenage Enzo Ferrari, who was driving the fourth Alfa Romeo P2.
A serious recession was unavoidable by 1933. Suddenly, it appeared that the company was in the wrong industry at the wrong moment. Only 1902 D8s of all varieties were produced, despite frantic efforts to launch newer, less expensive variants that failed to stop the stream of losses. An attempt was made to salvage the firm by a notable Delage dealer and businessman Walter Watney, and while it served a purpose, eventually a badge-engineering arrangement was arranged with Delahaye, and Watney later surrendered all his rights to the Delage name.
A massive prototype Delage D-180 limousine was on display at the 1946 Paris Motor Show, but there were no more improvements on this concept, and by the following year, the large prototype had silently vanished. At the 1947 Paris Motor Show, just one model was displayed, as the company focused on its six-cylinder 3-litre Delage D6, which was similar to the 3-litre Delages of the 1930s in most ways. On November 7, 2019, the group "Les Amis de Delage" which was founded in 1956 and owns the Delage brand, announced the re-founding of Delage Automobiles.