Delahaye


Classic Delahaye Tyres

On the following pages, Longstone Classic Tyres give classic tyre fitment recommendations for Delahaye cars.


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History of Delahaye

Emile soon made modifications, transitioning into the manufacture of pumps and engines. In 1888, he built an internal combustion engine for the maritime sector, owing to his intense interest in gas engines. He began experimenting with belt-driven automobiles, and his first automobile debuted in 1894 at the Paris Motor Show. Delahaye entered in notable motor races, such as the 1896 Paris-Marseilles, to advertise his young vehicle firm. Delahaye's automobiles were soon noted, proving they had the tenacity to finish extraordinarily difficult rallies.

1949 Delahaye 175 Roadster
1949 Delahaye 175 Roadster

Morane and his brother-in-law Leon Desmarais joined Emile in the new Société des Automobiles Delahaye, and manufacturing was relocated to Paris, where the business quickly evolved to become one of France's finest vehicle manufacturers. Emile, on the other hand, was not to see his firm become a landmark brand. With his health worsening, he was compelled to quit in 1901, selling his stock to his partners. He passed away four years later. For over three decades, the Delahaye Cars Company built durable vehicles known for their endurance. Trucks, powerboats, industrial engines, and firefighting equipment were also manufactured. From 1927 through 1931, the firm worked with Chenard & Walcker to produce medium-class automobiles.

Delahaye entered a new phase in 1933, with the business refocusing its efforts on making prestige vehicles and reestablishing itself as a racing circuit fixture. While Delahaye continued to produce commercial vehicles and other industrial equipment, the luxury automobile became the company's defining feature. This transformation was facilitated by their purchase of the prestigious marque and racing firm Delage, as well as the hire of a young engineer named Jean Francois.

Francois was commissioned to create a sports vehicle series, which led to the production of the Type 135, the automobile that would become the legacy car of Delahaye. The type 135 was developed in 1934 and went on to win multiple racing events, including the Monte-Carlo Rally, the Le Mans, and the Paris-Saint Raphael motor races. Similar wins were achieved by the type 135 in automobile events like the famed Concours d'Elegance, making it the new favourite of the rich and famous. Delahaye also produced the Type 145, which was a two-seater racing car, and the Type 165, which was the road version of the 145. However, because to the start of WWII shortly after the 165's introduction, manufacturing was constrained.

The bad economic conditions caused by WWII made it an extremely difficult period for carmakers, particularly those producing luxury automobiles. Delahaye survived mostly on the selling of commercial and military vehicles, and the 135 was reintroduced after the war. In 1951, the brand produced the type 235, which marked the end of the line for Delahaye. The firm was taken over by Hotchkiss in 1954, and Delahaye automobiles were discontinued, but not before the 235 set a record crossing of Africa in the legendary Algiers-Cape Town drive, with a maximum speed of 182 kilometres per hour.


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