Exceptional Delahaye Type 145 V12 Coupé Set to Dazzle at 2023 Concours of Elegance
The Concours of Elegance, presented by A Lange & Söhne, is delighted to reveal that the 2023 event – now under three months away – will feature the 1938 Delahaye Type 145 V12 Coupé. Visitors to this year’s exclusive event – held in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace from September 1st to 3rd – will be able to marvel at this remarkable piece of automotive history -a star of concours events around the globe – as it joins the concours field of 70 privately owned cars.
The Delahaye Type 145 is regarded as one of the masterpieces of French engineering from the late 1930s. Designed to challenge the dominant German ‘Silver Arrows’ of Mercedes-Benz in international Grand Prix racing, the Type 145 was set apart by its V12 engine. The innovative 4.5-litre motor put out 185bhp, driving the rear wheels through a four-speed all-alloy racing manual gearbox. The 145’s competition highlights were the victory in the Pau Grand Prix, as well as the “Million Franc” prize – awarded to the winner of a time trial race held over 200km on a closed circuit.
The Type 145 Delahaye that will be on display this September is the second car in the four-car Ecurie Bleue team. It competed from 1937 to 1939, and after being retired, sat in storage until the end of World War II. In the post-war period it emerged once again, soon passing into the hands of Fernand Lacour. Lacour took the racing machine to the renowned coachbuilder Henri Chapron Carrossier for new bodywork to be fitted: making a supremely stylish, two-door, two-seat Grand Luxe Coupé. Completed in 1948, the 145 was later fitted with a six-cylinder Type 165 engine and a racing three-carburetor setup, after the original V12 stopped working.
After a passing through a series of collections, and numerous restoration processes, the car was added to the internationally revered collection of Peter Mullin in 2003. The Delahaye was restored to its original condition; the works included the re-installation of that original remarkably innovative V12, which had been located and kept with the car since the ’80s.
The Mullin Motor Museum has since displayed this beautifully styled road-racer at major concours events worldwide, earning it recognition and admiration, including a class win at the Pebble Beach Concours in 2019.