FRENCH ART DECO STYLE
The Delahaye Company of Paris produced several outstanding and justifiably famous touring and racing cars in the 1930’s. The Delahaye 134 is a four-cylinder luxury automobile produced from 1933 to 1940. This 1934 Delahaye 134 features Four-Door Sedan Coachwork by Sical and has spent much of its life on an Estate in the Sarthe/LeMans Arondissement of France. It is in good running condition with an older sympathetic restoration showing a nice patina. With its French Art Deco Style, this 1934 Delahaye 134 is a beautiful automobile that would be a welcome addition to any collection of exclusive high end automobiles.
THIS CAR’S PAST
This 1934 Delahaye 134 Sedan by the coachbuilder Sical is a fine example of the French Art Deco era and represents French elegance at its best. This automobile is a slightly smaller version of the model 135, and about 900 were produced in total. This Delahaye 134 spent much of its life on an estate in the Sarthe/LeMans Arondissement of France. It was sympathetically restored cosmetically in 1997 and has been mechanically overhauled more recently. In 2014 this automobile was sold out of France and came to America via a classic car dealer in Surry, England. This Delahaye 134 is in very good condition throughout and is a joy to drive as it handles surprisingly well on the road. Significantly, this example features the very rare left hand rive. The paint is holding up very well with a certain patina, and the interior is in the beautiful French Saloon style and in wonderful condition. Original Aerolux Marchal headlights and other period correct fittings are as they should be. Everything works, and this very rare and beautiful pre-war French automobile is ready for its next Concours or Rally event.
HISTORIC CONTEXT OF THIS MODEL
Delahaye had a long and distinguished history as a builder of fine automobiles. It began in 1879 when Emile Delahaye joined the company of Louis Brethon founded in Tours in 1845. The first Delahaye was produced in 1895 and a few years later the company was moved to 10 Rue du Banquie, Paris where it was to remain. Delahaye had no heirs and when he retired in 1901 a young engineer named Charles Weiffenbach took over the management of the factory. Monsieur Charles, who was born in Alsace in 1870, held on to the company until 1954. Like many companies, Delahaye began to struggle in the 1930’s, and therefore the decision was made to enter motorsport to improve sales. Lead by a young engineer named Jean Francois, the company had numerous successes in Rallies and sports car competition. Lucy and Laury Schell were a private rally and racing team that supported Delahaye’s efforts. They also acquired the driving services of the young Rene Dreyfus. This combination lead to Delahaye’s two most famous victories, the 1 million francs race at Monthlhery in 1937 and the Pau Grand Prix in 1938. In 1933 Delahaye set about building a new touring car, the model 134. It featured an over-head valve four-cylinder 2151 cc engine, a four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension, a live rear axle and cable operated brakes. In total, 900 were produced in the next three years in various body styles and with multiple outside coachbuilders. Credit for this highly successful model goes to the same young engineer that lead the competition department, Jean Francois.