1936 Delage D6-70 Cabriolet by Figoni & Falaschi RHD - £139,995

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This is one of the nicest and most elegant pre-war cabriolets we have seen, which is not surprising seeing as it is a combination of the greatest names ever seen. We have here a 1936 Delage D6-70 Cabriolet by Figoni & Falaschi.

90 bhp, 2,729 cc six-cylinder engine with an inverted Solex carburetor, Cotal four-speed electromagnetic transmission, independent front suspension and live rear axle with transverse leaf springs in the front and rear, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.

After Delahaye merged with Delage in 1935, both Louis Delage and his own technical office remained largely autonomous. Using the Delahaye bank of parts, they modified and precisely prepared the forthcoming new model, the D6-70. Louis Delage used the Delahaye 135 engine and modified it by decreasing it to 2,729 cubic centimeters. In doing so, the engine gained a shorter stroke, which, combined with a modified head, gave the new Delage’s engine a lot more vivacity, in comparison to its sister Delahaye 135.

Then, Delage and talented engineer Arthur Michelat chose the type 134 chassis, which was much lighter than that from the 135, although it was just as stiff. Michelat further prepared this frame so that it could be fitted with Houdaille shock absorbers in place of the quite outdated friction shocks fitted to the 135. Also of much interest was the fact that only the Delage was fitted with modern hydraulic Bendix brakes; the Delahaye range would retain the aged mechanical system until the outbreak of World War II.

Lastly, most of the D6-70s were equipped with the optional Cotal electromagnetic gearbox, which was an almost automatic transmission system that had four speeds plus reverse. The Cotal system, with its silky smooth operation, was a huge improvement over any other concurrent design. The resulting D6-70 was listed in the Delage brochure as a sport model, as was the higher-level D8-120, and it is widely recognized as the best car built by Delage in the late 1930s.

Our car followed design study number 7675, as illustrated by a centerfold in Delage: Styling and Design by Richard Adatto. This design is of sheer elegance and shows the car in three different configurations, namely with the top up and down, as a cabriolet, and with the “Milord,” or half-cabriolet, setup, which gives this example a specific touch of class that was so well-crafted by the French school of the 1930s.

The artistic way Joseph Figoni penned this Delage’s sketch shows the innovative and slender line that cuts the side of the car, which made his design a standout next to the other renderings of the time, and it is representative of Figoni et Falaschi’s signature of innovation and elegance, which made their workshop world famous in a short period of time.

The car was registered for the first time on 24 August 1936 and was later restored in its present colour combination: a rich off-white and burgundy, with polished aluminium wheels shod in whitewall tyres and delicate chrome accents throughout. Overall, the car displays a warm patina of care rather than age and shows gentle use. Its body shows no signs of corrosion, and the fabric and paint throughout are in good condition. In recent history, the car has taken part in the Paris-Deauville Rally, which is organised by the Club de l’Auto, and several concours d’elegance events, winning awards at such locales as Aix les Bains and Aix en Provence, amongst others. Interestingly, it has even had a minor role as a film star, appearing in the 1988 French film Itinéraire d'un enfant gâté, alongside Jean-Paul Belmondo.

A lovely older restoration, driving well, and will come UK Registered, the car is ready for this summers events.