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1936 Delahaye 135 Figoni & Falaschi Coupé : Classic Cars  

As the smallest chassis Delahaye had on offer, the Competition Court was made to take the most advantage of Delahaye's new overhead valve inline-6. Some of the most striking designs of the period were fitted on the Competition Court including the Torpedo Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi.

Jospeh Figoni became best known for some of his flamboyant coupes and roadsters fitted to the Competition Court chassis. These were also some of the very first he designed for Delahaye. They came during the onset of French streamlined styling which was a real departure from earlier designs.

Introduced at the 1935 Paris Motor Show, the 135 used a new inline-6 engine with four main bearings and pushrod-operated overhead valves. This unit would become a mainstay for Delahaye production and could be ordered with 3,227 cc (18CV) and 3,557 cc (20CV) engines with the best option offering 120hp.

The chassis was designed with torsional rigidity in mind. The two main chassis rails were joined by a central cross member and reinforced with a welded floor. The front independent suspension used a transverse leaf spring for it's lower attachment.

Only six short-chassis Roadsters were built on the Competition chassis with a 2.7-meter length.

When used for racing a special 135 competition engine was fitted that used a different cylinder block casting having water passages between the blocks and a new cylinder head. With larger valves and higher compression power was rated at 160 bhp. Several competition cars were fitted with this unit including the 1938 Le Mans winner. These cars are better known as the Type 135 S or Special.

46576 - Besides its aerodynamic coupe shape, this car has distinct features such all-enclosed fenders that required a wide clearance for the turning wheels and four fully hidden front lights. To break up the side skirts, a belt line runs along the fenders that makes the car look bulbous but doesn't subtract from the overall elegance. Particularly striking is the accent dash that runs from the grille, over the hood and hugs the rear fender.

Unique features of the interior include a plush ostrich skin uphostery, a sliding metal sunroof and a front windshield that can wind open for ventilation.

The coupe was initially ordered by industrialist Mr.Jeancart of Paris who would become famous for buying the first few Talbot Teardrops built by the same coachbuilders. The Teardrops followed shortly after this car and borrowed its fastback profile with split rear windows.

Jeancart won the 'Grand Prix' trophy at the Cannes Concours d'Elegance with this car, but eventually sold it. The next major change came sometime around 1950 when the engine was replaced and it changed hands several times with the original engine in a crate. A major restoration was performed by Hill & Vaughn just before the 1981 Pebble Beach Concours where the car appeared in triple-tone blue hues and won first in class.

It was then in the Blackhawk collection before being bought by the Patterson Collection and restored once again with a black paintjob and finally mated to its original engine. It debuted like this at the Meadowbrook Concours, and later at the 2006 Pebble Beach Concours.

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