French objet d’art 1936 Delahaye convertible by Figoni et Falaschi

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Delahaye
The Delahaye 135 as seen on a concours lawn

Dream on, as they say, because here is a Pebble Beach Concours quality pre-war Delahaye with a streamlined body by Figoni et Falaschi that carries what’s likely the highest priced collector car we’ve ever seen in a ClassicCars.com ad listing.

The Pick of the Day is a 1936 Delahaye 135 Competition convertible that is, by the highest judging standards, in absolutely perfect restored condition. This one-of-a-kind masterpiece has a racing pedigree, a known ownership history throughout its long life and reliable authentication, according to the ad, and the asking price is an eye-watering $15 million.

delahaye
Concours judges examining the Delahaye, which is a consistent award winner

The La Jolla, California, private seller advertising the French classic on ClassicCars.com provides a complete and well-written summary of the magnificent automobile’s many attributes, so here are some excerpts:

“This 1936 135 Competition Disappearing Top Convertible is notable for many reasons, including its streamlined design by Joseph Figoni, with the Figoni et Falaschi patented (795.769) disappearing top, pioneered on this car,” the seller says. “It was specially ordered when new, to be equally at home on a boulevard… or on a racetrack. It has a racing engine, gearbox and chassis.

delahaye
The Figoni et Falaschi body is immaculately restored

“It is restored to 100-point level for Concours d’Elegance competition, and is the winner of many prestigious concours awards. But most importantly, as the premier example of 1930s French coachbuilding, this beautiful automobile can be seen and valued as fine art, with all the implications for further appreciation that the fine art market commands. ‘A true movable feast for the eyes’.”

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The car has been authenticated “by Club Delahaye France, and Figoni records, as the original body (Figoni # 581) and chassis (Delahaye # 46864) with all pertinent numbers on the car matching the origin,” the ad says.

delahaye
The inline-6 is a competition engine

The Delahaye is powered by a race-bred 3.5-liter, OHV inline-6 that creates 120 horsepower, fed by three Solex downdraft carburetors attached to a 4-speed competition transmission, according to the ad.

This very special coachbuilt car, its body mounted on a long-wheelbase chassis, was special-ordered by a wealthy Parisian known as Monsieur Wolf “to satisfy his dual-purpose street and track requirements.”

“Rarely do competitive racing chassis and engine and imaginative aerodynamic coachwork come together in the same car,” the seller notes. “This was Figoni et Falaschi’s signature style applied to a convertible… the new flowing streamlined coachwork for which Figoni-Falaschi would become internationally famous.”

delahaye
The interior is trimmed in ostrich leather

The interior is just as splendid, the seller adds.

“You’ll appreciate the gorgeous interior’s sparkling jewel-like engine-turned dashboard, soft and supple light-gray (gris) quill ostrich-leather seats and door panels, piped in dark blue leather.”

The eight-figure asking price for this classic is nearly twice as high as the top bid placed during recent Arizona Auction Week.  But for those walking among us who can honestly declare “money is no object,” this remarkable 1936 Delahaye 135 Competition with its lush coachwork and disappearing convertible roof should be of great interest.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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