Trio of Dayez Collection Delahayes joins RM Sotheby’s Paris docket

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Retromobile 2020
Three Delahayes from the collection of the late Jacques Dayez will be offered for sale at Paris | RM Sotheby's photos

A trio of Delahayes, a cabriolet, a coach and a roadster from the collection of the late Jacques Dayez, have been consigned to RM Sotheby’s annual Paris auction, scheduled for February 5, 2020, during the Retromobile week celebration of vintage and collector vehicles.

Also on the docket will be many spare parts for those Delahayes as well as the 1993 Land Rover Defender 110 used by Dayez to tow his cars to concours and other events.

1939 Delahaye 135 roadster was started before WWII and finished afterward

“These Delahaye models are all significant in their own right,” Augustin Sabatie-Garat, RM Sotheby’s European auction manager, is quoted in the company’s news release.

“It is fitting that the cars will be offered for sale in French capital, as the marque has played such an important part in the automotive history of France. 

“We are sure that potential bidders will be pleased with the diverse nature of the collection seen here, covering each of the Cabriolet, Coach and Roadster body types. Two of these cars are immaculate, while the Coach by Chapron is a great starting point for a potential restoration project.”

Sabatie-Garat added that spare parts for such cars “can be hard to come by… making the long list of parts and accessories (available at the auction) a fantastic opportunity.”

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1946 Delahaye 135 cabriolet with coachwork by Figoni et Falaschi

“The late Jacques Dayez was a prominent collector who was very enthusiastic and precise about the restoration and maintenance of his cars,” RM Sotheby’s said in its announcement. “The concours field was one of his favorite places, and he was passionate about every aspect of the events.”

It noted that the 1939 Delahaye 135 roadster (chassis 47420) was found by Dayez in 2005 after being stored and forgotten in Bordeaux in the 1960s and that Dayez commissioned a full restoration, including a complete body rebuild by Tessier in Tours after the car’s original coachwork was lost, apparently during its storage.

Delahaye began work on the car, built on a Competition Court chassis, in 1939 but because of World War II, the car wasn’t completed until 1947. RM Sotheby’s points out that it was the 13th and final Delahaye roadster designed by George Hamel, the famed French poster artist known as Geo Ham. The car was unveiled at the 1947 Trocadéro Concours d’Élegance in Paris by Miss France, Juliette Figueras, and in 1948 appeared at the Biarritz Concours.

RM Sotheby’s expects the car to sell for €500,000 to €800,000 ($556,000 to $890,000).

1993 Land Rover Defender 110 was Dayez’ tow vehicle

Also on the docket is a 1946 Delahaye 135 cabriolet (chassis 800308) originally sold to a representative of the French embassy in Argentina, where the car was modified with a new bumper and a hood in the style of Guillore.

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“Like the Roadster, the car was stored for a number of years before being imported back to France in 2003, where it also underwent restoration work at Tessier,” the auction house notes.

The car is expected to sell for €350,000 to €450,000 ($389,000 to $500,400).

The other Delahaye is a 1949 135 coach by Chapron and is considered a project ready for restoration and with a pre-sale estimated value of €50,000 to €60,000 ($55,600 to $66,720).

The collection of spare parts for the Delahayes includes five engines, a Cotal gearbox, fuel tanks, spare wheels, axles, steering wheels and more. 

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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