Delage D8-120 Deltasport Three-Posititon Cabriolet by Chapron

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D8-120 Deltasport Three-Posititon Cabriolet by Chapron





The arrangements with Delahaye were worked through over a period of several years, with Delage effectively a Delahaye subsidiary by 1938. Walter Watney, the British born entrepreneure who established in 1935 the Delage sales and marketing company “SAFAD” remained in post till 1940. Greater urgency was needed over the question of where to build the cars now that the Delage factory had closed. The solution already in place by 1936 involved continuing production of Delage engines and retaining other mechanical components, but installing them on existing Delahaye chassis.

The first D8 to be produced at the Delahaye Paris plant under the new arrangements was the D8-100. In this period Delahaye were producing cars with fashionably flamboyant bodies from bespoke body builders such as Figoni et Falaschi and Saoutchik, and the Delage cars followed the same trends. The D8 as the top “mainstream” Delage model, turned up, during the second half of the decade, with various fabulously aerodynamic profiles. Coachbuilders who had traditionally worked closely with Delage during the years of independence, chief among them Letourneur & Marchand and their subsidiary, Autobineau, were also responsible for many eye catching D8 bodied cars during this time.

The D8-100’s 8 cylinder engine was now increased to 4302cc, the cylinder bores giving rise to a fiscal horsepower of 25 CV., Power output for the « D8-100 » was listed at 90 hp (67 kW), although by 1937 105 hp (78 kW) at 3500 rpm was the value given. By this time the Cotal pre-selector transmission, previously an option, came included in the price of a Delage D8. Delahayes were still powered by six cylinder engines, and the Delage D8 was the top model produced under either brand.

The D8-100 was launched with a wheelbase choice between 3,630 mm (143 in) and 3,350 mm (132 in), although according to some sources the shorter chassis was delisted in 1937.

D8-120 37-40

By October 1937 Delage were also listing at the Paris motor show a « D8-120 » model, which was essentially a « D8-100 » with the cylinder bore/diameter increased by 4mm. Listed power was now 120 hp (89 kW) at 4,500 rpm.

In 1939 the larger engine from the D8-120 also found its way into the D8-100. However, with the declaration of war in 1939 and the invasion of northern France, in 1940, passenger car production came to an end, as the Delahaye plant was taken over by the German military occupation. Although the six cylinder Delages would return in 1946, after the war, the eight cylinder D-8 did not.

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