Delage D8S Coupe by Webb

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D8S Coupe by Webb





Delage was a French luxury automobile and racecar company founded in 1905 by Louis Delage in Levallois-Perret near Paris; it was acquired by Delahaye in 1935 and ceased operation in 1953.

The Delage D8 was an eight-cylinder luxury car produced by the manufacturer between 1929 and 1940.

The 4061 cc engine of the original D8 placed it in the 23CV car tax band which, for many contemporaries, would also have defined its position high up in the market hierarchy.

Delage took a traditional view of its role as a car producer, and provided cars in bare chassis form to have their bodies fitted by one of the more prestigious bespoke body builders operating (in most cases) in the Paris area. The D8 therefore appeared, throughout its life, in a wide variety of (frequently) elegant shapes.

The D8 was introduced late in 1929 as a replacement for the opulent Delage GLS, but in view of the range of body types (and, subsequently, of engine sizes) with which it was offered it can also be seen as a replacement for the some versions of the Delage DM.

The timing of the D8’s launch, with the European economy still reeling from the aftermath of the 1929 stock market crashes appears unfortunate, but cars at this level were never intended to sell in large numbers, and by taking sales from other top end auto-makers such as, in particular, Bugatti the D8 held its own and justified its manufacturer’s aspirations for it, becoming one of the best known products of what subsequently came to be known as a golden age for low-volume expensive and luxurious cars in France.

At launch there were two versions of the D8: the “D8 Normale” and the “D8 S”. For the “D8 Normale” there were three different wheelbase lengths: these were 3,167 mm (124.7 in), 3,467 mm (136.5 in) and 4,066 mm (160.1 in), the third of which would accommodate body lengths of more than 5 meters. The “D8 S” was intended for sports car applications, and the shortened wheelbase was intended to optimize manoeuvrability and handling.

Both versions were produced till 1933.

The "Delage D8" was powered by a straight 8 engine which was a first both for Delage and for the French auto-industry. The 4061cc engine featured an overhead centrally positioned camshaft and a listed maximum output of 102 hp (76 kW) at 3,500 rpm for the “D8 Normale” and 120 hp (89 kW) in the “D8 S” version. Power was delivered to the rear wheels through a four speed manual gear-box featuring synchromesh on the upper two ratios.

Performance will have varied according to the weight of the body specified but the top speed listed for the "D8 Normale" was 120 km/h (75 mph) with 130 km/h (82 mph) listed for the "D8 S".

The drum brakes operated on all four wheels. Suspension was traditional, involving rigid axles front and back with semi-elliptic leaf springs and “friction dampers”.

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