Emile Delahaye started producing his first automobiles in 1894 in Tours, France. The first automobiles were single or twin cylinder, belt-driven power units. Emile Delahaye departed his company in 1900, just one year before a factory was constructed in Paris. It is unknown why the founder left his company.
Four cylinder engine production began in 1908 in sizes of 1,460cc and 2,120cc. As well, a V6 was built in 2,565cc size. Delahaye production was boosted by manufacture under licence in America and Germany. By the end of WWI lorry production was Delahaye's mainstay.
In 1934 two new cars were introduced, the 12cv and the 18cv. The 12cv was motivated by a 2,150cc four while the 18cv was powered by a 3,200cc six. The engines were derived from the lorry powerplants. It was in the following year that Delahaye introduced its most famous cars, the Coupe des Alpes and the 135.
Following the release of the successful street cars came racing success. Although the German manufacturers of Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union were already dominating sportscar racing Delahaye managed some level of victory. Prosperity on the track resulted in demand for the street cars.
Delahayes carry some of the most astounding coachwork ever created. Of special note are the Figoni et Falaschi, Chapron and Letourneur et Marchand bodies. Despite these very special cars Delahaye continued to build lorries.
After WWII, in 1948, the 135 was continued and the 4,500cc 175 was introduced. Hard times hit and sales slowed and the final new models were released in 1951. This was an advanced Jeep-based vehicle of 3,500cc. Delahaye was taken over by Hotchkiss in 1954 and car production ceased as lorry production continued under the name Hotchkiss-Delahaye. After several months the Delahaye name was dropped and history closed on one of the world's most intriguing vehicle makers.
delahaye logos pictures
delahaye logo icon