Named the ‘Buzz II,’ the 1936 Delahaye 135 S Compétition Court racing car, which campaigned in 1930s endurance races, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, will be auctioned at Bonhams The Monaco Sale ‘Les Grandes Marques à Monaco’ on 23 April.
Recognized for its success, not only on the racetrack but also in concours d’elegances, the 1936 Delahaye 135 S Compétition Court race car was one of the all-time great sporting automobiles of the pre-war period.
The Irish American heiress, Lucy Schell, played an important role in the French marque’s successes. Schell became the first female motorsport team owner following her career as a former racing driver.
In the 1938 Pau Grand Prix, she was triumphant when her semi-works Delahaye team conquered the seemingly unbeatable Mercedes team to take the chequered flag.
In 1936 Schell bought the Delahaye 135 S (that is being auctioned this April by Bonhams), and it made its first appearance as part of Écurie Bleu, her three-car semi-works team that competed at the 1936 ‘Three Hours of Marseille’ endurance race.
The cars’ were affectionately named ‘Blue Buzz’ given their sky-blue paintwork (the French national color) combined with their engines’ muffled ‘buzzing’ noise.
The car on offer, Blue Buzz II, raced in pre-war Grand Prix races at Pau, Donington, and Commiges and the Belfast Tourist-Trophy before facing its greatest challenge at the 1939 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Additionally, in 1939 the distinguished coachbuilders Chappes Frères rebodied the Delahaye 135 S into a more aerodynamic style.
After two further face lifts’ in subsequent years, the Delahaye 135 S now displays the coachwork in the Chappes Frères bodyshell style, preserving its authentic period running gear, engine, and the original chassis – a rareness for racing cars of this period.
The Bonhams Monaco Sale will be conducted at the Fairmont Monte-Carlo, facing the legendary hairpin bend of the Monaco Grand Prix circuit on April 23. The sale format will be a Live and Online auction with further details of the Delahaye 135 S being found on Bonhams website.