Cars International Heritage are delighted to offer this wonderful and rare 1951 Delahaye 175S Cabriolet with coachwork by Franay.
Rare 175 with more powerful ‘S’ type engine
Total documented restoration to original specification by Auto Restorations New Zealand
From a prominent UK collection with minimal use
Delahaye introduced the Type 175 in 1947, although it had been under development prior to World War II. The car was one of three grand touring models launched that year, the other two being the Types 178 and 180. All three cars were part of the company’s last-ditch effort to update its product line for the lucrative market in the United States.
On paper, the Type 175 looked very attractive with its short chassis and powerful 6-cylinder, 7- bearing crankshaft, 4.5-liter overhead camshaft in-line engine. The Type 175S, featuring Dubonnet engineered suspension and an even more powerful engine with three carburetors, debuted the following year. Other features included a De Dion rear axle, Lockheed brakes, and, as a special concession to New World drivers, the option of the left-hand drive.
The wide chassis of the Type 175S allowed coachbuilders to create appealing, perfectly proportioned, and very expensive bodies: the average cost of the coachwork alone was around 1,300,000 FF. Unfortunately, those bodies were too heavy and overburdened the chassis: the rea transmission half-shaft sheared, and the Dubonnet suspension collapsed. After repeated problems with the Type 175 and 175S, clients threatened to sue, and the Delahaye company was forced to buy back the models and reimburse its customers. Only 51 examples were produced before the models were discontinued in 1950.
This is a rare survivor indeed, a Type 175 fitted with a more powerful “S” engine which was normally used only for the few cars that were designated for rallies. This particular Type 175S, Chassis 815016, has coachwork designed by Pierre Dumont, a designer at CarrOSsserie Franay, one of the era’s foremost Parisian coachbuilders, which was well known for its high quality luxury craftsmanship. It bears a striking resemblance to the 1950 Delahaye Paris Auto Show car, which was a Type 135.
The car’s lines border on being flamboyant but manage to maintain a classical aura. The envelope body of Chassis 815016 utilizes the classically smooth and unbroken curves of French styling. The car’s lines begin at the front fender and are integrated into the coachwork all the way to the rear, creating a body that is aerodynamic even to the point of eliminating the car’s door handles, release buttons being used instead.
The first recorded license information we can find is from January 1963, in Paris, with an unknown owner but registered as 5096 HG 75. The next owner was Jacques Boillon, in Niort, with registration 843 FK 79. In April 1964 the car was purchased by Philippe Meunier of Sicmo who stored the car for a number of years until it was sold in 1988-89 to US Delahaye expert Richard Adatto.
Adatto owned the car for two years before selling it to Richard Straman in 1991. Straman owned the car from 1991 until 2007 but never restored it. The 175 S was sold to the current owner, a known collector and expert in his own right of Delahaye cars pre and post war. A total restoration was carried in New Zealand by Auto Restorations to original factory specification.
Carefully stored and regularly maintained since completion in 2016, the 175 S is in superb condition and would be suitable for many worldwide concours events.