1937 Delage D8 120 SS Aerodynamic Coupe
One month prior to winning Best of Show at the Keeneland Concours d’Elegance. this sleek French beauty was chosen Best of Show runner-up earlier this year at The Elegance of Hershey. The following excerpt is from a recap of that concours written by Kurt Ernst for Hemmings Blog.
Another car that stood out at last weekend’s The Elegance at Hershey was the 1937 Delage D8 120 SS Aerodynamic Coupe owned by Jim Patterson of Louisville, Kentucky. Taking home both the Founder’s Award and the People’s Choice Award, the one-of-one short wheelbase coupe was originally constructed for a European prince. Following the war, the Delage was acquired by the Gerry Albertini Collection in London; it later spent time with a Japanese collector and with the Blackhawk Collection before being acquired by the Patterson Collection in 2001. RM Restorations refreshed the body and mechanicals in recent years, and the coupe has not spent too much time on the concours circuit since restoration.
As a 1937 model, the Delage D8 120 SS Aerodynamic Coupe was produced following the company’s 1935 liquidation. With the help of investor Walter Watney, Louis Delage soon began producing new Delage models, assembled using a modified Delahaye chassis and mechanicals. The D8 120 boasted a 4.3-liter inline eight-cylinder engine, rated at 140hp and mated to an electro-magnetic four-speed manual transmission with a pre-selector feature; once the clutch was used to get the car rolling, clutchless shifting was accomplished with a steering wheel-mounted selector. Underneath, the D8 120 received hydraulic brakes and an independent front suspension utilizing transverse leaf springs.
As with every automobile Louis Delage put his name on, the Letourneur et Marchand-bodied D8 120 met his criteria of carrying the highest standards of engineering, while exuding beauty and art.
DELAGE GALLERY – Click image to enlarge for slideshow.
(Photo credit: John Olman)