1937 Delahaye Type 145 V-12 Grand Prix
THE ÉCURIE BLEUE TEAM, PRIX DU MILLION, GRAND PRIX DE PAU AND GRAND PRIX DE CORK-WINNING
THIS IS THE FIRST of four race cars built for the Ecurie Bleue Racing Team owned by Americans Laury and Lucy Schell. The Prix du Million was a one million franc prize offered in 1937 by the French Government to encourage French automobile manufacturers to beat the Germans, who then dominated racing. To compete according to the new racing formula, Delahaye developed a new chassis with an un-supercharged 4.5 liter V-12 motor.
On August 27th Rene Dreyfus put in the performance of his life at the Montlhery race track setting a new record with an average speed of 146.7kph over 16 laps. In France’s volatile political and economic atmosphere, he instantly became a national hero, celebrated throughout Europe.
The car then competed in the Grand Prix de Pau in 1938 with a first place finish beating the Mercedes Silver Arrows. Next came the Grand Prix de Cork with a first place finish followed by the Mille Miglia with a fourth place finish. World War II then engulfed Europe and racing stopped. The Schells returned their cars to Delahaye and race car specialist Fernand Lacour took all the cars to his shop.
The car traded hands, lost part of its original body and its identity was for a time difficult to establish, but careful research has revealed its true history.
Chassis No. 48771
Production No. 1st of 4
Engine Type 155
225 BHP At 5,500 RPM
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
Independent Front, Transverse Leaf Spring with Upper Control Arms and Lever Action Shock Absorbers.
Live Rear Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs and Lever Action Shock Absorbers
4-Wheel Hydraulically-Operated , Ventilated Drum Brakes