Saoutchik built this majestic Delahaye 175S Roadster, chassis #815025, for the reemerging concours circuit and was introduced at the 1949 Paris Auto Show. The extravagant body is built upon the first new Delahaye chassis designed after the war, fitted with a race-spec engine and Dubonnet suspension.
Using the French curves of the thirties with more modern baroque ornamentation, Saoutchik conveys a sense of drama and movement with this design. The body features fully skirted fenders, a disappearing top, and extensive chrome accenting. At the time, the aggressive use of chrome was rather revolutionary. This car is considered one of the most extreme uses of Baroque automotive styling. At the front is a curious nose which was inspired by the Figoni et Falaschi-designed Narval produced just a year earlier.
The first owner of this car was Sir John Gaul of England, who brought the car to several European concours, acclaiming lots of attention of the press and public. In 1949, it won top honors at the Grand Castle du Bois de Boulogne in Paris, the Monte Carlo Concours and Coup de l'Automobile in San Remo almost always accompanied by an attractive lady.
By the seventies the roadster had made its way to Colorado where maintenance on the race-spec engine and Dubonnet suspension became a nuisance. The owner then chopped out the entire front section of the chassis to fit a GM Toronado system which was front wheel drive.
For nearly forty years the original engine and car were separated much to the blissfull ignorance of everyone who could still appreciate its distinct design. Eventually all the parts were reunited with a single owner who then took the bold task of refurbishing the massive Delahaye. It made a welcome debut at the 2006 Pebble Beach Concours. In 2010 the car was put up for auction by RM Auctions and sold for $3 million.
I am not a natural flatterer, I like to think that I "tell it like it is", politely I hope. So when I tell you that I am very impressed by the contents of your website, it is just not English politeness. I of course love the subject matter but you deal with it in an energetic and respectful manner. I am overwhelmed by the research that has gone into compiling the list of coachbuilders/bodybuilders for Europe and North America. I have never heard of the vast majority of them.
Congratulations on an excellent website.
- N. Maltby of Car Scene International
We use Coachbuild.com almost daily as our main reference source!
- Schloss Dyck Classic Days
We use Coachbuild.com all the time for references!
- Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
We are very impressed by your website!
- Bicester Heritage UK