1948 Delahaye 125 M Cabriolet
Engine: 115 bhp, 3,557 cc overhead valve inline six-cylinder
Transmission: Cotal four-speed electric preselector gearbox
Suspension: Independent transverse leaf spring front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and four-wheel cable-operated mechanical drum brakes.
About our 1948 Delahaye 125 M Cabriolet
Our 1948 Delahaye was delivered new to the United States and then re-sold to Mr. Dale McCauley of Grosse Pointe, Michigan in 1952. It remained in his possession until 1997, when it was sold to a prominent Midwest collector, who had D&D Restorations of Covington, Ohio was was able to carry out a show-quality cosmetic and mechanical restoration. It changed hands again in 2002, after which it was entrusted to the Alan Taylor Company of Escondido, California for a mechanical and cosmetic refinement. A new convertible top and headliner were installed, and all the interior woodwork was refinished. Suspension, brakes, steering and electrical systems were thoroughly refurbished, as the owner was an enthusiastic participant in driving events. Seat belts were fitted at this time.
The car successfully completed the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance in 2003, followed by display at that year’s Concours d’Elegance, receiving a second-in-class against some very stiff competition. The paint, in dark green and tan, is excellent with no flaws, scratches or chips readily visible. It harmonizes with matching tan leather on seats and doors, accented by green piping. The top is done in matching tan canvas.
History of the 1948 Delahaye 125 M Cabriolet
Launched at the 1935 Paris Salon, the Type 135 would prove to be Delahaye’s mainstay for the rest of its lifetime. Historian David Burgess-Wise describes it as “…the keystone of the survival plan which Delahaye, one of France’s oldest car manufacturers, had drawn up to cope with the crisis-hit Thirties.” In fact, it survived into the Forties and Fifties. The 135 featured a new chassis, designed by engineer Jean-François, with welded box-section side members and pressed cross members welded to a ribbed floor. The engine was a 3,557 cc overhead valve six, as used in the earlier Type 138, from which the transverse leaf spring independent front suspension was also carried over.
Delahaye had no coachworks, so bodies typically came from the likes of Franay, Figoni et Falaschi, Saoutchik or Pennock. Established in 1898, Carrosseriee fabriek P.J. Pennock & Zonen became one of the largest coachbuilders in the Netherlands. The firm built both bespoke bodies for individual clients and series-built styles like convertibles, often on higher-priced chassis from the USA. After World War II, the Dutch government encouraged coachbuilding for export, and a number of prestige chassis, especially Delahayes, were imported for that purpose.