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Delahaye Wins at Pebble and Amelia

Updated: Dec 13, 2018

Charles Bronson and his team at Boulevard Motorcar Company have won 2 awards with the 1949 Delahaye 175 S Saoutchik.

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. Having fulfilled its exhibition duties, it then passed through a succession of other flamboyant owners, including actress Diana Dors.

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.

Charles Bronson discovered the car in 2003 in pieces and eventually all the parts were reunited. Bronson then took the bold task of refurbishing the massive Delahaye back to its former glory. It made a welcome debut at the 2006 Pebble Beach Concours where it received "First in Class" during the featured "Year of the Delahaye" celebration. Just a few months later the car was honored again, winning "People’s Choice" at the prestigious Amelia Island Concours d’ Elegance.


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