French Curves: Delahaye – Delage – Talbot-Lago


French Curves: Delahaye – Delage – Talbot-Lago, features over two dozen examples of the three important French marques in the collection of Peter W. Mullin; all are on exhibit at the renown Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California. The book is the combined work of Richard Adatto, Claude Figoni and Shana Hinds who have put into a focused historical perspective, the coachwork from the streamlined movement of the mid-to-late nineteen-thirties on these significant automobiles. Accompanying the work are exceptional images by photographer Michael Furman.

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  • 1938 Delahaye 135 M Roadster – Chassis No. 49150 

The designs of Figoni & Falaschi are given special emphasis in the book, but the work of other preeminent French coachbuilders, including Henri Chapron and Jacques Saoutchik is also included. Today we are sharing with you photos of three Delahaye 135 M Roadsters and a Talbot-Lago T-150-C that all wear variations on the famous Figoni-designed 1936 Paris Auto Salon model. The two-tone blue 135 M, chassis no. 49150, as seen above and below was ordered by Casimir Jourde, a friend of Figoni and delivered in 1938.

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  • Three views of the stunning coachwork by Figoni & Falaschi

Jourde had the car shipped to India in 1939 where he had business interests and soon sold it to Prince de Mukarran Jah. The car remained there until the mid-nineteen-eighties when it was discovered in a garden shed and then was shipped to England. A restoration followed and it was then shown at the 1992 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, after which it became a part of Peter Mullin’s collection.

Below are three styling variations of the eleven cars built in the Paris Auto Salon series between 1936 and 1939. The top two are slightly different Delahaye Type 135s on the short chassis. The bottom car is a Talbot-Lago on a longer chassis with a larger compartment for the driver.

To learn more about this book and others visit with Coachbuilt Press. The Mullin Collection can be explored with a visit to the Mullin Automotive Museum. Check back soon, as next we will feature a 1939 Delage D8-120 Cabriolet with coachwork by Chapron from the book. 

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  • 1937 Delahaye 135 M Roadster – Chassis No. 48666

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  • 1937 Delahaye 135 M Roadster – Chassis No. 48667

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  • 1938 Talbot-Lago T-150-C - Chassis No. 90019

Posted in Pre-War Contemporary Photos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

Preferential Parking in Washington, D.C.


At first glance, this might look like the front line at a Renault dealership but the caption that accompanied this press photo explains that it is really a parking lot in Washington, D.C. in 1959. In order to maximize profits, the owner, a Mr. L.B. Doggett, Jr., hit upon the idea that if he could squeeze two small cars into a space usually occupied by a large one and charge the owner slightly more than half price, not only would he make more money per square foot but the car’s owner would be happy with the discount.

There was no mention about how this arrangement went over with drivers of bigger American cars, but the fellow in the Ford convertible on the right seems none too pleased. Photo courtesy of the Benjamin Ames Collection.

Posted in Auto photos 1946 - 1965 | Tagged , , , , |

*Updated* An Intriguing American Underslung Traveler Coupe


After our recent coverage of the American Underslung, Layden Butler posted this photo of one wearing an exquisite closed body that was photographed in Southern California. Having seen this photo before, and after our recent research, an advertisement in December 1912 issue of Country Life in America came to mind showing the illustration of an artists rendering below.


This 1913 American Traveler Limousine is described as having the following features: center-drive from the left, interior finishings of the finest goat skin and taffeta, it is electrically lighted and started, the car’s complement of passengers is five beside the driver, is priced at $6,000 complete. An article in the December 14, 1912 Automobile Topics below describes the”Bulbous Flare” of the 1913 American Traveler Limousine.

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*Update* Ariejan Bos has determined that the American in the top photo was a Traveler coupe and was on the market only in 1912. The company built coupes and limousines both in the Traveler and the Tourist category. The Tourist Coupe was a more classical coupe in ‘normal’ colonial style. The Traveler Limousine was a bit of an outsider by its rounded back; all other closed bodies were rather rectangular.


The advertisement above was found in the November 30, 1912, issue of Automobile Topics showing the 1913 American Tourist Limousine, and gives more details of the closed cars. The 1913 models are listed elsewhere as follows: the Scout as a 30hp four-cylinder on a 105-inch wb., the Tourist as a 50hp four-cylinder on a 118-inch wb., and the Traveler as a 60hp four-cylinder on a 140-inch wb. Included in the lineup was a Scout Coupe.

Photos below courtesy of Ariejan Bos show: the American Traveler Limousine, its plush interior and the Scout Coupe. You can find our earlier American and Norwalk Underslung coverage here.

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Posted in Auto photos 1885 - 1920, Women and Vehicles | Tagged , , , |