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Delahaye – 135MS Coupé Pininfarina


Vehicle Overview

French automaker Delahaye introduced its 135 model in 1935, and – war years excluded – variations remained in production until 1954. Delahaye 135s were frequently rebodied by French coachbuilders, but one example carried a body from an upstart Italian firm, Carrozzeria Pinin Farina.

Of the Delahaye 135 variants, the 135MS (for Modifiée Spéciale, or Modified Special) was the sportiest, aside from the pure competition cars. While the 135M typically got by with a single Solex carburetor and an output of 90 horsepower, the 135MS received three Solex carburetors, enough for 125 hp in road-going trim, and more than 160 hp in racing tune. Despite its age, the 135MS was still winning races on a global stage as late as 1949, though the Second World War had much to due with the slow progression of racing technology.

From the front and the rear, Pinin Farina’s coachwork looks Jaguar-esque in its execution, yet the Italian’s design pre-dates the Jaguar Mark 1 by roughly eight years. Even the slightly similar Jaguar XK120 came a year or so after the Pinin Farina Delahaye, though it isn’t clear if one influenced the other. It’s quite likely that Pininfarina’s design, with its rounded edges, swept-back grille and raked windshield, was simply meant to convey a sense of speed, even when the car was parked. That it actually did reduce drag and increase top speed was incidental, a case of function following form.

The Pinin Farina Delahaye was one of three cars built by the Italian coachbuilder as a demonstration of its capabilities. An Alfa Romeo 6C 2500S cabriolet and a Maserati A6 1500 coupe were also rebodied by Pinin Farina, with all three cars finished in the same silver-gray hue worn by the Delahaye.

Technical Specifications

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  • Make
  • Model
    135MS Coupé
  • Coachbuilder
  • Length (mm)
  • Width (mm)
  • Height (mm)
  • Photo credits
  • Engine Type
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