Delahaye 1953

135 — discontinued        
148 — discontinued        
235          
171          
VLR          

France

During a long distance test conducted by the L'Auto-Journal in the summer, the coach 235 satisfied testers in many areas: good handling and precise steering, top speed of over 162 km / h in bad road conditions, powerful and remarkably flexible engine, excellent Cotal gearbox, good acceleration (0 to 100 km / h in 17 seconds), satisfactory comfort, comprehensive equipment and instrumentation, impeccable overall finish and good visibility. The testers complained however of inadequate braking, excessive weight, high noise levels and excessive fuel consumption of 20 to 35 liters per 100.
The 1,847 VLRs produced in 1953 gave a boost to the finances of the Delahaye but car sales fall again. Delage-Delahaye produced only 36 chassis.
Unfortunaltely for the company military orders for third batch of the VLR has been reduced from 3,600 to just 208 units. On top of this some of the vehicles already in service has developed serious failures, which had to be tackled at the manufacturer's expence. In desperation Delahaye is trying to sell some on the civilan market. In August the company made redundant more than 200 of its employees.
With the appearance of a simplified "factory" coach by Chapron, Delahaye demanded the price be lowered to less than 2.700.000F.
 

235

wb: 295 cm 6 cyl.
3557 cm³
152 ch
chassis  


235 'factory' coach by Chapron.

235 Cabriolet by Chapron

235 cabriolet Chapron at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

235 cabriolet Chapron.

Coupé Chapron at Paris Show in October. Comparing to the privios year the coupé Chapron has slightly larger rear window and different rear wings forming elegant, fashionable fins.

235 Coupé Chapron.

235 coupé Chapron.

235 z by Letourneur et Marchand.

235 by Figoni.

235 coach aérodynamique by Saoutchik (chassis 818 039).

235 coach by Beutler.
 

135 and 148

  wb: 6 cyl.
3557 cm³
100 ch
6 cyl.
3557 cm³
115 ch
6 cyl.
3557 cm³
130 ch
chassis 295 cm 135M 135M 135MS
chassis 315 cm 148 - -

 

171

wb: 320 cm 6 cyl.
3557 cm³
100 ch
chassis  

 

VLR

wb: 215 cm 4 cyl.
1995 cm³
63 ch
   

 

 

           
           

 


Delahaye 235 with bodywork by Motto leaving Cape Town after brief repair.
The second Méditerranée - Le Cap rally (first one being organised in 1951 and won by Delahaye) which runs for 14.500 kilometers from north to south of the African continent took place at the beginning of 1953. It was again a great success for the 171 and VLR Delahaye. Among those cross-terrain vehicles, captain de Courcel Hélas drove a 235 coach. Despite extensive damage to his car in an accident he managed to finish the event in 10th place. Then, after a brief repair done in a local garage the same car was driven all the way back to Algiers by Captain Crespin accompanied by his teammate Heurtaux. They not only completed the course but smashed the previous record (eleven days four hours and fifty-four minutes in one of the first Fiat Campagnola) set by Italians Butti and Racca by nearly 24 hours. Then the same team drove the car back to Paris and took another challenge: the 4 hour run on the race track at Montlhéry with an average speed of 150 km/h.