1946 Delahaye 135 M Guillore / Photos, Specs, Styling and Model History

The 1946 Delahaye 135 M Guillore Coupe is a beautiful automobile and representative of the creative coachbuilding of the era.

delahaye 135
1946 Delahaye 135 M Guillore







Delahaye Automobiles

Founded by Emile Delahaye Delahaye in 1894 as a family owned enterprise and during the company’s early years was heavily involved in auto competition. This included Delahaye’s participation in the 1896 Paris–Marseille–Paris race, the 1897 Paris–Dieppe race, the 1898 by the Marseilles–Nice rally, the Course de Perigeux, and the Paris–Amsterdam–Paris race.

Delahaye was one of the most successful French luxury automakers prior to World War One. Their first automobile was produced in 1898 in Tours, France. The company eventually moved to a Paris suburb in 1906. Delahaye automakers along with several well known coachbuilders brought forward some of the most eye catching automobiles of the 1930’s.

Introduced in Paris in 1935, the Delahaye 135 featured a new chassis with a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine. The 135 was succeeded the following year by the 135 M with a slightly larger engine offering single, dual, or triple carburetors for additional horsepower.

delahaye 135 m







The model 135 M did very well in competition. The car would gain a lasting reputation by taking 2nd place overall at the 1937 Le Mans and then the following year 1st, 2nd, and 4th places. The Delahaye 135s also won the Rallye Monte Carlo in 1937 and 1939.

The 135 M (Modifie), is an upgraded version of the 135 first released in 1935. These cars typically feature custom coach built bodies and no two automobiles are identical. Because the Delahaye had both luxurious appointments and excellent performance engineering, the Delahaye 135 remains one of the most sought after French automobiles from its era.

With the beginning of World War Two the French government ordered civilian auto production to cease effective June 1939. At that time the company started building chassis for the French army. During the German occupation of France a small number of Delahaye’s were built for the occupiers.

Delahaye and the PostWar Years

Such as was the case for American automakers, Delahaye built their 1946 models essentially using the designs of the prewar years. When their factory opened up in 1945 Delahaye was pretty much bat first building heavy duty trucks (3 1/2 ton) and then phased into their civilian passenger vehicle models such as the very popular 135 M featured here

The French economy was not good immediately after the war and much of Europe was in ruins. France placed prohibitive taxes on non essential products such as luxury automobiles. This put a major damper on sales and as a result most of the Delahayes produced after the war were exported. About 80 percent of their automobile production was exported mostly to French colonies in Africa and Asia.

After the engine and chassis were assembled the running chassis were delivered to various coachbuilders to have a body built in a variety of styles. Our featured Delahaye went to Guillore.

The excessive taxes placed on the built automobiles built by Delahaye and others with engines over 3.0 liters took it’s toll. Because of continued financial difficulties Delahaye was taken over by Hotchkiss in 1951.The merger was not enough to save the Delahaye brand and the name disappeared in 1954. The final model that Delahaye produced was a modernized 135 which was named a 235. Only about 85 of these were built from 1951 to 1954.and the model was discontinued.

1946 delahaye







A. Guillore Coach Building

The A. Guillore Coachbuilding business was founded in 1937 in a suburb of Paris by Alphonse Guilloré.

War in Europe disrupted passenger automobile coachbuilding but after the war’s end  Guilloré became famous for their elaborate creations for several automakers such as  Delahaye, Talbot-Lago, Delage and Salmson. Their designs during the late 1940’s received much positive attention.

Guilloré coachbuilding operations ceased in 1950, although a sideline of utility vehicles continued to be built until 1954.

1946 Delahaye 135 M Specifications

The 1946 Delahaye 135 M was built with a 3.6-litre Inline six-cylinder engine delivering 135 HP. As a side note, there were six Type 135 chassis that had V-12 engines.

Transmission is a four speed manual.

Brakes are four wheel drums with a servo assist.

Dimensions include a 115.0 inch wheelbase, 189.0 inch overall length, 58.6 inch width, 59.5 inch height. Curb weight is about 3,430 lbs.

From 1935 through 1952 Delahaye produced about 2,000 135 M models.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are found on the links below..

1936 Packard Twelve

Reference material for this article includes…Delahaye : Road Test Book by Brooklands Books Ltd..Classic Trader Magazine : Delahaye 135- The Elegance of Days Gone By..silodrome.com

1946 delahaye 135 M guillore







The Delahaye 135 M Collector Automobile

Coachbuilders took Delahayes and created works of art in automotive body design.

Delahaye automobiles are renowned for its coupés and cabriolets produced from the late 1930s to the 1950s. Auction results show that several Delahaye models from the post World War Two era have sold in the $275,000 to $350,000 range.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)