1948 Delahaye 135 MS Vedette Cabriolet

The Delahaye Type 135 Cabriolet, built specifically for the 1948 Paris Salon de l’Automobile, stands as a testament to the artistry and craftsmanship of its era. The Type 135, produced from 1935 to 1954, is renowned for its combination of performance and elegance, with the MS chassis representing one of its most sporting variants.

Henri Chapron, a master coachbuilder, designed the sleek two-seat body of this particular cabriolet, aptly naming it “Vedette,” which translates to star or celebrity. This name is fitting, as the car’s design and presence make it a standout in any setting.

One of only four known examples today, this Delahaye Type 135 Cabriolet features a host of unique and captivating details. The interior is as striking as the exterior, with features like a clear acrylic steering wheel that exemplifies the innovative spirit of post-war automotive design. Such elements highlight the car’s blend of luxury and forward-thinking style, making it a true collector’s piece.

After its debut at the 1948 Salon, the cabriolet was sold to a Monsieur Chanel of Paris. In 1951, Otto Zipper, an enthusiast who had admired the car at the salon, became its new owner. Over the years, the car changed hands several times, each owner leaving their mark on its history. Notably, Hollywood magician Ed Smith owned the car for a period, during which he repainted it four times, reflecting his whimsical personality and flair for dramatic aesthetics.

In 1979, the car found its current owner, who embarked on a dedicated restoration journey. The restoration process spanned two years and aimed to return the car to its former glory while also infusing it with a unique touch. The striking green color that now adorns the car was specially mixed by none other than Phil Hill, a renowned racing driver and a friend of the owner. This personal touch adds another layer of significance and connection to the car’s storied past.

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The Delahaye Type 135 Cabriolet, with its impeccable design and rich history, continues to captivate automotive enthusiasts and collectors. Its combination of rarity, design excellence, and historical significance makes it a cherished piece of automotive heritage. Whether admired for its aesthetic beauty, innovative features, or storied provenance, this cabriolet stands as a true testament to the golden age of automotive design and craftsmanship.

As it graces roads and concours events, the Delahaye Type 135 Cabriolet remains a beacon of elegance and sophistication. Its journey from the 1948 Paris Salon de l’Automobile to its current meticulously restored state is a narrative of passion, artistry, and enduring allure. Each detail, from the clear acrylic steering wheel to its custom green paint, tells a story of a car that has transcended time and trends, securing its place as a true star in the pantheon of classic automobiles.

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