Delahaye 165 V-12 (1938)

Unsuccessful as a racing-car (it first appeared In the 1937 French
GP), this big Delahaye inevitably created quite a sensation at the
1938 Paris Salon with this extroverted envelope by the distinguished
French firm Figoni & Falaschi. Billy Butlin, the British holiday
camp king, was among the first customers. The enclosed front and
rear wheels and a disappearing windscreen were special attractions.
Under the bonnet was a 4,490 cc vee-12 engine developing about
160 bhp. Its overhead valves were opened by pushrods and rockers
from two camshafts between the cylinder blocks. The gearbox was
a Cotal epicyclic with electro-magnetic selection. Front suspension
was independent, using a transverse leaf spring, but it had a
normal live rear axle. One can guess a top speed of, say, 110 mph.



New Member
indeed this engine is taken from the racer type 145, and was also used by Delage without more success. only 2 165 were built and both dressed by Figoni. 100% of them survived and are retired in US, a black and a red one that stayed in the US after 1939 NY saloon because of WW2. here it is.
There were more then two of them built. I have photos of four different Delahaye 165 by Figoni et Falaschi from 1938 and 1939. Three are convertibles and one is a coupe (originally owned by Romanian king or prince). Photos of the two convertibles 1939 (World's Fair) and 1938 are easily found on the net. The third convertible is orange, probably 1938, very similar to the car on this drawing. I have also seen an original drawing by Figoni et Falaschi of the Delahaye 165 of slightly different design.

Here's one of the original Figoni et Falaschi drawings of the car. Proportions are completely wrong; it rather gives the impression of the car. I have studied the subject extensively as I was planning to model her. I used to have some 5-view drawings of the car, the problem is that I accedentaly deleted them.... :-(


Mine came from "Automobiles and Automobiling" -Drawings by Pierre Dumont, captions by Ronald Barker & Douglas Tubbs, compiled by Ami Guichhard - The Viking Press - 1965
Large format with lots of side views & semi-side views. The two 135's I just posted are also from this book. I'll be scanning more soon.