1929 Delage DML
Imposing sporting saloon; RHD; powerful 3.25-litre six-cylinder engine; recent body restoration; from long-term family ownership; a simply lovely example of this top-quality French Bentley or Alvis alternative
The DM series Delage was introduced in 1927, sitting between the 2.1-litre four-cylinder DI and range-topping 6-litre GL model.
The new car was designed by Maurice Gaultier who would later develop the DM into the impressive straight-eight D8. Beautifully built, the DM was based around a conventional ladder-frame chassis with semi-elliptic leaf springs and generously proportioned four-wheel brakes.
The six-cylinder engine had overhead valves and the 130mm stroke made it nice and torquey, its 3.2-litre engine housing a seven-bearing crank. The engine was extremely refined and allied to a four-speed manual gearbox gave the car an impressive performance.
Sold with short, normal and long wheelbase options (DMS, DM and DML), the model remained in production until 1930 by which time some 2,567 of all types are thought to have been made.
Regarded by many as equal to any Rolls or Bentley, these top-quality machines were often supplied with coachwork of a sporting nature, making them even more desirable – as is the case here. In common with other expensive European cars of the period, they were also usually supplied in RHD.
Finished in brown over black with black leather upholstery to the front and beige cloth to the rear, this particular long wheelbase example (DML) is fitted with its imposing four-door saloon coachwork which is rumoured to have started life on a Delage D8. We are unclear at this stage who the original coachbuilder was.
The DML was first UK registered during 1993 and went through an extensive restoration at that time. It has been with its current family since 2008 when purchased by Mike Hardy, who also owned another Delage DM among many other vintage cars before it.
When Mike passed away, the car gained a new custodian in his daughter, Elizabeth and in the winter of 2014/15, the car went through further extensive restoration encompassing a complete replacement of a large section of the ash frame, approximating the front half of the car. This included a complete strip back, new custom made ash frame, radiator repair, repainting of all removed panels with an exact colour match, all of which was completed by Durham Restoration, in Durham.
The 3.25-litre engine has run reliably and has never needed any attention. The Delage is beautifully appointed and comes complete with a discrete division.
The car encapsulates the elegance and quality for which Delage were renowned, sporting twin side-mounted spare wheels and has twice appeared at BBC Children In Need’s Carfest North hosted by Chris Evans. This included being part of the Vintage Village and Chris’ Vintage 7 - 7 vehicles specially selected to drive round the track at several points during the festival weekend.
This imposing and rakish Vintage sporting saloon looks quite exceptional value, especially when compared with its peers of the day.
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