Categories: News

This beautifully restored 1937 Delahaye will leave you in awe!

An American collector, who was determined to acquire a pre-war European car, set his sights on an exceptional Delahaye.

Tom McGouch, a renowned car collector, possesses an impressive array of models in his garage. At 62 years old, this proud resident of Minneapolis (United States) can boast ownership of a Ferrari 166 Inter, a Pegaso Z-103, an ATS 2500 GT, and twenty-four Willys hot rods, among others. However, what he lacked was a remarkable pre-war European classic. With the acquisition of the 1937 Delahaye, he has added a gem to his collection.

A Pristine Delahaye

Behind this vehicle lies a heartwarming story of a son, Tom, and his mother, Jean. When Jean was diagnosed with cancer five years ago at the age of 83, Tom made her a promise: “Mom, you’re going to fight, and I’m going to buy a pre-war car. We’re going to restore it and take it to Pebble Beach.”

He sought the expertise of a broker, who scoured the world for this rare gem. The 1937 Delahaye 135 M Compétition, one of only seven cars featuring exuberant coachwork by Henri Chapron, was a successful find. It was previously owned by the former head of the Renault Formula 1 team, Jean Sage.

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Admiration Everywhere

Even though Tom purchased the car based solely on photographs, he has no regrets: “I looked at the car most of the night.” He invested $1.35 million (1.2 million euros) in its acquisition and restoration, stating: “This car can rival almost any pre-war French car in terms of timeless beauty and rarity. It is much sportier than the typical Chapron bodies of that era. I would never claim that my car is more beautiful than the Torpilles (Figoni & Falaschi Delahaye). But, for me, it has this wonderful balance between breathtaking beauty and elegant lines.”

Upon receiving the car, Tom observed damage to part of the bodywork, decaying wood in the cabin, and a faulty engine under the hood.

photo credit: DR Promise kept for Tom.

With patience and the assistance of his mother, he restored this exceptional car and fulfilled his promise by taking it to Pebble Beach, 3,000 kilometers from his hometown. And to his delight, he claimed the first prize!

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