Classical cars, including the history of the great classical automobiles
February 3rd, 2007

WW2 Secret Behind Delahaye Concours Car Revealed

1936 Delahaye

This beautiful 1936 Delahaye 135 Competition Sport Coupe was the subject of the 2006 Pebble Beach Concours poster, superbly rendered by Canadian artist Jay Koka. A copy now proudly hangs on my living room wall. The Delahaye appeared at Pebble Beach with considerable history and yet the most fascinating story had not been told until revealed in the Vancouver Province by our Nigel Matthews. The teller of the tale, who wishes to remain anonymous was, in 1940, a motorcycle dispatch rider for a German infantry division based in Colmar. His unit had been ordered to the Polish front but initially he was sent to Gerardmer to round up as many valuable French cars as possible. The German soldier spend a few days checking back alleys in search of expensive wheels, until he spotted a promising old shed. Peering through the dirty window panes, he noticed something extraordinary inside. "It was the most beautiful black sports car I'd ever seen!" he told Nigel.

Approaching the house with the intention of demanding the keys, something stopped him. An elderly lady opened the door and was understandably frightened at the sight of this 23-year-old German soldier. He has no idea if she understood his broken French, but quickly told her to cover the car and fill the windows with firewood to hide it from view. Fearful of returning to Colmar empty-handed he commandeered a Peugeot which broke down on the way back to base! Today the former rider is convinced the car he saw is the one at Pebble Beach, which seems likely as it's a one-off. Our classic car lover became a prisoner on the Russian Front, survived, emigrated to Canada in 1950.

by Philip Powell | Posted in Rare Europeans | 2 Comments » |


Comment by Used Cars
  • What a gorgeous vehicle. As someone who is in the used car business myself, I not only love hearing about classic cars, but also love hearing their history! This story was great.

    February 12, 2007 @ 3:27 pm
  • Comment by Car Rent Israel
  • I was just thinking, what if someone set up a car renting company for this sort of rods. I bet it’ll make lots of money

    December 26, 2007 @ 5:15 am
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