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Brandnew Delaunay-Belleville mishap

delaunay belleville_burgos_400

The above photo appeared in a spanish newspaper in the early days of the last century, when it was not too much of a problem publishing what appears to be a very serious accident. Especially with respect to the unidentified rags in the foreground. On the car the steering wheel has almost dissapeared, it makes one feel sick in the stomach... In other respects the Delaunay Belleville seems in reasonable condition after the crash. Except for the steering wheel only the front axle and wings were damaged. The protective covers are still over the seats and front headlights. These fabric covers came with new cars to protect the valuable materials. So chances are high that at the time of the photo it was nearly brand new. Possibly on its way to the first owner?

Despite the early accident, this car (then owned by a wealthy family owner of large wineyards) has survived in remarkable original condition up top these days. In the early nineties it has been restored and still is taking part in the occasional rallye (Photo 3). Interestingly the motorcar has two bodies: an open phaeton for summer and closed coupé-chauffeur for winter, which still exists and as you can see in photos 4&5 remains in totally original condition. We imagine the problem of the fixations of the bodies to the chassis in case of an accident... but seeing the main photo nothing important happened in this area.

(Text and colour photos Francisco Carrión)


#3 2013-12-13 10:37
There is no further information about the accident, only a little report in a very old newspaper reporting "serious automobile accident". About the closed body, seems to have had very little use from new. The car has been taking part in rallyes since the 1950s, and always with the open body.
#2 2013-12-12 14:16
no photos of the car with closed bodywork mounted? beautiful car and amazing story!
#1 2013-12-11 03:10
Quite a serious accident ! Is there any further information on the cause and the survivors, as the "rags" in the foreground look quite sinister !
What year did this happen, as the DB looke to be possibly a 1908 "Roi de Belges" tourer ?
The interior of the Closed Coupe Chauffeur, could do with a little Vacuuming, then the Blue tarp covers can go back on !
Oiling of the woodwork, to keep it "fresh", and already it has become the predecessor of the "Removable Hardtop" !
Now that would have been a first !

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