Spot a pre-war car

A Paulin, Pourtout or Peugeot Mystery? (update:1936 Labourdette Delage V12 Vutotal Aerodynamique)

unidentified car_5-5568

The last Walter Miller mystery photo this week is in our view also the most sensational car. A body which has caused us headaches as this must be a very well known car. And yes we found it, at least a very good lookalike. We're sure you will find as well. Yet at the moment you see it you probably will experience the same problems as we had. The overall profile and side window cutouts are nearly exactly the same as the famous 2005 Pebble Beach Best of Show: the 1937 Delage D8 Aerodynamic  Coupe by Pourtout.  But 'our' car is much shorter, smaller and lower. Not to mention the way-out tail fin. Did Georges Paulin design - or did Pourtout build - a similar body for let's say an Alfa 6C 1750? Or is it 'just' the coupe version of Peugeot's 1936 402 Andreau Aerodynamic?

Update by Richard Armstrong who seems well educated on the subject, see first comment below.


#13 2014-04-24 10:56
Thanks Richard (Armstrong) for your excellent summary. Are there any pictures of the 135CS with the modified Labourdette body and of the open two-seater with its diesel engine when used for endurance record-breaking? Do any of these two cars survive?
Best regards, Hans
#12 2014-03-07 22:35
If I may tidy up the various bits of information here ...

This is indeed the Labourdette Delage V12. The engine was a one-off, designed by Albert Lory, using two Delahaye 135 blocks and was originally to be used in the 1936 GP de l'ACF, but wasn't ready.

After Henri Fretet crashed it in Le Mans practice it was repaired and exhibited at the 1937 Paris Salon - presumably in an attempt to sell it. There were no takers, and the bodywork was removed, being replaced with an open two-seater body. This conveniently created an instant Grand Prix car under the 1938 formula. The original body was modified - the fin was removed - and it was fitted to a Delahaye 135CS chassis.

Its first race as an open car was to be on May 7th 1938 in the International Trophy at Brooklands in the hands of Joseph Paul. As the cars crossed the line (it was a rolling start) the Delage was seen to be on fire: fuel had collected in the undertray and it had somehow ignited. At the first corner, Paul attempted to steer off the course but collided with the Darracq (Talbot T150) of AC 'Tom' Lace and careered into the crowd.

Several spectators were injured, including a number of well-known motor sporting personalities - Noel Pope, Francis Beart, Douglas Hawkes, Kay Petre, Betty Haig, Robert Waddy, Bill Humphries and Jill Thomas. An 'ordinary' spectator, Betty Williams, died that night in hospital, but without doubt the biggest loss was the great designer Tom Murray Jamieson, who succumbed to his injuries two days later.

The car was entered for the 1938 GP de l'ACF, but neither it nor its driver was fit enough to appear (Paul had suffered severe burns) and it quietly slipped from view. The chassis eventually reappeared after the war, rebodied again and fitted with a diesel engine, being used for endurance record-breaking.
#11 2014-03-07 11:59
look at this:
#10 2014-03-07 11:55
It is an Andreau "Vue totale" (complete sight) probably a Delage; but he also worked on other brands (Peugeot for instance)
#9 2014-03-07 11:28
According to the same source Henry Ariëns refers to, it had a Talbot chassis.
#8 2014-03-07 11:04
Its design influenced the 1980's Sinclair C5, I think.
#7 2014-03-07 09:02
according to Jean Henri Labourdette in his book "un siecle de carrosserie francaise"on the page conserning 1937/1946 there is a picture of the same car and it is a prototype pour Delage en 1937 with help of the engineur Audrand this was a body in the "vutotal" series. met vriendelijke groet, Henri
#6 2014-03-07 07:58
Looks like the 1937 Delage V12 by Labourdette, built for the French Grand Prix. The car sadly was crashed at Brooklands later.
Best Regards,
#5 2014-03-07 07:45
This appears to be the 4.5 litre V-12 Delage built by Labourdette to an aerodynamic design by Andreau. It features the coach builder's distinctive missing A-pillar, marketed as "Vutotal." The car was intended to compete in the 1937 Grand Prix de l'ACF, but it crashed heavily in practice due to a brake failure.
#4 2014-03-07 07:17
This is the Delage v12 Labourdette coupe

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