In 1905 Louis Delages journey to the top of the French automobile business began about 4km outside of Paris in a tiny workshop in Levallois-Perret with just three employees and two lathes. A former Peugeot employee Delage knew from the onset to surround himself with talent and one of those three original employees was a former chief engineer from Peugeot. In those early years of his firm Delage produced a series of small voiturettes utilizing off-the-shelf DeDion-Bouton engines. He soon developed an interest in motorsport and a range of in-house engine designs naturally followed. Gradually Delage motorcars grew in size quality and performance. By 1910 the company built a new factory to accommodate the demand for its latest four-cylinder models. Following World War I production expanded again to include a six-cylinder model which ushered in Delages interest in Grand Prix and sports car racing. By the 1930s Delage earned tremendous success on the world motorsport stage and would live on as one of Frances most storied and revered marques.In 1913 Delage was made four-cylinder and six-cylinder cars. The four-cylinder model known as the Type A1 was designed in-house by Arthur-Louis Michelat. The A1 was also called the 12CV in France or 14HP in England. The Type A1 featured fairly advanced specification for the time namely in the side-valve 2.3-liter monobloc inline-four which paired to a four-speed manual gearbox. The chassis was light and the engine potent for its size with a low center of gravity for excellent road manners. Braking was by Delages two-wheel system aided by a hand-operated transmission brake. At a time when many small cars were primitive unreliable and unrefined Michelats brilliant Delage Type A1 was reliable well-made and a pure delight to drive.This 1914 Type A1 Sports Tourer is a lovely example of this charismatic and rarely seen Pre-WW1 Delage. Thanks to a long string of attentive enthusiastic owners this well-restored car now displays a fabulous patina acquired through years as well-loved VCC tour car. According to the history file this car was delivered new in Australia via Fraser & Willsford of Sydney. Little else is known of the earliest history; however correspondence shows it was discovered in the village of Gulargambone New South Wales in the late 1960s. Following a change of ownership it came into the hands of John Riley who performed with the restoration of the chassis and the lovely sports-touring coachwork in the 1980s. In the 1990s the car came to the UK with subsequent owners well-documented via correspondence service records and V5C registrations.Today the Delage Type A1 remains in excellent condition with a wonderfully mellowed restoration. Its body is marvelously proportioned with low cockpit sides and delicate mudguards. Wire wheels and black wall tires round out the purposeful and sporting appearance. The dark green livery suits the car quite well accented with red coach stripes and good quality nickel plated fittings including Vandervell-style bell-shaped headlamps and Brown Brothers cowl lamps updated to electric operation. The green paint is in fine order and the alloy skinned wooden frame body is excellent. Black button-tufted leather covers the seats and door cards with bare alloy floors up front and green carpet in the rear. The leather is supple and in excellent condition with light creasing in the seats that enhance the warm and inviting character of this Delage. Records show the top and tonneau covers were fabricated in 2008 using black Stayfast canvas with outstanding fit and finish.The Delage side valve four is quite refined for its class. It has the power to deliver spirited performance aided by the four-speed manual gearbox. Receipts and records show the leather clutch was updated with modern friction material and the rear wheel brake shoes relined in 2016. Also the car features an electric starter and rebuilt Bosch magneto. Great care was taken to preserve the patina while improving functionality for touring.During its time in England this Delage saw regular use in the hands of a series of enthusiastic owners and VCC members. It was a participant in numerous club events and it includes a VCC Events Passport issued in 2010. It remains a beautiful car with lively performance and an eager companion for tours rallies and on casual weekend outings. At home motoring around a village or the cruising through the countryside this rare and attractive Delage Type A1 is a marvelous light tourer with a fascinating history.
This 1914 Delage Type AL was listed for sale on 6-12-19 07:20:47. The vehicle color is not available and VIN is
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