Specialty Car Collection Introduces Street Legal Iconic French Delage D12 in US

History knows a few brands that had been successful at one time, then disappeared from the radar screen, only to make a comeback. Converse, for instance, was launched in 1917 as the first basketball sneaker brand, and its All-Star bestselling sneaker almost outshined Converse’s nemesis Nike who ended up buying Converse in 2003. The buyout, however, did not sound the death knell for Converse. On the contrary, Converse made a comeback with their ‘old-school’ style so appealing to generations of rockers, and John Varvatos stepped in to create the high-end Chucks.

This reincarnation story resembles a more recent one, that of a legendary French race cars maker Delage who had been in its prime in the 1910s through 1940s producing what the car enthusiasts and automotive publications dubbed ‘la voiture chic” or ‘la belle voiture française’, a chic car and the beautiful French car, respectively, which Delage used to be until 1953 when the brand rolled out its last automobile. Delage cars made a name for themselves thanks in part to setting a number of speed records in the 1920s and 1930s, their engines’ unmatched performance, and their streamlined looks. The first win came in 1908 when a one-cylinder Delage won the Coup de Voiturettes, followed by a victorious performance at Le Mans, the Indianapolis 500-mile race, and the World Grand Prix champion title in 1928. Two Delages were shipped to the U.S. in 1914, just before the outbreak of WWI. Rene Thomas, driving the Type Y, won the Indianapolis 500 at an average speed of 129.06 kph. The Type Y had previously won at the Grand Prix de France at Le Mans in 1913. The second Delage came third. After the race, the winning car was bought by an American; it was later found and restored by Edgar L. Roy, a great enthusiast who helped found the Vintage Sports Car Club of America. Today it is on display at the Indianapolis 500 Museum.

Delage excelled in touring cars production; its D8-120 De Villars roadster with a magnificent 4-liter straight-eight was an automotive perfection and a model for the most renowned European coachbuilders. One of the most beautiful cars of the 1930s, Letourneur&Marchand 1938 convertible was powered by Delage’s 2,7-liter overhead-valve six coupled with an electrically operated four-speed gearbox. The engine known as D6-70 won second place at Le Mans’ 24-hour endurance race.

The brand’s glory is back nowadays thanks to Laurent Tapis, who, inspired by Delage’s immaculate pedigree and the auto race record, made a deal with the brand’s owners in 2019 with a view to relaunching the Delage brand and building the D12. D12 is the epitome of a sports car fan’s dream as it equals in power F1 bolides and can be driven on public roads. The street-ready and street-legal D12 is powered by a 7,6-liter V-12 990 HP engine assisted by a 110 HP electric motor producing a whopping 1,100 combined HP that propel the Delage’s feather-weight carbon two-seater body mounted on carbon wheels from 0 to 60 mph in under 2.4 seconds topping at 225 mph. The Delage has no doors; its jet fighter-style cockpit features tandem seating with one passenger sitting behind the driver. The driver takes control via a yoke steering wheel and has access to several driving modes, including a “mix” that allows for 432 possible configurations. Moreover, Delage has exclusivity to use an F1-style “contractive suspension”, commonly used in Formula 1, that is based on a double opposing spring system, a combination of a pushrod-actuated design without the common anti-roll bars that push the tire down and results in a much better feeling of the car as compared with traditional suspension. D12 will be available in the US for $2.2 million.

The marvel of the modern-day automotive industry that marries cutting-edge tech with the French race purebred will be available in the US in very limited numbers: out of 30 D12 to be built, only ten will reach the US market. In the US, Delage D12 is introduced by a West Hollywood exotic cars boutique Specialty Car Collection. No other dealership would do a better job introducing the famed brand as D12 is a cherry on the top of its already impressive lineup that sports such rare-to-find automotive gems as a 2023 Mercedes-Benz AMG PROJECT ONE Coupe, a 2001 Lamborghini Diablo GTR Coupe, a 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB Sedan, to name just a few.

Written in partnership with Ascend