1937 Delahaye Type 145 GP V12 Scale Model

  • Our Price: $99.95
  • In Stock
Minichamps 1938 Delahaye Type 145 GP V12 diecast car
  • Year: 1938
  • Brand: Minichamps
  • Make: Delahaye
  • Code: MP437-116100
  • Model: Type 145 GP V12
  • Scale: 1:43
  • Color: Blue
  • Points to redeem: 1,428
  • Note: Resin Model

As the 1930s wore on, the superiority of the German Grand Prix cars became a source of annoyance to teams from other nations, particularly France. In 1937 the French government had enough and offered (along with the Automobile Club de France) a one million franc prize (“Prix du Million”) to the French team that could beat the Germans. To win the car had to meet the upcoming 1938 formula: 4.5-liter unsupercharged or 3.0-liter supercharged. The car also had to maintain an average speed of 146 kph for 200 kilometers. This offered an opportunity for a non-German team to slip through with a win while the major teams sorted out the cars they would field in 1938. Delahaye saw the opportunity and developed the Type 145 chassis with an un-supercharged 4.5-liter V-12 engine (with 3 cams), producing 225 bhp at 5500 rpm.

Four cars were built for the Ecurie Bleue Racing Team, owned by Americans Laury and Lucy Schell. Chassis numbers were 48771 through 48774. Bearing in mind that Delahaye had not done a heckuva lot of racing up to this point, how did they fare? In a word, quite well. At record runs Montlhery in August 1937, Rene Dreyfus became a national hero when he set a closed course record of 146.7 kph in a 16-lap run. And in the process earning that million francs for Delahaye. The effort was so monumental that Lucy Schell had red-white victory stripes painted on the team cars. This was followed in 1938 by a win at the Grand Prix de Pau (trouncing Carraciola in his Mercedes W154 in the process), a win at the Grand Prix de Cork (beating Prince Bira in a Maserati), and a 4th place finish at the Mille Miglia. Not too shabby, and all these wins are attributed to Chassis 48771.

Soon after the World War II invasion of France, the Schells returned the cars to the shop, and subsequently they were disassembled and hidden from the Germans by French patriots. The Mulllin site states that “the car traded hands, lost part of its original body and its identity was for a time difficult to establish, but careful research has revealed its true history.” Today it has a Type 155 engine and its restoration was extensive following the fitment of various bodies through the years (including one by Franay). After a Mullin-quality restoration (during which the chassis number was verified), it appeared in 2006 at Pebble Beach and the Monterey Historics sporting a two-seat body replicating the Mille Miglia version.

So enough of history – on to the model. In a word it is great! There are lots of details to take in, for example all those rivets (and no, I will leave it to someone else to count them). The fenders are perched on thin supports which could be frail so take care if removing the model – the delicate wire cross-bracing may not help you much. Gas and radiator caps are chrome but the wire wheels are very appropriately finished in silver. Even the backing plates to the drum brakes are detailed. And this exterior detail is capped off by those red-white victory stripes.

The driver gets to view the road ahead through a miniscule Brooklands-style windscreen. The small doors even have the appropriate lever-style releases – as if you’d actually have to open one to hop in. Getting back out is aided by a miniscule wire grab handle on the left side. The gauges are set in a faithful representation of the machine-turned silver dash, and the shifter for the 4-speed gearbox is replicated well. The detail on the steering wheel’s spokes are worth a look under a magnifying glass.

The Million-Franc Delahaye is a true historic race car. I predict the model will find a lot of buyers because of all the boundaries it crosses – a wide range of collectors will want it, including those who collect: French cars, Delahayes, sports cars, classic cars, grand prix cars, road racing cars, and record breakers. There’s only 1,948 to go around.

-Harvey Goranson

  • Our Price: $99.95
  • In Stock

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