This 1948 Delahaye 148L boasts a 3.6 liter straight six engine, a Cotel pre-selector gearbox, and elegant bodywork crafted by Letourneur and Marchand. Remarkably original with just 58,000kms on the odometer, the Delahaye has recently been displayed at Pebble Beach and is listed here on eBay in Chicago, Illinois with the reserve not yet met at $49,100.
For better or worse, the mention of the word “Delahaye” brings to mind images of the fantastic coach built bodies that graced the French manufacturer’s pre-war cars, and the sheer power of these Figoni and Falaschi, Chapron, and Letourneur and Marchand designs is such that many forget the cars made after World War II. A shame, really, as the French manufacturer survived the war against all odds and the same genius prevalent in the pre-war cars is equally evident in post-war offerings. Cars such as this 148L, in fact, carry many of the advanced technological features and styling queues that made the marque famous.
With a relatively long wheelbase of 124” and a strong 95hp engine, Delahaye’s 148L was easily among the best sports-touring cars of the day. Better yet, when these attributes were combined with the sophisticated independent front suspension, the 148L became a car that was fast, stable, and comfortable, even as it traveled across Europe’s war-torn roads.
Outside, the Letourneur and Marchand four-door bodywork displays the kind of restraint favored by most drivers in the years immediately following the war. Gone are the large expanses of chrome and bright colors that adorned the pre-war cars. In their place, a simple and beautiful design that looked much like a sports-coupe while providing four large doors with openings large enough to for the gracious entry and exit of up to six occupants.
This particular 148L retains all of its original components in working order. The original paint is present, body panels have no rust or damage, and the interior is in exceptional condition. The engine is said to run strong and, when the Cotel transmission is engaged, the car is said to drive as well as any well cared for, low-mileage car. Ready for any tour or survivor-class concours showing, this Delahaye presents an outstanding opportunity. Highly original coach built cars with Pebble Beach history don’t come any cheaper.