The Delage D12 Aims To Smash Porsche and Manthey’s Nurburgring Record
Delage was a French company launched back in 1905 as a rival to makers like Bugatti. During its classic era Delage launched models like the D6 and the D8, but the company had to cease operation in 1953. Delage reopened its doors back in 2019, and its first supercar - the 1,100 horsepower D12 - has very big ambitions for the future. The D12 was officially revealed during the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Speaking with a Delage spokesman at the auto show, the British magazine Autocar learned a few details about the future plans of the Delage company’s drive to shatter the Nurburgring record.
The Delage D12 Has Record-Breaking Ambitions
Back in 2021, a Porsche 911 GT2 RS equipped with a Manthey performance kit became the fastest road-legal production sports car on the 13-mile Nürburgring-Nordschleife track. With a lap time of 6:43:30, the GT2 RS stole the title from the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series which did the same lap in 6:43:62 just a year before.
Many of you may have never heard about Delage lately, but for sure you will hear a lot about it soon. The company that built the D6 and the D6 in the 1930s is making a comeback, and it plans to do it in style. In an interview with Motor1 Laurent Tapie, French entrepreneur, and the new CEO of Delage, announced that the company plans to beat the street-legal record around Nurburgring with its future supercar, the D12.
Delage was one of the more traditional of prewar luxury carmakers in its day. The company earned a solid reputation in motorsports during the early days of the automobile, including a win at the 4th ever Indianapolis 500. During the interwar period, this considerable engineering prowess was turned to making luxury cars, and the D8 was the company’s flagship model, with the D8 S being an even more powerful version of the car. But Delage only handled the engineering of the car. Being such a traditional company, Delage built just the chassis of the D8, believing that their monied customers would want a custom body made by one of Europe’s many fine couchbuilders operating at the time.
So the story of this particular car is as much about the coachbuilder that designed the body as it is about the Delage chassis. And that body is the work of Fernandez et Darrin, a firm building the designs of the American designer Howard Darrin with financial backing from the French banker Fernandez. The design represents the absolute pinnacle of French fashion, a look befitting one of the most expensive cars of the day. The D8 was a close rival to several other luxury brands, particularly French brands like Bugatti.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1934 Delage D8 S Cabriolet.
It was Delage founder Louis Delage who asked Marcel Pourtout to build this high-speed aerodynamic prototype (chassis 51620) for the 1937 Paris Auto Salon.
Georges Paulin was the chief stylist for Pourtout, and he accepted the challenge. He was also at work on the aerodynamic Embirlcos Bentley, and there are marked similarities between the two cars.