Monica (automobile), Balbigny, Loire, France 1972 till 1974

Monica 560 drive

1973 Monica 1973 - Schriftzug am Heck

Monica 560


1973 Monica 560
Manufacturer Monica
Model years 1973 – 1975
Assembly France: BalbignyLoire
Designer Tony Rascanu, David Coward
Body and chassis
Class Grand tourer
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout Longitudinal front-engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine 5.6 L Chrysler LA V8(gasoline)
Transmission 3-speed automatic (TorqueFlite )
5-speed manual (ZF)
Wheelbase 2,769 mm (109.0 in)
Length 4,928 mm (194.0 in)
Width 1,803 mm (71.0 in)
Height 1,346 mm (53.0 in)
Kerb weight 1,821 kg (4,015 lb)

Mon­ica is the name of a French lux­ury au­to­mo­bile pro­duced in the com­mune of Bal­bigny in the de­part­ment of Loire be­tween 1972 and 1974.

The beginning

The Mon­ica car was a pro­ject of Jean Tastevin, a grad­u­ate en­gi­neer of the École cen­trale de Paris. His fa­ther Ar­naud bought the Ate­lier et Chantiers de Bal­bigny in 1930. That com­pany was a man­u­fac­turer of min­ing and rail­way equip­ment. In 1955 Jean suc­ceeded his fa­ther, be­com­ing Chair­man and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor. He re­named the com­pany Com­pag­nie française de pro­duits métal­lurgiques, or CFPM, and began to spe­cial­ize in the man­u­fac­ture and rental of rail­road tank cars. The fac­tory where the rolling stock was man­u­fac­tured op­er­ated under a dif­fer­ent name, being Com­pag­nie Française de Matériels Fer­rovi­aires (CFMF). The com­pany pros­pered, even­tu­ally com­ing to have 400 em­ploy­ees.

Tastevin was an au­to­mo­bile en­thu­si­ast who per­son­ally owned cars from Aston Mar­tin and Facel Vega. After Facel Vega shut down in 1964 he bought a Jaguar, but re­gret­ted not being able to buy a French-made car of that class.

In pur­suit of both his in­ter­est in cars and a way to di­ver­sify his rail­way busi­ness, Tastevin began mak­ing plans to launch his own brand of au­to­mo­bile in 1966. He made his long-time as­sis­tant, Henri Szykowksi, the pro­ject man­ager. He would also set aside a por­tion of his fac­tory in Bal­gigny so that the cars could truly be said to be made in France.

The car was named in ho­n­our of Tastevin’s wife, Monique Tastevin.

Monica 1973 in video

Development history and prototypes

Au­to­mo­tive en­gi­neer and rac­ing dri­ver Chris Lawrence’s com­pany Lawrence­Tune En­gines had de­vel­oped a 2.6-litre ver­sion of the Stan­dard en­gine used in the Tri­umph TR4. Lawrence’s ver­sion used a cross­flow cylin­der head of his own de­sign and Tecalemit-Jack­son fuel in­jec­tion to make a claimed 182 bhp (136 kW) bhp. Au­to­mo­tive jour­nal­ist Gérard ”Jabby” Crom­bac had seen the en­gine at the 1966 Rac­ing Show at Olympia West Hall in Lon­don. The ar­ti­cle he wrote about it had caught Tastevin’s eye. Tastevin wrote to Lawrence ask­ing about hav­ing Lawrence­Tune sup­ply 250 en­gines per year for his new car. Upon learn­ing that the car was not yet de­vel­oped, Lawrence of­fered the ser­vices of his own com­pany. Crom­bac, who was fa­mil­iar with Lawrence’s rac­ing ex­ploits, vouched for Lawrence and Tastevin en­trusted de­vel­op­ment of the Mon­ica to LawrenceTune.

The first chas­sis and the jig to pro­duce it were built to­gether. Lawrence laid out a chas­sis with a cen­tral tun­nel made of four square-sec­tion 18 gauge steel tubes with ex­ten­sive cross-brac­ing. Two long steel boxes with tri­an­gu­lar cross-sec­tions were made of 16 gauge steel and at­tached to the chas­sis in the door sill area. These stiff­ened the chas­sis and were also to serve as the car’s fuel tanks. 16 gauge alu­minum formed the front and rear bulk­heads and floors and was used on both sides of the cen­tral tun­nel to stiffen the car fur­ther. Voids in the tun­nel were filled with ex­panded polyurethane foam to add even more stiff­ness and deaden sound.

The front sus­pen­sion used very tall up­rights with the wheel spin­dles on one side and a short stub axle ex­tend­ing in­wards on the other. Spring­ing was by ver­ti­cally mounted coil-over-damper units mounted in­board and op­er­ated through rocker-style upper arms. The lower arms were con­ven­tional wide-based wish­bones made of a one-piece wish­bone and long ra­dius arm run­ning back to­wards the bulk­head. Steer­ing was rack-and-pin­ion mounted high, at the same level as the upper wish­bone.

The rear sus­pen­sion was a De Dion sys­tem with coil springs, two par­al­lel lead­ing links on each side and a Pan­hard rod. The dif­fer­en­tial was from the Rover P6B (also known as the Rover 3500) with a crown-and-pin­ion made by Hew­land, but with an ad­di­tional nose-piece that gave the op­tion of two rear-axle ra­tios; a high-nu­meric ratio for in town and a low-nu­meric ratio for high-speed cruising. A lever in the cock­pit al­lowed the ratio to be changed while in mo­tion.

Brak­ing was pro­vided by a dual-cir­cuit power as­sisted Lock­heed and Girling sys­tem with 12-inch vented disks in front and 10-inch solid disk brakes in the rear. The rear brakes were mounted in­board and the front brakes were mounted to the stub-axle on the front up­right, which brought them out of the wheels and into the air-stream for cool­ing.

As the pro­to­type chas­sis was near­ing com­ple­tion Lawrence began to have sec­ond thoughts about using the Lawrence­Tune/Stan­dard-Tri­umph en­gine. Lawrence knew that the Tri­umph en­gine was to be phased out of pro­duc­tion by 1967. He also felt that this rel­a­tively heavy, rough, and noisy en­gine was not ap­pro­pri­ate for a new lux­ury car.

Lawrence put Tastevin in touch with Ed­ward C. “Ted” Mar­tin, who had de­signed an en­gine that Lawrence thought would work well in the Monica. After eval­u­at­ing the en­gine Tastevin bought the de­sign, rights and ex­ist­ing tool­ing for Ted Mar­tin’s en­gine. The agree­ment in­cluded four com­plete 3.0 litre engines.

The Mar­tin en­gine was an all-al­loy V8 with a sin­gle over­head camshaft (SOHC) per bank dri­ven by a toothed-belt (orig­i­nally Gilmer belt – see also Tim­ing belt). De­signed for the new 3-litre limit an­nounced for the 1966 For­mula One sea­son, it weighed just 230 lb (100 kg) with an­cil­lar­ies and pro­duced 270 bhp (200 kW)@7000 rpm. An un­usual fea­ture of the Mar­tin V8 was that four of the con­nect­ing rods were forked at the big end, much like those on the Rolls Royce Mer­lin engine. The con­nect­ing rod for the op­pos­ing cylin­der bore fit into the gap of the forked rod. This meant that the cylin­der banks were not off­set on the crank-line, re­duc­ing over­all en­gine length. The en­gine was used in the Pearce-Mar­tin F1 car as well as the Lu­cas-Mar­tin, a mod­i­fied Lotus 35 For­mula 2 frame that was run briefly in For­mula One. It also ap­peared in 2.8-litre form in some spe­cials, in­clud­ing some of Lawrence’s own Deep Sander­son sports and rac­ing cars.

This ini­tial pro­to­type first ran at Sil­ver­stone in 1968 with­out bodywork. The dri­ve­train for the car was a 3-litre Mar­tin V8 dri­ving through a Tri­umph TR4 gear­box with overdrive. The car weighed 1070 kg. Over­all per­for­mance was good but the test­ing un­cov­ered prob­lems with the en­gine and its lack of road-car an­cil­lar­ies.

Body­work for the first pro­to­type was fab­ri­cated by Mau­rice Gomm. This car was very dif­fer­ent in ap­pear­ance from the sub­se­quent pro­to­types and the pro­duc­tion mod­els and has been com­pared to an over­sized Pan­hard CD. Nei­ther Tastevin nor his wife were happy with the ap­pear­ance of the first pro­to­type.

A sec­ond pro­to­type chas­sis was built and sent to Williams & Pritchard, who pro­duced a body for it in alu­minum. The style of this body was much more an­gu­lar than the first. Tastevin per­son­ally re­quested some last-minute changes to the shape which would be un­done in later pro­to­types, but in gen­eral pro­to­type #2 set the gen­eral di­rec­tion for sub­se­quent bodies. This sec­ond car was reg­is­tered as a Deep Sander­son and given reg­is­tra­tion num­ber 2 ARX. After its use as a de­vel­op­ment mule pro­to­type #2 was used as a per­sonal car by team mem­ber Colin James, after which it was ac­quired by Peter Dodds, an­other mem­ber of the Mon­ica team.

In 1969 pro­to­type chas­sis #3, the first to re­ceive a ZF 5-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion, was built. At this time the Tastevins in­tro­duced Tudor (Tony) Ras­canu, a Ro­man­ian exile and for­mer shop man­ager for Vi­g­nale in Italy, to the pro­ject. Ras­canu was en­trusted with the job of com­pletely restyling the body­work for the third pro­to­type, but was not al­lowed to make any mod­i­fi­ca­tions to Lawrence’s chas­sis, which was to be sent to French coach-builder Henri Chapron in Paris. Chapron was to build a full-sized ma­que­tte, or body-form, of the re­vised car under Ras­canu’s oversight. Ras­canu and Capron’s work met with Tastevin’s ap­proval. With hid­den head­lamps in a slop­ing aero­dy­namic nose and wide hor­i­zon­tal tail­lights it was much more ap­peal­ing than the pre­vi­ous two at­tempts. The ma­que­tte was then sent to Car­rozze­ria Al­fredo Vi­g­nale in Turin to be used as a base for Vi­g­nale to pro­duce a body in steel.

Be­fore de­liv­er­ing the ma­que­tte to Vi­g­nale, Tastevin asked Lawrence to first de­liver pro­to­type #2 to the work­shops of Vir­gilio Con­rero, also in Turin. The fa­mous Alfa me­chanic was to do a de­tailed as­sess­ment of the Mar­tin en­gine and eval­u­a­tion of the car’s performance. Con­rero was crit­i­cal of al­most every as­pect of the Mar­tin en­gine and was skep­ti­cal of the power curves pro­vided by Lawrence. He told the fac­tory “this en­gine is a trap that will never work under nor­mal traf­fic conditions”. Con­rero in­sisted on a fly­ing-kilo­me­tre test of the pro­to­type, after which he would run his 2-litre Giuli­etta on the same course for com­par­i­son. Lawrence sus­pected that Con­rero was try­ing to dis­credit both the Mar­tin en­gine and Lawrence­Tune in an at­tempt to take Lawrence’s place on the Mon­ica pro­ject. He ex­am­ined the times recorded for the Mon­ica’s run and dis­cov­ered an ir­reg­u­lar­ity in the num­bers. When Tastevin con­fronted Con­rero with this in­for­ma­tion the test­ing was halted and Con­rero’s in­volve­ment in the pro­ject ended.

Lawrence de­liv­ered chas­sis #3 to Vi­g­nale’s car­roz­e­ria, and they com­pleted the body in steel. While pro­to­type #3 was a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment the Tastevins were not yet en­tirely sat­is­fied with its ap­pear­ance. Per­for­mance of this car was also dis­ap­point­ing due to it being be­tween 200 kg (440 lb) and 250 kg (550 lb) over­weight. By way of ex­pla­na­tion Lawrence drilled a hole into the scut­tle. The drill pen­e­trated 13 mm (0.5 in) of lead. Vi­g­nale, in the mean time, sold his com­pany to DeTomaso in De­cem­ber 1969 and died three days later in an au­to­mo­bile ac­ci­dent while dri­ving a Maserati.

Dur­ing the May 1968 events in France, Tastevin de­camped the en­tire staff of CFPM to Geneva and tasked Lawrence to keep the Mon­ica pro­ject going. Tastevin pro­vided Lawrence with fund­ing to find sub-con­trac­tors to build cars in England. Lawrence ap­proached Jensen, who he knew were al­ready build­ing cars for SunbeamVolvo and Austin-Healey as well as their own C-V8s and In­ter­cep­tors. Jensen was not set up to pro­duce the body pan­els though. Pan­els for their other as­sem­bly con­tracts came from out­side of the com­pany. Lawrence took pro­to­type #3 and went look­ing for some­one to pro­vide the pan­els. He found a com­pany named Air­flow Stream­line in Luton that spe­cial­ized in pro­duc­ing alu­minum cabs for trucks. Air­flow only asked for a com­plete set of en­gi­neer­ing draw­ings, a chas­sis and the num­ber of body pan­els that Lawrence would require. Chas­sis #4 and #6 were de­liv­ered to Air­flow Stream­line and Ras­canu was in­stalled there to su­per­vise the pro­duc­tion of the nec­es­sary draw­ings.

An­other sub-con­trac­tor would be needed to sup­ply the en­gines. Two pos­si­bil­i­ties pre­sented them­selves. One was Coven­try-Vic­tor, and the other was Rolls-Royce. Lawrence had heard that Rolls-Royce had re­cently idled one of their pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties due to the loss of a con­tract and might be in­ter­ested in tak­ing on the Mar­tin V8 project. Lawrence met with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Rolls-Royce, who were fas­ci­nated by the small size of the Mar­tin V8 and in­trigued by the forked con­nect­ing rods so rem­i­nis­cent of those in Rolls-Royce’s own Mer­lin. Rolls-Royce sub­se­quently won an­other de­fense con­tract which would re­ac­ti­vate the pre­vi­ously idled plant and bowed out of ne­go­ti­a­tions. Lawrence went back to Coven­try-Vic­tor.

In the in­ter­ven­ing time things had set­tled down in Paris, and Tastevin wanted to move the pro­ject along quickly. Chas­sis #5 was sent to the fac­tory in Bal­bigny while Lawrence set about es­tab­lish­ing a ma­chine shop at Lawrence­Tune En­gines able to pro­duce the en­gines as well. Prob­lems with cast­ings com­ing from a com­pany called Birm­ing­ham Al­loys prompted Lawrence to have Tastevin search his con­tacts in the French alu­minum in­dus­try for an al­ter­na­tive sup­plier, set­tling on a com­pany called Montupet.

Air­flow Steam­line was still with­out their tech­ni­cal draw­ings and was not get­ting any in­for­ma­tion out of Paris. It turned out that Ras­cenu, sadly, had died in 1970 be­fore being able to com­plete the drawings. Lawrence met with Air­flow Stream­line to dis­cuss the changes they wanted in the ma­que­tte and Lawrence con­vinced Air­flow to build two bod­ies on the two chas­sis they had using pro­to­type #3, which would be left there, as a struc­tural guide. The car they would pro­duce, pro­to­type #4, would be Lawrence’s favourite Mon­ica of all.

David Cow­ard was hired from Au­to­car mag­a­zine where he was work­ing as an illustrator. Prior to that he had worked at coach­builder James Young. Cow­ard re­fined Ras­canu’s de­sign by low­er­ing the side win­dow line and deep­en­ing the wind­screen to give the car a more con­tem­po­rary ap­pear­ance. The body was also low­ered three inches be­tween the floor pan and the roof and four inches were added to the width.

After sort­ing out some is­sues with pro­to­type #4 at­ten­tion turned to tool­ing. Tool­ing to pro­duce the body­work in alu­minum turned out to be pro­hib­i­tively ex­pen­sive, but a com­pany named Ab­bate was found in Turin that would make tool­ing out of resin that would be able to pro­duce up to 100 body sets in steel. The price for the set would be £100,000.

When the un­rest in Paris had sub­sided the idea of con­tract­ing out pro­duc­tion of the car had ended, but Tastevin had kept Coven­try-Vic­tor under con­tract to pro­duce the en­gines. They had been asked to pro­duce 25 copies of the en­gine in a 2.8 litre dis­place­ment. Coven­try-Vic­tor was only able to pro­duce 18 en­gines be­fore de­clar­ing bankruptcy.

At the same time Lawrence had pressed ahead with pro­duc­ing the en­gines at Lawrence­Tune head­quar­ters in Eng­land. Tests of the 2.8 litre en­gine led him to be­lieve that this ver­sion was un­der-pow­ered for the car, and so he en­larged his. With dis­place­ment in­creased to 3423 cc fed by four 2-bar­rel Weber 40 DCLN down-draught car­bu­re­tors and the Mon­ica name in script cast into its valve-cov­ers, the re­vised en­gine pro­duced 240 bhp (180 kW)@6000 rpm. While max­i­mum torque wasn’t pro­duced until 4000 rpm the torque curve was rel­a­tively flat from 2500 to 4000 rpm.

Even­tu­ally the tech­ni­cal draw­ings were com­pleted and ap­proved by Tastevin, which Lawrence de­liv­ered to Turin along with pro­to­type #4 so that pro­duc­tion of the body pan­els using the resin/steel hy­brid tool­ing could begin. Com­par­isons have been drawn be­tween the final shape of the Mon­ica and many of its con­tem­po­raries, with the front view hav­ing been com­pared to the Maserati Indy and Lotus Elan +2, the rear to the Fer­rari 365 GT 2+2, and the side el­e­va­tion to the Aston Mar­tin DBS.

Prob­lems con­tin­ued with the en­gine how­ever. Blown head-gas­kets were com­mon and dif­fi­cul­ties with de­liv­er­ies of both block and cylin­der head cast­ings held back development.

In an ex­clu­sive ar­ti­cle in l’Auto-Jour­nal, writ­ers Jean Mis­tral and Gilles Guérithaut pub­lished a pre­view of the Mon­ica’s debut at the up­com­ing Salon de l’Auto in Oc­to­ber along with an in­ter­view with Tastevin. Among the things the founder re­vealed were his plans to build 400 cars per year.

Tastevin de­cided that the car would debut at the Salon de l’Auto show in Paris in Oc­to­ber 1971. The car on dis­play was pow­ered by a Mar­tin V8 and was called the Mon­ica 350. Tastevin arranged to have a car raised to the tenth floor of a Paris hotel the day be­fore the show, and then have it moved over to the Salon, where the car was re­ceived en­thu­si­as­ti­cally. The morn­ing after the day of the show Lawrence was ap­proached by Zora-Arkus Dun­tov, who asked if he could take the car for a drive. Lawrence handed him the keys.

Shortly after the Paris auto show, Tastevin phoned Lawrence and told him that he had arranged for the car to be eval­u­ated by a team from Matra. A team of six from Matra drove the cars for over three hours straight and then met with Tastevin. The out­come of the eval­u­a­tion was that the Matra en­gi­neers thought that the car should go into pro­duc­tion, but only with a dif­fer­ent engine.

Con­sid­er­a­tion was given to using an Aston Mar­tin V8, but that op­tion was too ex­pen­sive to pur­sue. Lawrence was sent to the United States to meet with Ford, Chevro­let and Chrysler to arrange for a sup­ply of en­gines. Ford and Chevro­let were quickly elim­i­nated from the run­ning but Chrysler was very open to the idea. At the be­gin­ning of 1973 the de­ci­sion was fi­nally made to aban­don the Mar­tin V8 and adopt a North Amer­i­can en­gine, specif­i­cally the 5.6-litre (5563 cc) “340” Chrysler LA se­ries V8.

To han­dle the extra weight power-steer­ing was added, and the rear axle was beefed up. As an added bonus, Chrysler shipped the en­gines with an air-con­di­tion­ing com­pres­sor, so that fea­ture was added at the same time. Other minor changes in­cluded fab­ri­cat­ing the req­ui­site motor mounts, hav­ing two new vents let into the fend­ers and, on later mod­els, two ad­di­tional grilles fit­ted to the hood.

Dur­ing road test­ing the new Chrysler en­gines began to fail. After in­ves­ti­gat­ing it be­came ap­par­ent that the cause of these prob­lems was that these en­gines were not de­signed to run for ex­tended du­ra­tion at the speeds pos­si­ble on the con­ti­nent. Lawrence re­turned to the States look­ing for the re­sources to rem­edy these prob­lems.

The en­gines des­tined for use in Mon­i­cas would all be spe­cially tuned by Racer Brown in the United States. Mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the en­gines in­cluded a Racer Brown stage 3 road camshaft with hy­draulic lifters, an Edel­brock Tor­quer in­take man­i­fold, a 4-bar­rel Holly R6909 750 CFM car­bu­re­tor, a Chrysler ma­rine spec­i­fi­ca­tion oil pump, Cle­vite shell bear­ings, Forge True pis­tons, Ma­rine spec­i­fi­ca­tion valves, and a Fel­pro race-qual­ity gas­ket set.[1]:181 The com­pres­sion ratio was 10.5:1. All of these changes com­bined to bring out­put to 285 bhp (213 kW)@5400 rpm and 333 lb⋅ft (451 N⋅m)@4000 rpm.

It is re­ported that some cars may have been built with the larger 5.9 litre (5898 cc) “360” ver­sion of the Chrysler LA en­gine. These cars would have been des­ig­nated Mon­ica 590s. The di­men­sions at­trib­uted to this ver­sion by var­i­ous sources dif­fer, some­times sig­nif­i­cantly, from those of the 560 model. In par­tic­u­lar the 590 is listed as being 630mm shorter with a 100mm shorter wheel­base and 140 kg heav­ier. It was also more pow­er­ful, the en­gine being rated at 315 bhp (235 kW) and 332 lb⋅ft (450 N⋅m).

The re­vised and re­named Mon­ica 560 made its world pre­mier at the Geneva Auto Show in March 1973. It would ap­pear again at the Paris Auto Show in Oc­to­ber. The car was priced at 164,000 francs (roughly US$34,000 at the time), at a time when a Rolls-Royce Sil­ver Shadow cost 165,000 francs.

After the Geneva show Tastevin in­vited sev­eral rac­ing dri­vers and au­to­mo­tive jour­nal­ists to Paul Ri­card’s cir­cuit, Le Castel­let, to eval­u­ate the new Chrysler-pow­ered car. Among those there was dri­ver/jour­nal­ist Paul Frère, whom Tastevin in­vited to “lend a hand” in sort­ing out the car’s han­dling. He would also be the per­son who wrote the semi-of­fi­cial obit­u­ary for the Mon­ica car.

A rapid suc­ces­sion of pro­to­types would be built to fi­nal­ize the car. The cars at Le Castel­let were num­bers 8 and 9. Num­bers 10 and 11 were built for crash-test­ing and num­bers 12, 13 and 14 came after. Pro­to­type 14 was ba­si­cally pre-pro­duc­tion and would even­tu­ally be one of the cars Tastevin kept for his per­sonal use. Tastevin had hired a di­rec­tor to get pro­duc­tion under way at Bal­bigny, but noth­ing was built for a year while the new di­rec­tor stalled and made changes to the car. Even­tu­ally Tastevin fired the di­rec­tory and turned pro­duc­tion over to Lawrence­Tune again while he looked for a new director. The car was also sub­se­quently shown at the Earls Court auto show.



LAFD Engine 43 / Auto / EB Santa Monica FWY @ Overland

The car

With the long de­vel­op­ment pe­riod fi­nally at an end, pro­duc­tion gets un­der­way in Bal­bigny.

The car is built on Lawrence’s steel-tube and sheet metal chas­sis. The body is Ras­canu’s de­sign with Cow­ard’s re­vi­sions ex­e­cuted en­tirely in steel. Five ex­te­rior colours are avail­able: At­lantic Blue, Azure Blue, Pur­ple Ama­ranth, Chest­nut Brown and Beige Sand. The final ver­sion of Lawrence’s rocker-arm/De Dion sus­pen­sion is au­to­mat­i­cally lev­el­ing, and the car sits on four Miche­lin 215/70VR-12 Col­lec­tion tires mounted on 14 inch alloy wheels. The orig­i­nal sill-mounted fuel tanks have been re­placed with a sin­gle tank under the floor of the trunk due to reg­u­la­tory re­stric­tions.

The power-as­sisted rack-and-pin­ion steer­ing is con­nected to an ad­justable steer­ing col­umn that is topped by a cus­tom Mo­tolita steer­ing wheel.

Brak­ing on the pro­duc­tion Mon­ica was still a dual cir­cuit sys­tem with Lock­heed disks in­board at the front op­er­ated by a 4-pis­ton caliper and Girling disks at the rear op­er­ated by a 3-pis­ton caliper but the disks front and rear were both now 11 inch ven­ti­lated pieces.

The seats are up­hol­stered in Con­nolly leather avail­able in three colours: Ma­rine, Ha­vana, and Cham­pagne. The floor is cov­ered in Shet­land wool car­pet­ing. The dash­board is fin­ished in burl elm wood and suede.

The state of the car is mon­i­tored by a brace of cus­tom Jaeger in­stru­ments all bear­ing the Mon­ica name. Gauges in­clude a speedome­ter, tachome­ter, oil tem­per­a­ture gauge, oil pres­sure gauge, am­me­ter, water tem­per­a­ture gauge, fuel gauge, and clock.

The win­dows are elec­tri­cally op­er­ated. A High-fi­delity sound sys­tem with in­te­grated tape recorder and player is stan­dard equip­ment, as is an air-con­di­tion­ing sys­tem with sep­a­rate con­trols for the rear seat pas­sen­gers. The doors on the Mon­ica are elec­tri­cally op­er­ated to open and close silently at the touch of a but­ton. In the trunk is a com­plete set of cus­tom lug­gage.

With a quoted top speed of 240 km/h (150 mph) the Mon­ica 560 could lay claim to being “The fastest sedan in the world” at the time.

Pho­tos from the pe­riod in­di­cate that a fu­ture coupe and con­vert­ible were al­ready being planned.

The end

The Mon­ica 560 makes its last pub­lic ap­pear­ance at the Paris Auto Salon Paris Auto Show in Oc­to­ber 1974. On Feb­ru­ary 7 of 1975 Tastevin an­nounces the ces­sa­tion of pro­duc­tion and closes the com­pany.

Many fac­tors con­tributed to the fail­ure of the car. It en­dured a seven-year long ges­ta­tion pe­riod. The car was re­mark­ably ex­pen­sive while lack­ing the kind of rep­u­ta­tion or recog­ni­tion en­joyed by other more es­tab­lished mar­ques in this mar­ket. It faced com­pe­ti­tion from many sim­i­lar-sized low-vol­ume man­u­fac­tur­ers. Fi­nally, it had the mis­for­tune to be of­fi­cially re­leased just as the first major oil cri­sis made fuel prices jump and large ex­pen­sive mo­tor­cars less de­sir­able.

Five Mon­i­cas re­main­ing at the Lawrence­Tune head­quar­ters were sold by Lawrence to Cliff Davis and Bernie Ec­cle­stone, the pro­ceeds being pay­ment for Lawrence­Tunes work for Tastevin. Lawrence was dri­ving pre-pro­duc­tion car #21 at the time. The Tastevins kept three Mon­i­cas for their own use.

The pro­duc­tion as­sets of the Mon­ica com­pany and as many as thirty cars in var­i­ous stages of com­ple­tion were sold to French race dri­ver and For­mula One team owner Guy Ligier. Ligier did not re­sume pro­duc­tion.

In April 1976 Motor Sport mag­a­zine re­ported an an­nounce­ment by Bob Jankel of Pan­ther West­winds that his com­pany and C.J. Lawrence and Co. would re­sume pro­duc­tion of the Mon­ica. C.J. Lawrence and Co. would man­u­fac­ture sub-as­sem­blies and Pan­ther would as­sem­ble, paint and trim the car. Power was else­where ru­mored to be com­ing from a Jaguar V12 motor. Pro­duc­tion would move from Bal­bigny to Sur­rey. Noth­ing came of these plans.

Six pro­duc­tion Mon­i­cas are known to exist. At least three of the pro­to­types are re­ported to re­main in Britain. Chris Lawrence per­son­ally owned a pro­duc­tion Mon­ica for sev­eral years that was sold from his estate.



  • Monica – edited by Emory Christer ISBN 978-6-134977-82-1
  • Preston Tucker & Others: Tales of Brilliant Automotive Innovations ISBN 978-1-845840-17-4
  • Monica, automobile française de prestige by Frédéric Brandely. Hardcover (published June, 2012) ISBN 979-1090084049
  • Monica, automobile française de prestige by Frédéric Brandely. Paperback. ISBN 978-2-913307-13-1
  • Kevin Brazendale: The Encyclopedia of classic cars. Advanced Marketing Services, London 1999, ISBN 1-57145-182-X (engl.).


  1. abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzaaabacadaeafagahaiajakal Lawrence, Chris (2008). Morgan Maverick. Yorkshire: Douglas Loveridge Publications. ISBN978-1-900113-04-5.
  2. abc “1972/1975 Monica…” Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  3. ^ “London Racing Car Show 1967” Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  4. ^ “Ted Martin and the AMCO Engines” Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  5. ^ “Anglo-French Monica” Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  6. ^ “Monica Prototype No. 2” Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  7. ^ “Tudor Rascanu, de Dody à Tony” Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  8. ^ “ECLIPSE AVORTEE” Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  9. ^ “Monica : Belle, luxueuse, française et ancêtre des coupés 4 portes” Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  10. ^ Georgano, Nick (2001). The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile (2nd ed.).
  11. ^ “1973 Monica 590 technical specifications” Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  12. ^ “History of Lawrence Tune     …… continued” Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  13. ^ “Monica” Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  14. ^ “1974 Monica” Retrieved 2016-12-13.

External links

Hotchkiss automobiles & trucks made between 1903 and 1955 in Paris France

1950 Hotchkiss Anjou 1350 cabriolet Saint-Tropez logo and name

Hotchkiss logo

Hotchkiss logo on GS car.

1906 Targa Florio driving a Hotchkiss 35 hp Hubert and Mme Le Blon
Hubert and Mme Le Blon at the 1906 Targa Florio driving a Hotchkiss 35 hp
1931 Hotchkiss F
1931 Hotchkiss Sports
Hotchkiss 686 produced from 1936 to 1952
Hotchkiss 686 produced from 1936 to 1952

Hotchkiss were lux­ury cars made be­tween 1903 and 1955 by the French com­pany Hotchkiss et Cie in Saint-De­nis, Paris. The badge for the mar­que showed a pair of crossed can­nons, evok­ing the com­pany’s his­tory as an arms man­u­fac­turer.

The com­pany’s first entry into car mak­ing came from or­ders for en­gine com­po­nents such as crank­shafts which were sup­plied to Pan­hard et Lev­as­sorDe Dion-Bou­ton and other pi­o­neer­ing com­pa­nies and in 1903 they went on to make com­plete en­gines. En­cour­aged by two major car dis­trib­u­tors, Mann & Over­ton of Lon­don and Fournier of Paris, Hotchkiss de­cided to start mak­ing their own range of cars and pur­chased a Mer­cedes Sim­plex for in­spi­ra­tion and Georges Terasse, pre­vi­ously of Mors, was taken on as de­signer.

Early cars

The first Hotchkiss car, a 17 CV four-cylin­der model, ap­peared in 1903. The en­gine of the 20 CV type C was heav­ily based on the Mer­cedes Sim­plex ex­cept that wher­ever pos­si­ble it used ball bear­ings rather than plain ones (in­clud­ing the crank­shaft) and ex­cept the Hotchkiss drive. Six-cylin­der mod­els, the types L and O fol­lowed in 1907.

The ball bear­ing en­gines lasted until the 30CV type X of 1910. In that same year Hotchkiss moved into a smaller car mar­ket with the 2212cc type Z.

With the out­break of World War I, the fac­tory turned to war pro­duc­tion and a sub­sidiary plant was opened in Coven­try, Eng­land. Car pro­duc­tion re­sumed in France 1919 with the pre war types AD, AD6, AF and AG. Dur­ing World War I, they pro­duced ma­chine guns and tested them from the fac­tory roof.

Inter war production

After an at­tempt to enter the lux­ury mar­ket with the AK, which did not get be­yond the pro­to­type stage, the com­pany de­cided on a one model pol­icy and in­tro­duced the Coven­try de­signed AM in 1923. Later that year the Coven­try plant was sold to Mor­ris. Henry Mann Ainsworth (1884–1971) and Al­fred Her­bert Wilde (1889 – 1930) who had run it, moved to Paris to be­come gen­eral man­ager and chief en­gi­neer of the car di­vi­sion re­spec­tively.

In 1926 con­struc­tion of the new fac­tory in the Boule­vard Or­nano was com­pleted and in 1929 Hotchkiss got hold of a steel press al­low­ing in-house man­u­fac­ture of steel bod­ies. The one model pol­icy lasted until 1929 when the six-cylin­der AM73 and AM80 mod­els were an­nounced. “73” and “80” stood for the bore of the en­gines used, a nam­ing theme picked up again later in 1936 after a brief hia­tus.

Al­though most cars had bod­ies that were fac­tory built, Hotchkiss still was a lux­ury car brand, and so coach­builder Veth and Sons built a small num­ber of bod­ies for the AM80.

The AM mod­els were re­placed by a new range in 1933 with a new nam­ing sys­tem. The 411 was an 11CV model with four-cylin­der en­gine, the 413 a 13CV four and the 615, 617 and 620 were sim­i­lar six-cylin­der types. The 1936 686, which re­placed the 620, was avail­able as the high-per­for­mance Grand Sport and 1937 Paris-Nice with twin car­bu­ret­tors and these al­lowed Hotchkiss to win the Monte Carlo Rally in 1932, 1933, 1934, 1939, 1949 and 1950. The new nam­ing scheme in­tro­duced in 1936 con­sisted of the num­ber of cylin­ders, fol­lowed by the bore of the en­gine (in mil­lime­tres).

Second World War

The ar­ma­ment side of the com­pany and the body stamp­ing plant were na­tion­alised in 1936 by the Front Pop­u­laire gov­ern­ment. The car com­pany in 1937 took over Amil­car. With re-ar­ma­ment speed­ing up they also started mak­ing mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles and light tanks. When France de­clared war, in Sep­tem­ber 1939, Hotchkiss were sit­ting on an army order for 1,900 H35 and H39 tanks pow­ered by six-cylin­der mo­tors of re­spec­tively 3.5 and 6 litres ca­pac­ity, and at the time of the Ger­man in­va­sion in May 1940 they were still work­ing through the order. How­ever, as the mil­i­tary sit­u­a­tion de­te­ri­o­rated the de­ci­sion was taken, on 20 May 1940, to aban­don the Saint-De­nis plant which by now was fully con­cen­trated on war production. There was a dis­or­derly evac­u­a­tion, ini­tially to­wards Aux­erre and then Moulins and then fur­ther to­wards the south, as em­ploy­ees des­per­ately tried to keep in­for­ma­tion on the mil­i­tary pro­duc­tion out of the hands of the Germans. How­ever, the na­tional ca­pit­u­la­tion im­plicit in the sign­ing of the armistice on 22 June left these ef­forts look­ing some­what ir­rel­e­vant, and most of the em­ploy­ees drifted back in the en­su­ing weeks. Two ex­cep­tions were the Com­mer­cial Di­rec­tor, Jacques Ja­cob­sen and the Eng­lish born Gen­eral Di­rec­tor, Henry Ainsworth, both of whom man­aged to avoid cap­ture and to leave France. Dur­ing the war, like many busi­nesses in the oc­cu­pied (north­ern) zone, the com­pany was obliged to work for the oc­cu­piers and was en­gaged in the re­pair of mil­i­tary vehicles.

In 1941 François Lehideux, then a lead­ing mem­ber of the gov­ern­ment’s eco­nomic team, called Jean-Pierre Peu­geot and his Gen­eral Di­rec­tor Mau­rice Jor­dan to a meet­ing, and in­vited them to study the pos­si­bil­ity of tak­ing a con­trol­ling share in the Hotchkiss business. The sug­ges­tion from Lehideux de­rived from a Ger­man law dated 18 Oc­to­ber 1940 au­tho­ris­ing the con­fis­ca­tion of busi­nesses con­trolled by Jews. The Peu­geot busi­ness it­self had been op­er­at­ing, grudg­ingly, under over­all Ger­man con­trol since the sum­mer of 1940. In any event, in July 1942 Peu­geot took a con­trol­ling share in the Hotchkiss busi­ness and to­wards the end of 1942 the names of Peu­geot and Jor­dan were listed as mem­bers of the Hotchkiss board. There is no ev­i­dence of any at­tempt to com­bine the op­er­a­tions of the two busi­nesses, how­ever: after the war Peu­geot would in due course re­lin­quish their hold­ing in Hotchkiss.

With lib­er­a­tion in 1944, Ainsworth re­turned and pro­duc­tion restarted in 1946 with the pre-war cars, a light truck and a trac­tor.

Post war models

1955 Hotchkiss Anjou
1955 Hotchkiss Anjou
1951 Hotchkiss Gregoire
1951 Hotchkiss Gregoire rear

After the war, car pro­duc­tion re­sumed only slowly with fewer than 100 cars pro­duced in each of 1946 and 1947, but by 1948 things were mov­ing a lit­tle more rapidly with 460 Hotchkiss cars pro­duced that year. This vol­ume of out­put was wholly in­suf­fi­cient to carry the com­pany, al­though truck pro­duc­tion was a lit­tle more suc­cess­ful with more than 2,300 pro­duced in 1948, and it was sup­port from the truck vol­umes and from

Jeep Hotchkiss M201

the Jeep based M201 that en­abled the com­pany to stag­ger on as a car pro­ducer slightly more con­vinc­ingly than some of France’s other lux­ury car mak­ers, at least until the mid-1950s. The cars that rep­re­sented the busi­ness in the sec­ond half of the 1940s were es­sen­tially the com­pany’s pre­war de­signs. The 2,312 cc four-cylin­der car was now branded as the Hotchkiss 864 while the six-cylin­der car was badged as the Hotchkiss 680 with a 3,016 cc en­gine or as the Hotchkiss 686 with the 3,485 cc engine.

The lux­ury au­to­mo­bile range was mod­ernised in 1950 and a new car, the four-door sa­loon Anjou, was avail­able on the 1350 (re­named from the 486) and 2050 (686) chas­sis. The high-end Anthéor cabri­o­let was added in 1952. Some Anthéor mod­els were coach­built by Swiss coach­builder Worblaufen.

In 1948 Hotchkiss had bought the rights to the Grégoire front-wheel-drive car and this car en­tered pro­duc­tion in 1951 but was ex­pen­sive. Sales in gen­eral were falling, and on reach­ing his 65th birth­day in 1949 Ainsworth re­tired, to be suc­ceeded in the top job by Mau­rice de Gary. The Peu­geot fam­ily sold their in­ter­est in the com­pany. Coupé and cabri­o­let ver­sions of the Hotchkiss-Grégoire were an­nounced in 1951, but sales did not im­prove, and pro­duc­tion stopped in 1952 after only 247 were made.

Hotchkiss had made 2.700 cars in 1951. The Grégoire de­sign had in­te­gral con­struc­tion, in­de­pen­dent sus­pen­sion all round, a 2.2 Litre flat-four en­gine and front wheel drive. Claimed top speed was 95 mph. Buy­ers did not wel­come its smooth shape. End­less teething trou­bles brought pro­duc­tion to a com­plete stand­still in 1952. Hotchkiss pro­duced 230 cars of all their mod­els in 1953. When the fac­tory fi­nally closed there had been just 250 Hotchkiss-Grégoires built. In 1955 Cit­roen in­tro­duced the DS19 and Peu­geot its 403. Aside from the Grégoire de­sign Hotchkiss could only offer pre-war de­signs. Ex­port sales were lim­ited by the fail­ure to pro­vide left-hand-drive cars.

Merger and closure

Hotchkiss merged with De­la­haye, an­other French lux­ury car brand, in 1954 to be­come Société Hotchkiss-De­la­haye, but car pro­duc­tion stopped in 1955 to be re­placed by li­cence built Jeeps. In 1956 the com­pany was taken over by Brandt, a house­hold ap­pli­ance maker, to be­come Hotchkiss-Brandt, who were again taken over in 1966 by Thom­son-Hous­ton. Mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles were made until 1967 and trucks until 1971.

Pictures from my own collection:

1904 Hotchkiss 20HP C1904 Hotchkiss C 20HP dashboard1904 Hotchkiss C 20HP fr1904 Hotchkiss type c 20HP1906 hotchkiss stokvis ad1906 Targa Florio driving a Hotchkiss 35 hp Hubert and Mme Le Blon1908 Hotchkiss1909 Hotchkiss Automobile blindé & Etat major de Chefket Pacha1909 Hotchkiss type V 40-50HP Armored car1909 Hotchkiss with weapons and pantzer1909 Young Turk in Hotchkiss revolutionaries entering Istanbul in 19091910 Hotchkiss Limousine VY 7777 4cyl 20-30 hp 1785 engine no. 1104 a1910 Hotchkiss Limousine VY 7777 4cyl 20-30 hp 1785 engine no. 1104 b1910-1912 HOTCHKISS V 40-50 Classic Car1911 Hotchkiss AD Amiet Enclosed Limousine1911 Hotchkiss-AD Amiet-DV-14-PBC 011912 Hotchkiss Alex Lagé, Arc De Triomphe, Champs-Elysées1913 Hotchkiss AD 20-30 Fire engine1913 Hotchkiss Classic Car Original French Advert Print Ad - U1913 Hotchkiss Z2 side + load1913 Hotchkiss Z2 side1913 Hotchkiss Z21913-1914 HOTCHKISS Type AD1914 D9136mkk Australia maxicard ASPC148 1983 Fire Engines 1914 Hotchkiss postcard1914 Historic Fire Engines- Hotchkiss1914 HOTCHKISS type AD1915 Effie Hotchkiss & her mama Avis setting out in 1915 on a 3-speed Harley for a trans-continental Cannonball Run from New York to San Francisco & back - first females to ride acros1916 Hotchkiss 11920 Hotchkiss AF Limousine1922 Hotchkiss 18cv 6cyl Musée des maquettes à nourrir et courir le monde à Clairvaux-les-Lacs - 151922 HOTCHKISS CAR AUTO MEMORABILIA TOURING LUXURY MACHINE GUN TRENCH 213811923-1932 HOTCHKISS AM1924 HOTCHKISS AD 20 30HP1924 Hotchkiss AM1925 Hotchkiss advertising1926 Hotchkiss ad1926 Hotchkiss Autocar Motor Car Advert 19261927 Ad Hotchkiss Automobiles Car Transportation 168 Blvd Ornano St Denis VENA31927 Hotchkiss AM2 Torpedo (6853791825)1928 Hotchkiss AM 80 - The Vehicles - GT & Production - Auto Rally Card1928 HOTCHKISS AM 80 VETH CABRIOLET1928 hotchkiss greve1928 Hotchkiss Sedan ad1929 HOTCHKISS AM 80 Tourer Weymann1929 Hotchkiss AM80 Torpedo Sport1930 Hotchkiss 1930 am 801930 Hotchkiss 1930 partir ad1930 Hotchkiss ad1931 Hotchkiss carrossée par Pourtout1931 Hotchkiss F1932 E.M. Hotchkiss AM 80S1932 Hotchkiss 412 brown1932 Hotchkiss 4121932 Hotchkiss AM 80S b1932 Hotchkiss AM 80S Coach Riviera (34875682281)1932 Hotchkiss Coupe ORIGINAL Print French wz32021932 Hotchkiss Le juste milieu ad1933 Hotchkiss 411 white coach cote d'azur1933 Hotchkiss 4111933 Hotchkiss 1933 411 coach cote d'azur1933 Hotchskiss 411 (34990789640)1933+1954 SALMSON 2300S (1954) et HOTCHKISS 412 (1933)1933-1934 HOTCHKISS 4111934 Hotchkiss 2 seater sports fr1934 Hotchkiss 2 seater sports1934 Hotchkiss 411 at the Musée Automobile de Vendée pic-11934 Hotchkiss 411 at the Musée Automobile de Vendée pic-21934 Hotchkiss 411 at the Musée Automobile de Vendée pic-31934 Hotchkiss 411 pic11934 Hotchkiss 411 pic21934 Hotchkiss 411 pic31934 Hotchkiss 4111934 Hotchkiss 413 Cabourg front left1934 Hotchkiss 413 Cabourg rear side1934 Hotchkiss 1934 berline cabourg1934 Hotchkiss 1934 rmc1934 Hotchkiss 1934 roadster hossegor1934 Hotchkiss 19341934 Hotchkiss record race ad1934-1935 HOTCHKISS 615 COUPE BASQUE1935 Emile Audiffred (audi)1935 Hotchkiss 600 Biarritz (rear), Saint-Cybranet1935 Hotchkiss 600 Biarritz dashboard, Saint-Cybranet1935 Hotchkiss 600 Biarritz, Saint-Cybranet1935 Hotchkiss 1935 411 break1935 Hotchkiss 1935 480 cabrio1935 Hotchkiss Biarritz, Saint-Cybranet1935 HOTCHKISS GAZOGÈNE CAMIONETTE1935 Hotchkiss H39, 14 Batallon de carros, Francia 19401935 hotchkiss_poster_351935 hotchkiss--Lancefield1935 Tickford Salmons Hotchkiss Gladys Cooper Photo c222-RWX7H81935 TKS (W- HOTCHKISS MG) - WW II ARMOURED RECCE VEHICLE1935 WWII Hotchkiss H35 (Char léger modèle 1935-H) French Light Tank Stamp

1936 Hotchkiss 680 rmc1936 Hotchkiss 686 Cabourg1936 Hotchkiss Biarritz1936 HOTCHKISS et CIE COUPE1936 Hotchkiss H-35 light tank ( armor - 34 mm gun - 37 mm SA 18 speed - 28 km-h produced - 1200)1936 hotchkiss h351936 Hotchkiss SPZ kurz 81 mm Panzermörser1936-39 Hotchkiss Type 686 GS, 1936-391936-1940 HOTCHKISS 486 Classic Car1936-1940 Hotchkiss 680 Cabourg a1937 Hotchkiss - 680 - (M.A.R.C.).1937 Hotchkiss 680 pic11937 Hotchkiss 680 pic21937 Hotchkiss 686 PN Cabriolet 11937 Hotchkiss 686 PN Cabriolet 21937 Hotchkiss 8641937 Hotchkiss basque1937 Hotchkiss Biarritz1937 Hotchkiss L-480H, 4x41937 Hotchkiss Streamline Coach ORIGINAL Print French wz32111938 Hotchkiss 684 coach decouvrable1938 HOTCHKISS 686 Cabriolet Biarritz1938 HOTCHKISS 686 Monte Carlo1938 HOTCHKISS 864 limousine Vichy fr1938 HOTCHKISS 864 limousine Vichy1938 Hotchkiss 864 Roadster Montlhéry 2 rear1938 Hotchkiss 864 Roadster Montlhéry 21938 Hotchkiss 864-based pickup truck at the Ecomusée d'Alsace - four-cylinder cars can be identified by having 26 louvres on the bonnet, while six-cylinder cars sport 30 louvres1938 Hotchkiss cabourg1938 Hotchkiss Cote Dázur adv1938 Hotchkiss cote d'azur1938 Hotchkiss speed record at Montlhéry by Geo Ham1938-1939 Hotsckiss Puissance Organisation1938-1950 HOTCHKISS 20 CV GS Classic Car1938-1951 HOTCHKISS 8641939 Hotchkiss 1er ad1939 Hotchkiss 686 Chantilly limousine1939 Hotchkiss 686 Paris-Nice Monte-Carlo1939 Hotchkiss 686 PN (Paris-Nice) Monte Carlo1939 Hotchkiss 686 PN Monte Carlo back1939 Hotchkiss 686 PN Monte Carlo1939 Hotchkiss Cabourg adv1939 Hotchkiss cabourg1939 Hotchkiss GS adv1939 Hotchkiss Le temps passe la qualite totale demeure1939 Hotchkiss Monte-Carlo Coach Decouvrable (15215885794)1939 Hotchkiss R15R Command & Reconnaissance 4x41939 Hotchkiss Sport Cabriolet Factory Photograph wy96201939 Hotchkiss W-15Т, 6x61940 Hotchkiss S-20TL, 6x61940 Hotchkiss1940-1950 Hotchkiss truck PL201946 hotchkiss pl20 sapeur pompiers1946 Hotchkiss truck PL 20 (7358510232)1947 Hotchkiss ORIGINAL Photo ouc62501948 Hotchkiss 686 S49 Provence1948 Hotchkiss 864 S49 'Roussillon' 2dr rear1948 Hotchkiss 864 S49 'Roussillon' 2dr1948 hotchkiss-pl-25-1948-(france)--109011949 Hotchkiss 686 6 cylinder, 3485cc Cabourg, Conduite Interieure 19491949 Hotchkiss 864 S 49 Artois1949 Hotchkiss 864 S49 'Artois' fr1949 Hotchkiss 864 S49 'Artois' rear1949 Hotchkiss 864 S49 Artois1949 Hotchkiss artois berline1949 Hotchkiss gregoire1949 Hotchkiss Type 686 S49 Gascogne back1949 Hotchkiss Type 686 S49 Gascogne front1949 Hotchkiss Type 686 S49 GascogneKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA1950 Hotchkiss 13-50 anjou berline1950 Hotchkiss 686 S491950 Hotchkiss 864 S 49 Biarritz interieur1950 Hotchkiss 864 S49 Artois1950 Hotchkiss ad1950 Hotchkiss Anjou 11950 Hotchkiss Anjou 21950 Hotchkiss Anjou 1350 cabriolet Saint-Tropez logo and name1950 Hotchkiss Anjou 1350 cabriolet Saint-Tropez1950 hotchkiss anjou 1350 cabriolet1950 Hotchkiss Anjou Chapron october1950 Hotchkiss Anjou fr-si1950 Hotchkiss Anjou rear1950 Hotchkiss DH 50, Transports A. Maingret (F-79)1950 Hotchkiss DH 501950 Hotchkiss Gregoire ad1950 Hotchkiss pl 25 50 France1950 hotchkiss s-49 reklame rmc1951 Hotchkiss & Cadillac Buick Chevrolet France Ad wi3816-S8SRKI1951 Hotchkiss anjou 13-501951 Hotchkiss Gregoire rear1951 Hotchkiss Gregoire1951 Hotchkiss Gregoire-interior1951 Hotchkiss PL 201951 Hotchkiss PL 50 Fourgon1951 Hotchkiss saint germain paris1951 Hotchkiss1951-53 Hotchkiss-Gregoire Coach Chapron1951-1953 HOTCHKISS GREGOIRE Classic Car Photograph1951-1954 HOTCHKISS 2050 ANJOU1952 Advertising Hotchkiss Anjou1952 Hotchkiss 13-50 anjou berline1952 Hotchkiss Anjou 13-501952 Hotchkiss Antheor convertible1952 Hotchkiss de 19521952 Hotchkiss Gregoire cabrio1952 Hotchkiss gregoire coach1952 HOTCHKISS PL 251952 HOTCHKISS PL25 TRUCK BROCHURE a1952 HOTCHKISS PL25 TRUCK BROCHURE b1952 HOTCHKISS PL25 TRUCK BROCHURE c1952 HOTCHKISS PL25 TRUCK BROCHURE d1952 HOTCHKISS PL25 TRUCK BROCHURE e1952 HOTCHKISS PL25 TRUCK BROCHURE f1952 HOTCHKISS PL25 TRUCK BROCHURE g1952 HOTCHKISS PL25 TRUCK BROCHURE h1952 Hotchkiss PL251952 Hotchkiss, France1952-1953 HOTCHKISS 2050 ANTHEOR1953 Hotchkiss 20-50gs1953 Hotchkiss Anjou 13CV1953 Hotchkiss Antheor 20.50 Kübelwagen von Letourneur & Marchand1953 Hotchkiss antheor ad1953 Hotchkiss Gregoire (2295526168)1953 Hotchkiss Gregoire Berline1953 HOTCHKISS J.A.G. GREGOIRE CABRIOLET BY HENRI CHAPRON1953 Hotchkiss Grégoire1953 Hotchkiss-Grégoire JAG pic31953 Hotchkiss-Gregoire-DV-12-SJ i02-800 dashboard1953 Hotchkiss-Gregoire-DV-12-SJ-001-8001954 Hotchkiss anjou 13-501954 Hotchkiss antheor1954 Hotchkiss Gregoire berline1954 Hotchkiss Monceau1954 Hotchkiss PL 50 Premier Secours Moiusse1954 Hotchkiss-Latil М-17Т2, 4x41955 Hotchkiss Anjou 2061955 Hotchkiss PL20 fourgon d'incendie1955 Hotchkiss VP90 Carrier, Armoured, Full-Track, Low Silhouette1955 Hotchkiss М-201, 4x41955 Hotchkiss-PL-25

1956 Hotchkiss truck back1956 Hotchkiss truck cockpitt1956 Hotchkiss truck fr-si1956 Hotchkiss truck insides1956 Hotchkiss truck open1956 Hotchkiss truck si-back1956 Hotchkiss truck side open and back1956 Hotchkiss truck windowsside and front1956 Hotchkiss truck1958 Hotchkiss 686 PN 20CV 8 cyl Meillant1958 Hotchkiss Carrier, armoured, Full-Track, Ambulance1960 Hotchkiss 5 Ton Truck Brochure 31963 echelle.sur.porteur.hotchkiss.-.1963.-.photographie.cne.ranvoisy1963 Hotchkiss PL 50 EP Gugumus-Charton1963 Hotchkiss PL50 DH50 4 Ton Truck Brochure French wu4821 a1963 Hotchkiss PL50 DH50 4 Ton Truck Brochure French wu48211963 HOTCHKISS PL50 Plateau brasseur1963 hotchkiss-pl501964 Hotchkiss PL50 Camion Citerne Incendie1964 HOTCHKISS PL50 Premier Secours1965 Hotchkiss PL70 4x4 19651965 Hotchkiss PL50 ex-Pompiers1965 hotchkiss_truck_brochure_1_651965 le camion hotchkiss dh 60 et 701966 Hotchkiss 6-8 Ton Truck Brochure French wu78861966 Hotchkiss DH701967 Hotchkiss PL-90, 4x41968 Hotchkiss PL90 MAV1969 HOTCHKISS PL701970 HINO model RC RE bus 24-941970 Hotchkiss WU78871971 Hotchkiss-Lancia-Büssing1973 Ford England Hotchkiss 2.6 Liter V6 Tank ORIGINAL Factory Photo ww7003automobiles HOTCHKISS plateautomobiles HotchkissBROCHURE CAMIONS HOTCHKISS ELIGORCatalogue camions HOTCHKISS - Brandt DH 50, PL 50 et PL 50-6 (avec cachetCatalogue camions HOTCHKISS DH 50, PL 50 et PL 50-6 (Couverture)Citroën Hotchkiss sur tous vos achats recéclamezzzzzzÉcusson de calandre (8612912979)Emblem Hotchkiss-GregoireHotchkiss (9457595613)Hotchkiss (9457595623)Hotchkiss 8f5a753ed7Hotchkiss 20.50 Anjou Worblaufen - viertüriges Cabriolet für den EklektikerHotchkiss 413Hotchkiss 432 AW 89Hotchkiss 600Hotchkiss 686 Monte Carlo CabrioletHotchkiss 686 Monte Carlo In FieldHotchkiss 686 PN Monte-Carlo (34764054912)Hotchkiss 686 produced from 1936 to 1952Hotchkiss 686Hotchkiss 864 S 49 - Peugeot 402Hotchkiss 864 S 49Hotchkiss advHotchkiss adverHotchkiss AM2 Prescott HillHotchkiss AM2 TorpedoRheinbach Classics 2007Hotchkiss Anjou (24797837547)Hotchkiss Anjou 1350 (1953)HOTCHKISS Anjou et side-car URALHotchkiss Anjou MontlhéryHotchkiss Anthéor BrochureHotchkiss Belle autoHotchkiss Biarritz CabrioletHotchkiss BiarritzHotchkiss Bouffort HB 40Hotchkiss CaramuloPT DSCN0152Hotchkiss DH50 plateau A.Maingrethp photosmart 720Hotchkiss DH80 Dropside LorryHotchkiss du GuilvinecOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHotchkiss Fire and rescue truckHotchkiss Fire CarHotchkiss Fire engine in actionHotchkiss fireenginehotchkiss genderingen advHotchkiss Gregoire (6034133989)Hotchkiss Grégoire signHotchkiss GregoireHotchkiss gsHotchkiss H35 tankHotchkiss H38 serie DHotchkiss HistoriqueHotchkiss Jeep JH102 4X4Hotchkiss Le triomph du Bon Sens posterHotchkiss logoHotchkiss M18-T2 Truck, 1.25 tonne, 4x4, Cargo (Air Force)Hotchkiss M201 Jeep kopie willys mb jeepHotchkiss M201 with ENTAC missileHotchkiss Paris (6031011309)Hotchkiss ParisHotchkiss Paris logoHotchkiss pickup - pic1Hotchkiss pickup - pic2Hotchkiss pickup - pic3Hotchkiss pickup - pic4Hotchkiss pickup for saleHOTCHKISS PL 20-25-50 TruckHOTCHKISS PL 25 adHotchkiss PL 50 380 AWC 35Hotchkiss PL20 4x4 Diecast Model Lorry EL101489Hotchkiss PL20 ex- pompiers de Tours 974Hotchkiss PL50 Collection Eure aHotchkiss PL50 Collection Eure bHotchkiss PL50 Paris 2Hotchkiss PL50 ParisHOTCHKISS PL50HOTCHKISS PL70 4x4 MILITARY TRUCKHotchkiss PL70 Truck, 3-tonne, 4x4, CargoHotchkiss PL90 MAV Truck, 3-tonne, 4x4, CargoHotchkiss Pompes Guinard LRHotchkiss Porte FersHotchkiss porte-fers - 4 modèlesHotchkiss posterHotchkiss PS nr 51Hotchkiss rally Monte-Carlo aHotchkiss rally Monte-CarloHotchkiss Saint-Cybranethotchkiss siebergHotchkiss Six Cylinder 1929-1954 Profile No. 47 AM80 Type 686 620 2050 +HOTCHKISS SUPERBE DOCUMENT D TIME GLUE ON LEAVES A4.16Hotchkiss Tourer (753758201) 4 cylinder 20-30 hp, 6 litre, restored with an ex-Rolls Royce Silver Ghost body. Car no 3386, engine no.88 aHotchkiss Tourer (753758201) 4 cylinder 20-30 hp, 6 litre, restored with an ex-Rolls Royce Silver Ghost body. Car no 3386, engine no.88 bhotchkiss truck brochure 2 65Hotchkiss truck Louwman Collection, HollandHotchkiss TTC501 (1970) & HB40 (1966) Carriers, Full-Track, CargoHotchkiss verhuiswagen van Fa. Bus uit LarenHotchkiss Vieille voitureHotchkiss Ville de DieppeHOTCHKISS vintage poster black and white advertising by OldMagHotchkiss W15T Walk AroundHotchkiss-411-arHotchkiss-411-avhotchkiss-620-automobile-models-photo-u1Hotchkiss-Brandt JeepHotchkiss-built Jeephotchkiss-gregoire-8hotchkiss-hb40Hotckhiss PL 50 immatriculé 56 et portant l'inscription Mesnil le Roi.Jeep Hotchkiss M201Laffly-Hotchkiss W15TLES VEHICULES UTILITAIRES HOTCHKISS BROCHURE aLES VEHICULES UTILITAIRES HOTCHKISS BROCHURE bLES VEHICULES UTILITAIRES HOTCHKISS BROCHURE cLES VEHICULES UTILITAIRES HOTCHKISS BROCHURE dLES VEHICULES UTILITAIRES HOTCHKISS BROCHURE eLES VEHICULES UTILITAIRES HOTCHKISS BROCHURE fLES VEHICULES UTILITAIRES HOTCHKISS BROCHURE gLES VEHICULES UTILITAIRES HOTCHKISS BROCHURE hParis-Hotchkiss-020 PL50 was a 4-cylinder, 2.3 liter, 70HP engineSoldat before Hotchkiss tankTrucks Hotchkiss PL20 platWWII Press Photo- Hotchkiss Panzerkampfwagen 38H 735(f)- Yugoslavia- Panzer Tank

See also


  1. ^ “Index entry”FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  2. ^
  3. abcdefghi “Automobilia”. Toutes les voitures françaises 1940 – 46 (les années sans salon). Paris: Histoire & collections. Nr. 26: Page 41. 2003.
  4. abc “Automobilia”. Toutes les voitures françaises 1948 (salon Paris oct 1947). Paris: Histoire & collections. Nr. 7: Page 48. 1998.
  5. ab “Automobilia”. Toutes les voitures françaises 1952 (salon Paris Oct 1951). Paris: Histoire & collections. Nr. 20: Page 40. 2001.
  6. ^ Lago America, page 168, Motor Sport magazine, February 1985

External links

DELAGE Cars 1905 – 1953 Levallois-Perret, France


Founded 1905
Founder Louis Delage
Defunct 1953
Headquarters Levallois-Perret, France
Products Cars
Delage D8-120

Delage was a French luxury automobile and racecar company founded in 1905 by Louis Delage in Levallois-Perret near Paris; it was acquired by Delahaye in 1935 and ceased operation in 1953.

Early history

The company was founded in 1905 by Louis Delage, who borrowed Fr 35,000, giving up a salary of Fr 600 a month to do so.

Its first location was on the Rue Cormeilles in Levallois-Perret. The company at first had just two lathes and three employees, one of them Peugeot‘s former chief designer. Delage initially produced parts for Helbé, with the De Dion-Bouton engine and chassis assembled by Helbé; Delage added only the body.

The first model was the Type A, a voiturette which appeared in 1906. It was powered by a one-cylinder De Dion-Bouton of 4.5 or 9 hp (3.4 or 6.7 kW; 4.6 or 9.1 PS). Like other early carmakers, Delage participated in motor racing, entering the Coupe de Voiturettes held at Rambouillet in November 1906 with a 9 hp (6.7 kW; 9.1 PS) racer. Seven days of regularity trials decided the entrants, and one of the two 9 hp (6.7 kW; 9.1 PS) Delage specials was wrecked in the rain on the fifth; nevertheless, Ménard, the other works driver, came second in the event, behind a Sizaire-Naudin.

In 1907 the factory moved to the Rue Baudin Levallois, where a 4,000 m2 (43,000 sq ft) workshop allowed it to grow. The two-cylinder Delages were no match for the competition this year at the Coupe des Voiturettes.

In 1908, the success enabled the development of the factory and entry into more Grand Prix races. That year, racing success returned: Delage won the Grand Prix des Voiturettes held 6 July. This event, six laps of the 47.74 mi (76.83 km) Dieppe Grand Prix circuit, saw 47 starters. Delage fielded three cars: a pair with 1,242 cc (75.8 cu in) (78 by 130 mm (3.1 by 5.1 in)) De Dion-Bouton twins, driven by Thomas and Lucas-Bonnard, and a radical 28 hp (21 kW; 28 PS) 1,257 cc (76.7 cu in) (100 by 160 mm (3.9 by 6.3 in)) one-cylinder (built by Nemorin Causan) in the hands of Delage dealer Albert Guyot. Guyot won at an average 49.8 mph (80.1 km/h), not needing to stop for fuel. All three Delages finished this time, Thomas the quickest of the two-cylinder cars, while the team also took home the regularity prize. These good results contributed to total sales exceeding 300 cars for the year.

Delage converted to four-cylinder engines in 1909, at first provided by De Dion and Edouard Ballot; shortly, the company were producing their own sidevalve fours, too.

After an increase in sales, the existing facilities were too small, so in 1910 the factory moved to a new facility at 138 Boulevard de Verdun, Courbevoie. The following year saw the creation of advanced bodywork. By 1912, 350 workers were producing over 1000 cars annually, and offered four- and six-cylinder sidevalve engines.

During the First World War, Delage produced munitions. Production of passenger cars virtually stopped, with the exception of some fabrication for the Army. But the Delage factories were running full support for the war effort.

When the war concluded, Delage moved away from small cars and made its reputation with larger cars. First up was the CO, with a 4,524 cc (276.1 cu in) (80 by 150 mm (3.1 by 5.9 in)) fixed-head sidevalve six producing 20 hp. The CO plans had been drawn up during the conflict; this was the first passenger car with front brakes. It was joined by the DO with a 3-liter four.

The 1920s were really the first “Golden Age” of Delage. The most famous were the DE and DI: 4 cylinders of about 2 liters and 11 hp. Delage also attempted to compete with Hispano-Suiza, with the GL of 30 hp and 5954 cc, with some success. After that came a new generation of six-cylinder cars, like the MD (3174 cc) and DR (2516 cc), the best-selling vehicle in the history of the brand, designed by engineer Gaultier.

Both the CO and DO were replaced in 1922. The CO became the CO2, which changed to an overhead valve twin-plug head, producing 88 hp (66 kW; 89 PS), while the DO was supplanted by the DE with a 2,117 cc (129.2 cu in) (72 by 130 mm (2.8 by 5.1 in)) sidevalve four and, unusual in a production car even in this era, four-wheel brakes. The CO2 completed the Paris-Nice run in 16 hours, an average of 67 km/h (42 mph).

The next year, the new 14 hp (10 kW; 14 PS) DI also switched to OHV with a 2,121 cc (129.4 cu in) (75 by 120 mm (3.0 by 4.7 in)) four, fitted with magneto ignition and thermosyphon cooling; all had four-speed gearboxes and Zenith carburettors. At the other end of the scale, the GL (Grand Luxe), also known as the 40/50, replaced the CO2, being fitted with a magneto-fired 5,344 cc (326.1 cu in) (90 by 140 mm (3.5 by 5.5 in)) overhead cam six.

In 1923, a hillclimb car with DI chassis, larger wheels and tires, and 5,107 cc (311.6 cu in) (85 by 150 mm (3.3 by 5.9 in)) CO block (with three Zenith carburetors) was produced. Delage scored successes at La Turbie and Mont Ventoux. This car was joined by a 10,688 cc (652.2 cu in) (90 by 140 mm (3.5 by 5.5 in)) V12, which broke the course record at the Gaillon hillclimb, with Thomas at the wheel. Thomas would set the land speed record at Arpajon in this car, at a speed of 143.24 mph (230.52 km/h), in 1924. A 1925 car had a 5,954 cc (363.3 cu in) (95 by 140 mm (3.7 by 5.5 in)) six, again using the GL block, with four valves per cylinder and twin overhead cams. Driven by Divo, it broke the Mont Ventoux course record in its debut. It would be destroyed by fire at the Phoenix Park meet in 1934.

The 1924 and 1925 DIS, with a 117 in (3,000 mm) wheelbase, switched from Rolls-Royce-type locking wheel hubs to Rudge knock-ons, better cam, and bigger valves, while the 1925 and 1926 DISS on the same wheelbase. Some of the DISes were bodied by Kelsch. The DIS became the Series 6 in 1927, switching to coil ignition and water pump.

In 1926, Delage introduced the DM, with a 3,182 cc (194.2 cu in) (75 by 120 mm (3.0 by 4.7 in)) six, which made it emblematic of the era for the marque. The high-performance DMS had hotter cam, twin valve springs, and other improvements. A DR, with a choice of 2.2- and 2.5-liter sidevalve engines, also briefly appeared.


Delage entered the 1911 Coupe de l’Auto at Boulogne with a 50 hp (37 kW; 51 PS) 2,996 cc (182.8 cu in) (80 by 149 mm (3.1 by 5.9 in)) four with two 60 mm (2.4 in)-diameter bellcrank-operated valves per cylinder controlled by camshafts in the crankcase. The five-speed gearbox gave a top speed of 60 mph (97 km/h), and the four voiturettes each carried 26 imp gal (120 l; 31 US gal), as the factory planned for a no-stop race. Works driver Paul Bablot won, at an average 55.2 mph (88.8 km/h), with a 1m 11s over Boillot’s Peugeot, followed home by Thomas in a second Delage; Delage also took the team prize.

Delage would move up to Grand Prix racing in 1912, with a Léon Michelat-designed car powered by a four-valve 6,235 cc (380.5 cu in) (105 by 180 mm (4.1 by 7.1 in)) four-cylinder of 118 hp (88 kW; 120 PS), coupled again to a five-speed gearbox and fitted this time with 43 imp gal (200 l; 52 US gal). Three cars were built for the 569 mi (916 km) Amiens Grand Prix, though only two, Bablot’s and Guyot’s, actually entered. On the day, Bablot’s Delage proved the fastest car in the field, turning in a lap at 76.6 mph (123.3 km/h), but it was Guyot who would fall out of the lead with a puncture, and the race went to Peugeot, while the Delages were fourth and fifth. At the French Grand Prix, Delage put Bablot first, Guyot second, ahead of Pilette’s 1908 Mercedes GP car, Salzer in a Mercedes, with Duray coming in fifth in the third Delage.

In 1913, the new type Y set the fasted lap time at the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, and in 1914, this same car won the 1914 Indianapolis 500 with René Thomas at the wheel. Thomas, Guyot, and Duray would return to the French Grand Prix with 4½-liter twin-cam desmodromic valved racers featuring twin carburettors, five-speed gearbox, and four-wheel brakes. While quick, they proved unreliable; only one finished, Duray’s, in eighth.

In 1914, Delage emphasized its focus on competition by creating the type O Lyon Grand Prix, while at the same time moving towards the luxury car market with 6 cylinders of a large class. However, racing was severely curtailed during World War One.

Delage D6

In 1923 Louis Delage returned to competition with the innovative 12-cylinder 2-liter type 2 LCV. This car won the 1924 European Grand Prix in Lyon and the 1925 Grand Prix of ACF Montlhéry. The 12-cylinder DH (10,5 liters) of 1924 beat the world speed record on the highway, at 230 km/h (143 mph). A Delage 155 B won the first Grand Prix of Great-Britain in 1926, driven by Louis Wagner and Robert Senechal. The production of cars continued with the DI and the DI S SS. The DM evolved into the DMS and DML, equipped with a 6-cylinder 3-liter engine designed by Maurice Gaultier.

Delage’s Grand Prix effort saw a Plancton-designed 1,984 cc (121.1 cu in) (51.3 by 80 mm (2.02 by 3.15 in)) four overhead cam V12. The 110 hp (82 kW; 110 PS) car, driven by Thomas, fell out of the French Grand Prix in 1923, but went on to perform well for the bulk of the 1923 and 1924 season. With supercharger added in 1925, bringing output to 195 hp (145 kW; 198 PS), it won at Montlhéry and Lasarteproving as fast as the Alfa Romeo P2, but rarely racing it directly. This car was supplanted in 1926 by a Lory-designed supercharged 1.5-liter twincam straight eight of 170 hp (130 kW; 170 PS); capable of 130 mph (210 km/h), it was the company’s last Grand Prix entrant.

A Delage supercharged straight-8 racing engine

Always passionate about racing, Louis Delage designed an 8-cylinder 1500 cc, the type 15 S 8. This car won four European Grands Prix races in 1927, and won Delage the title “World Champion of Car Builders” that same year.

A 2,988 cc (182.3 cu in)-powered D6 won the 1938 Tourist Trophy at Donington Park and came second at Le Mans. A single V12-powered car, intended for Le Mans, tragically caught fire at the 1938 International Trophy at Brooklands.

Postwar, the best results Delage had were seconds at the 1949 Le Mans and 1950 Paris Grand Prix.

The D6 and the D8: The Classic Era

1930 saw the launch of the 6-cylinder Delage D6 which would form the mainstay of the manufacturer’s passenger car range until 1954.

For 1930 Maurice Gaultier designed an 8-cylinder in-line 4,061 cc, evolving the type D8 into the type D8 S (S for Sport).

1939 Delage D8

The D8 was the pinnacle of the marque. It was offered in three wheelbases, “S” or “C” at 130 in (3,300 mm), “N” at 140 in (3,600 mm), and “L” at 143 in (3,600 mm), all powered by a 4,061 cc (247.8 cu in) (77 by 109 mm (3.0 by 4.3 in)) straight eight, making it capable of 85 mph (137 km/h). Delage followed in 1932 with the Grand Sport, on a 123 in (3,100 mm) 130 in (3,300 mm) in 1934) wheelbase, capable of 100 mph (160 km/h).

But the backlash of the economic crisis of 1929 arrived and manufacturers of luxury cars all over the world suffered from poor sales. The commercial and financial situation of the firm was badly shaken. In 1932 Delage introduced the type D6-11 (6-cylinder 2101 cc), and two years later the new eight-cylinder Delage, type D8-15 (2768 cc). These two models, equipped with independent front wheel suspension did not increase sale figures. The transverse leaf and wishbone independent front suspension was licensed by Studebaker for their cars.

The junior D6s shared Delahaye front suspension design, but had hydraulic rather than Delahaye cable-actuated brakes, also shared the Cotal gearbox with the D8. The D6/70 of 1936 was powered by a 2,729 cc (166.5 cu in) (80 by 90.5 mm (3.15 by 3.56 in)) six, the 1938 D6/75 a 2.8-liter six, and the postwar D8/3L Olympic a 3-liter six. At the bottom of the range was a 1.5-liter four that lasted until 1936.

Financial pressures never disappeared, however, and during the Spring of 1932 Louis Delage was obliged to take out a 25 Million franc loan in order to finance the tooling needed to put the D6 into production. It was at this time that he also entered into negotiations with Peugeot about using their dealership and service network. These negotiations went nowhere, and discussions with other possible partners/rescuers also came to nothing. There were also personal problems involving his marriage which necessitated a rearrangement of Delage’s personal finances, although in the event it was the sale of his expensive home in the Champs-Élysées that reduced the pressure on his finances if only in the short term.

The last models to emerge from the factory in Courbevoie were the types D6-65, D8-85 and D8-105, designed by engineer Michelat. On 20 April 1935 the factory in Courbevoie went into voluntary liquidation.

But Louis Delage would not admit defeat, and with the help of a businessman called Walter Watney created the Société Nouvelle des Automobiles Delage (SAFAD), to market Delage cars, assembled from production Delahayes. This union created the 4-cylinder DI 12 and the D8 120, and also the 6-cylinder D6 70. Watney had taken control as president of SAFAD, but he was a British national and in June 1940 he was obliged to leave Paris as the German Army arrived. Watney stayed in France, at his villa in Beaulieu, until the end of 1942 after the Germans had completed their occupation, but already in December 1940 the presidency of the SAFAD business had passed directly into the control of Delahaye. In any event, since the outbreak of the war Delage had been largely inactive, although they did undertake work on a project to replace the six-cylinder engine of the Hotchkiss H39 tank with the more powerful 8-cylinder unit from the Delage D8 120.

Racing aero-engines

Delage produced at least two types of racing aero-engine during the early 1930s. The Delage 12 CED was fitted to the Kellner-Béchereau 28VD racing aircraft, intended to compete in the 1933 Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe air race. Unfortunately the aircraft crashed during qualification trials for the race on 12 May 1933. The second engine type, the Delage 12 GV, remains a mystery, with very little information available.

After the Second World War

A large prototype Delage D-180 limousine appeared at the 1946 Paris Motor Show but there were evidently no further developments on this project and by the next year the big prototype had quietly disappeared. At the 1947 Paris Motor Show only a single model was exhibited as the business focused on its six-cylinder 3-litre Delage D6 which in most respects will have been familiar to anyone who had known the 3-litre Delages of the 1930s. The car was offered with bodies by firms such as Chapron, Letourner & Marchand and Guilloré. A variety of coupe and cabriolet bodied D6s were produced. In addition, both Guilloré and Chapron produced a large saloon/sedan body. The two were remarkably similar, both being six-light four-door cars with conservative 1930s style shapes. Something else the two had in common was unexpectedly narrow rear doors, enforced by the combination of a long body, a long rear overhang and a relatively short wheelbase provided by the D6 chassis. A longer wheelbase 1952 special version, bodied by Guilloré, was owned by National Assembly president Edouard Herriot.

Nevertheless, these were difficult times for luxury auto-makers in France and by now the company’s registered head office was the same as that for Delahaye: production statistics from the period group Delage and Delahaye together. Louis Delâge himself, who had lived in poverty and quasi-monastic isolation since bankruptcy in 1935 had enforced the transfer of his company to Delahaye, died in December 1947, and during the next few years any residual autonomy that the business had enjoyed disappeared. Increases in motoring taxes, most notably in 1948 and most savagely targeting cars with engines of above 2 litres, combined with the depressed economic conditions of post-war France to create a difficult market for luxury car manufacturers. In 1950 Delahaye produced 235 cars which will have included a significant number of Delages. In 1951 the combined production figure for the two brands slumped to 77: in 1952 it was down to 41. In 1953 Delage production ended.

Delage was absorbed into Hotchkiss along with Delahaye in 1954, and car manufacturing ended.


1920 Delage (type S) CO 4 ½ litre Salamanca (1918, 6 cyl, 4,524 cc)

1924 Delage Di(1920, 2,121 cc)

1920-delage-type-co2-22d181v-dual-cowl-tourer Delage CO2 (1921)

Delage 2 LCV (1923, 12 cyl, 2L)

Delage GL (5,954 cc)

Delage DE

Delage DH (12 cyl DH, 10,5L)

Delage DI S

Delage DI SS

Delage DMS (6 cyl, 3L)

Delage DML (6 cyl, 3L)

Scuderia Giddings black 1927
Delage. Beautiful 1500cc twin cam straight eight, blown alloy engine created almost 200 horse power.

Delage 15 S 8 (8 cyl, 1,500 cc)

1924 Delage GL Labourdett DV-08

Delage GL (5,954 cc)

Delage DM (6 cyl, 3,174 cc)

Delage DR (6 cyl, 2,516 cc)

Delage D4 (4 cyl, 1,480 cc)

Delage D6-11 (6 cyl, 2,101 cc)