Delage (Automobiles Delage, Courbevoie-sur-Seine)
Competitive years: 1931-1936
Horsepower Range: 170-195
It seems natural that the new cars built for the 1500cc supercharged Grand Prix formula of 1926-27 would surely be immediately successful in the 1931 voiturette races calling for the same displacement. But it didn’t work out that way. Consider the Delage, with 62 roller bearings that enabled it to crank out as much as 10,000 rpm without damage. The straight eight was simple enough, but you might image the cost of maintaining the breed. After soundly defeating the Grand Prix opposition in 1927, the four Delages were sold to private individuals.
Two ended up with Lord Howe, who campaigned one very effectively from 1931 to 1935, when it was purchased by Dick Seaman. With the help of Giulio Ramponi (read story), in the hands of the talented Seaman won four races in 1936, proving the worth of the design, Ramponi’s modifications that helped boost the horsepower to almost 200, and Seaman’s own driving. This car ended up with the Siamese Prince Bira but never again achieved the same level of success.