Story by Nicholas Lancaster
[While doing research for this article,originally published in VeloceToday in October of 2007, Mr. Lancaster began a search to find the current location of the ex-Ramponi/Seaman Delage. He found it in the hands of Mr. Abraham Kogan, who had consigned it to the RM Auction in London. It then passed into the hands of Peter Giddings. Our thanks to RM Auctions for providing the illustrations used in this article.Ed.]
Louis Delage had been active in Grand Prix racing since before the First World War with a series of first-rate designs that had achieved numerous successes, culminating in victory in the Indianapolis 500 in 1914. In the mid-1920’s Delage returned to front line motor sport with the introduction of the 1923 2 liter V12 engined Grand Prix car, designed by Charles Planchon, and refined by his protégé Albert Lory.
Whilst the V12 eventually came good, winning the Grand Prix of Spain in 1925, the design had suffered from numerous initial teething problems, and this cost Planchon his job. For 1926, a change of formula required the use of 1.5 liter engines and Lory — who had eventually developed the V12 into a winner — took a different approach with the new car, designing a jewel-like supercharged straight-eight engine capable of 170 bhp at 8000 rpm.