1927 Delage 15-S-8 Grand Prix

$149.3M worth of cars at RM Sotheby's Monterey
Thursday, 12 August - Saturday, 14 August 2021
Sale Price
$2,500,000 - $3,500,000
Est. Range
13 August 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Competition restoration
RM Sotheby's
Auction House
Chassis no. 4, Engine No. 3/4. Black with over black leather. 1488/170hp supercharged DOHC straight-eight, single aeroscreen.

Evaluation: One of four factory team cars for 1927 that swept the four-race grand prix season with Robert Benoist driving another team car that year in total dominance of the championship and in the process draining Delage’s financial resources. Sold to Louis Chiron who scored a seventh place finish at Indianapolis in 1928. Then sold to Robert Senechal back in France. Acquired by Earl Howe in the U.K. in 1931 who raced it in voiturette events in Europe. Acquired by Richard Seaman from Howe, prepared by Giulio Ramponi, converted to hydraulic brakes and driven to voiturette victories at Donington, the Isle of Man, Pescara and Berne and leading to Seaman being hired by Alfred Neubauer for the Mercedes team in 1937. Sold to Prince Chula and then acquired by Reg Parnell after WWI. He also owned chassis number 2 and engine number 3 and proceeded to use parts as necessary to keep one car running, which accounts for the mixing of engine numbers 3 and 4 in today’s engine. The next owner was Rob Walker, followed by Serge Pozzoli. [I know, this is a long journey.] Eventually acquired by Peter Giddings in 2012 and prepared for historic racing by Auto Restorations in Christchurch, New Zealand. Now immaculately presented and race-ready, one of the most intricate, finely constructed, elaborate but successful creations in auto racing history.

Bottom Line: I confess to a penchant for the Delage 15-S-8, as complicated but effective as a fine handmade Swiss watch. I had the pleasure of spending a night with Peter and Judy Giddings at their home years ago and Peter and I spent hours marveling at the intricacy of this car, a 1927 automobile that was still turning in competitive performances twenty years after it was built. The detail and workmanship is a credit to Delage, Auto Restorations and Peter Giddings. Bid to $1,602,034 at RM’s 2007 London sale (£775,000, this result is £721,700). It was bid to $1.3M on the block but is now reported sold at this result by RM Sotheby’s and is a unrequited bargain at this price.

by Rick Carey
23 September 2021
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.