Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Craziest Car I Ever Drove

As an auto flack, my job occassionally gives me the opportunity to drive really cool, new and interesting cars. I've driven fuel cell vehicles (very quiet), a ton of turbodiesels unavailable for sale in North America (but a few are here, I helped Honeywell petition EPA for the waivers to register them here), Australian gas turbo Fords, the EV1 in DC in the late 1990s when I with USCAR, but none can top the utterly ridiculous vehicle here.

I few years ago, a client wanted to see his Delahaye featured in AutoWeek. I wanted to be published in a car magazine, as this was my dream all through college. We both lucked out. The owner, all round cool car nut with the means to have a warehouse full of cars, Gordon Wangers of AMCI/Jim Wangers fame, told me a few years ago that the car had been traded.
Here is the brief report on driving a 70-year-old, now $400,000 LeMans winner in rush hour traffic:

Driving the 1937 Delahaye Type 135M Drophead Coupe


KDPaine said...

I'm SO jealous. As a descendant of the original Delahaye, and having started and run a company by that name, one of my life's goals has been to actually drive one. You're story was as close as I've gotten. thank you!

Chris Terry said...

Car was surprising quick, had a wicked exhaust note, but double clutching every shift, matching revs to ground speed, AND having your multimillionaire client sitting next to watching you gnarl up his synchros in rush hour was very, very nerve-racking. Same guy has about 30 old Pontiacs that are all close to mint. His uncle Jim helped bring the GTO to market as an ad guy in 60s.