The Delage D6 is a six-cylinder luxury car produced by the manufacturer between 1930 and 1940 and again, after the war, between 1946 and 1953. (The final cars were still receiving their bodies from specialist coach builders and being listed for sale during 1954.) For much of this time it was the company’s principal or, from 1946, only model.

The Delage D6 was a popular model, and it’s longer wheelbase sister, the inline eight-cylinder D8 model, was more so. But both were expensive, and demand was too low to sustain the company.

Rather than declaring bankruptcy, Louis Delage put his company into voluntary receivership, administrated by prominent Delage distributor Walter Watney. Delahaye’s managing director Charles Weiffenbach orchestrated an agreement with Watney and Delage, to acquire the assets of the Delage company, and from 1935 onward, Delage D6 and D8 cars were built by Delahaye, alongside its own. The new D8-120 engine was an eight-cylinder version of Delahaye’s Type 135, with two added cylinders. Weiffenbach agreed with Watney and Delage, to not build a model to compete with the Delage D8-120. The large displacement Delage was not re-introduced after the war, but the D6-70 continued, in low numbers, until Delahaye ceased to exist at the end of 1954.

The 3045 cc engine of the original D6 placed it in the 17CV car tax band which, for many contemporaries, would also have defined its position in the market hierarchy. During its long production run the car underwent a succession of changes, many of which involved enlargement or modification of the six-cylinder engine. During the 1930s there were, for some of the time, two or three different engines sizes offered. Principal changes and differences in engine sizes were marked by changes and differences as to the suffix at the end of the car’s name, generally reflecting differences in fiscal or actual horsepower. For some purposes it can be helpful to think of the D6 as a succession of closely related individual models, but the basic architecture of the chassis and engine did not differ radically between the different versions.

This exhibit comes from The Salvador Claret Automobile Collection

Read more: Transport and equipment ...