French Delaunay-Belleville Coupe Chauffeur Type HB6 from 1912

French Delaunay-Belleville Coupe Chauffeur Type HB6 from 1912, six cylinders, 4423 cc, 21 HP, 70 km/h. One of the most luxury cars of the 1910s. In particular, Nicholas II of Russia (last Emperor of All Russia) had one.

Automobiles Delaunay-Belleville was a French luxury automobile manufacturer at Saint-Denis, France, north of Paris. At the beginning of the 20th century they were among the most prestigious cars produced in the world, and perhaps the most desirable French marque.

S.A. des Automobiles Delaunay-Belleville was formed in 1903 by Louis Delaunay and Marius Barbarou. Barbarou’s family owned the boiler making company Belleville in Saint-Denis, with boiler design influences inspired by the company.

Barbarou, then 28, had experience working for Clément, Lorraine-Dietrich and Benz and was responsible for design and styling, including the trademark round grille shell. The first car was exhibited at the 1904 Paris Salon, and it received enormous acclaim.

The company started with three models, all four-cylinders: a live axled 16 hp and a 24 hp and 40 hp model, both chain-driven. These were likely the first automobiles to have pressure-lubricated camshafts.

The bodies were attached with just four bolts, and the brakes were water-cooled, from a 2 imp gal (9.1 L; 2.4 US gal) reservoir.

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