Today’s featured car is a Delahaye 135 was first registered in the UK on the 24th of March 1938. It appears to be a short wheel base CS version fitted with similar body work to the Competition Special which Eugène Chaboud and Jean Trémoulet drove to victory over the sister 135 CS driven by Gaston Serraud and Yves Giraud-Cabantous in the 1938 Le Mans 24 Hour race.
This car is fitted with a 3557 cc / 217 cui straight six motor that in it’s highest state of tune, with three carburetors, produces around 160 hp.
The man seen driving this car at the VSCC Prescott meeting a couple of years ago is Sir Ralph Robin, an unsung hero of British Industry who joined Rolls Royce as an Engineer from Imperial College as a graduate apprentice in 1955.
When he retired from Rolls Royce in 2003 he was the companies longest serving employee and had risen all the way to the Chairpersonship 11 years earlier.
He helped turn the company around from a troubled nationalised enterprise in 1971 to a privatised world leader in it’s field by 1987, his deals with Cathy Pacific in 1979 and billion dollar deal with American Airlines in 1988 helped secure a future for British manufacturing for decades to come.
His CEO Sir John Rose once pithily described Sir Ralph as having “balls of steel”.
Thanks for joining me on this “Balls Of Steel” edition of ‘Gettin a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a closer look at the car in front. Don’t forget to come back now !