In the 1930s, well before the words “Unique” and “Exclusive” had begun to be abused as they are today, luxury cars were often truly unique “One Off” motor cars. Very often a customer would buy a rolling chassis and engine and then go to a coachbuilder who would create the bodywork and interior to his personal specification.
Marques, now sadly gone out of business, such as Delage, Voisin, Delahaye and Talbot in France, produced both racing cars and luxurious touring cars with body styles and detailing that made them truly unique in the sense that only the most expensive customizers and specialist producers can do today.
In our continuing efforts to provide collectors with subjects for their personal car museums in miniature, here then, are some of the cars we have chosen from the Golden Age of the 1930s.
Bugatti 57 S Cabriolet 1937
Bodied by “Gangloff” this elegant cabriolet’s lines put the car in a class of understated, sporting elegance all it own.
Delahaye 135 1936
This car’s bodywork was designed by the well known French motoring illustrator “Geo Ham” and produced by the coachbuilder “Figoni & Fallaschi” who produced some of the most flamboyantly bodied cars on various manufacturers’ chassis of the 1930s. The car’s wings were designed to look like the wheel spats of contemporary racing aeroplanes.
Talbot Lago 1937
This short chassis, Super Sport “Tear Drop” coupe was a sensation at the 1937 New York car show. This was another design by “Geo Ham” and also produced by the coachbuilder “Figoni & Fallaschi”. The futuristic sensuality of its lines have made it an all time Art Deco objet d’art.
Delage D8-120S 1937
This one off car, bodied for Louis Delage by the French coachbuilder “Pourtout” was a design in refined simplicity and restraint with its very slim windscreen surround, absence of side pillars and few chrome embellishments, its lines were enhanced by lowered suspension to produce this clean, purposeful, streamlined look.
Voisin C27 Aerosport 1934
A commercial competitor to the Bugatti 57 Atalante, this sporting coupe had a pneumatic sliding roof which could instantly turn the car from a coupe to a cabriolet. It was produced by an aeroplane manufacturer and this aluminium body on one of only two wooden chassis was a unique car.