09 augustus 2010

I am not a car, I am a Delahaye

Held each year since 1950, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is now the centerpiece of a week-long collector car festival in Monterey each August, and in addition to becoming the world’s foremost classic car event, it is increasingly being preferred by prestige manufacturers as the launch platform for new and concept vehicles. This year the car regarded by some as the most beautiful collector car in the world is to go under the auctioneer’s hammer. The work of prodigiously talented automotive stylist and coachbuilder Jacques Saoutchik, this 1949 Delahaye 175 S Roadster is expected to fetch around US$6 million.

Saoutchik was a cabinet maker when he moved to Paris from his home in Ukraine around 1900, but he didn’t take long to establish himself in the fledgling automotive coachbuilding industry and he showed a consistent flair over the next 50 years which puts him among the very elite of automotive designers.

His designs borrowed little from other designers, and along with names such as Figoni et Falaschi, Chapron, Franay and de Letourner et Marchand, Saoutchik was one of the foremost designers of exquisite Art Deco coachwork during the 20s and 30s.

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