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Letourneur & Marchand Delage D8-120 Aerosport Coupe
Letourneur & Marchand Delage D8-120 Aerosport Coupe
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The Delage D8-120 was introduced in 1936. Built upon a modified Delahaye chassis, the D8-120 featured an advanced independent front suspension with a transverse leaf spring. The engine was essentially a Delahaye 135MS six-cylinder unit, with two additional cylinders. This robust power unit initially displaced 4.3 liters, producing 95 horsepower, and it quickly grew in both size and power output to 4,744 cc and 115 horsepower respectively. While the D8-120 weighed approximately 3,700 pounds, its eight-cylinder engine provided sufficient torque, and propelled this magnificent automobile to speeds approaching 95 miles per hour. However, the D8-120 was, and remains, best known for its fast, comfortable long-range touring capabilities, as well as its fine handling and precise steering response. The D8-120 was a perfect solution - the car's majestic grille, long hood, and striking external exhaust pipes struck just the right note, and quickly, many of Europe's leading coachbuilding firms were crafting exquisite new designs for the chassis - Saoutchik, Chapron, Pourtout and Letourner et Marchand being the most notable among them.

The elegant Aérosport coupes by Letourner et Marchand have always been considered the most attractive and it is believed that fewer than twenty of the cars, likely fourteen, were originally built in two styles: a sporty fastback, and the more elegant notchback coupé, referred to as Style 5677. The Aérosport bodies were designed by the brilliant Marcel Letourneur, who is considered by experts today alongside the renowned Jean Bugatti and Georges Paulin as one of the greatest young French designers of the 1930s. Incorporating early aerodynamic research by Andreu, both of the Letourner et Marchand body styles featured long hoods, flowing fenders, and a unique pillarless design, incorporating a window line that swept aggressively down and across the car's flanks, creating a dramatic presence. The D8-120 as produced between 1936 and 1939, and the Letourner et Marchand interpretation of the D8-120 created such a sensation upon its introduction, that it was selected to join the French government's automotive display at the 1939 New York World's Fair. 


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