This re-bodied 1955 Bentley served as the inspiration for Cook’s Sultan concept. Photos from www.delahaye.com.
Much like our readers, we love to spend a few moments each day going through social media looking at all the stuff making the rounds in the interwebs. If you have some social media accounts, like Pinterest, they will even email you some of the latest photos that have gone up on their site.
A clay quarter model was created and the car was digitized so that craftsmen in Thailand could make wood body bucks to help create the steel body.
As we flashed through the hundreds of photos, one caught our eye. Not because of the content as much as the title. The photo contained what was obviously a goutte d’eau body from a Delahaye. The title however stated that the car was a 1951 Bentley.
Bentley, a British manufacturer and marketer of luxury cars, and Delahaye, the French inventor and automotive pioneer of the V6 engine, have little in common. How could somebody confuse the two? The British cars were fairly square in design compared to the swooping tear drop pontoon design of the Delahaye. It is almost blasphemy to consider a combination of the two.
At over 18-feet long, these incredible cars would be a rear chore to drive. They would certainly bring an audience wherever you went.
A little more research was required but we tracked down the story. Former automotive editor Terry Cook, now a part of Delahaye USA, had seen a re-bodied 175 Delahaye, with a Jacques Saoutchik coachbuilt body, in 2000. He liked it so much that he decided to create his own modern day design as a tribute to Saoutchik.
After a quarter scale model was built, the car was digitized and sent to Thailand to have a wood body buck built. They dubbed the project “Sultan” for the earlier work of Jacques Saoutchik. For the next handful of years a steel body was created over the buck, hand hammer formed, and shipped to San Bernardino, California.
The car reportedly sits in primer paint, awaiting its new owner to claim the one-of-a-kind build and complete it.
The decorative body trim was formed and added, and the body was shipped back east. Currently the car is sitting in Port Leyden, New York, awaiting someone to buy and complete the project. The body and chassis combination can be had for $200,000 as is, or the Delahaye USA team can complete the project for the new owner.