A gorgeous 1939 Delage that played a role in an Oscar-winning movie will make a rare UK appearance at Salon Privé later this month.
The 1939 D8-120 Cabriolet will appear at the Blenheim Palace event on Thursday, 30 August in the Pre-War Luxury Tourers Class of the Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance.
The car was delivered new to legendary French coachbuilder Henri Chapron as a rolling chassis, and was duly equipped with an elegant four-seater body, complete with a three-position top and ‘Bustle Back’ outline.
Reportedly commandeered by a Vichy general in WW2 France, it was shipped over to California once the war had finished. However, the general was refused a US visa and instead fled to Argentina, never to see the car again. Instead, he sold it to Hollywood studio RKO Pictures – and there its life really began.
In 1950, bosses at MGM decided it would be perfect for a role in the sumptuous musical An American in Paris – a Gene Kelly picture that went on to win six Oscars.
The Delage was duly given a cosmetic makeover, with modifications made to the taillights and a new green paintjob, and features prominently in a scene in which Kelly is chauffeured around Paris alongside actress Nina Foch. You can see it in action towards the end of the clip below: