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My Love Affair With French Curves.... [PIC]

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Rich Sufficool
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began in 1970 when I was an E-5 attached to the 5th Field Hospital in Bangkok. I had bought a '55 Plymouth that must have had an interesting backstory (the dash had Chinese gauges). It ran like a champ, but in that heat, sun and humidity, parts that were designed to last the lifetime of the car were beginning fail. Thailand had an astounding 'midnight auto supply' system that somehow found the most arcane car parts generally within 24 hours (and I never asked any questions). It was amazing to see all the different cars from all over the world, some from the 1920s, that were still on the road as daily drivers. I was recommended for brakes to go to this garage downtown and I was blown away when the large bay was jammed with the king's personal car collection headlined by a small fleet of vintage Rolls-Royces all in yellow that the royal family used for state ceremonies. But, what really caught my eye, were these '30s French cars, I'd never heard of.... Delahayes with Figoni et Falaschi coachwork. I wished to hell I had brought my camera. In recent years, a lot of these swoopy teardrop streamliners of Delahaye, Talbot-Lago and the like have been immortalized in various scales. This particular 1937 Delahaye 135M Cabriolet spent most of its life in the family of an Indian prince of Mumbai's Maharashtra state. It's restored todat as part of the Mullin Automobile Collection as one of three surviving of nine similar wheel-based F&F cabriolets.

Delahaye 004
Delahaye 020
Delahaye 036
Delahaye 009
Delahaye 005
Delahaye 027
Delahaye 017
Delahaye 028
Delahaye 014
Delahaye 032 001
Delahaye 035
Delahaye 033
Delahaye 039

 


   
Marty Johnson, David Green, Bob Jackman and 3 people reacted
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Bob Jackman
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Love the writeup. That garage must have been a fantasy to a young car guy.


   
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Rich Sufficool
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@bob-jackman All of Thailand was a wonder to me. I was there for 2 1/2 years and went back a decade later for Bangkok's bicentennial. I was in my early 20s and absorbing the culture. As I've aged, there so many things I wished I would have studied more and that's just one. Back then I was just more interested in the art and architecture as it expressed the Theravada Buddhism that pervades the country. The king's motor pool was just another interesting blip.


   
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David Green
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Thank you very much for your background story Rich. Foreign country, youth, wonderful cars. What could be better? I have long been a fan of these Delawares.


   
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Marty Johnson
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Fascinating and unique story, Rich!  Most of the tales I hear about Thailand from former service members describe it as "Men's Disneyland."  I don't recall a single conversation that cars were the subject.    😉 

Regarding French curves, I have a couple, but they're in 1:24 scale.  

DSC07349
Saoutchik2

   
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Joop
 Joop
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I also had a love affair with French curves when I was young boy.....

 

Michele Mercier as Angelique....

 

ce37cb7922dc86e098df559604384045

   
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Mike DeTorrice
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A beauty in blue ..... both the car and the girl ! I am not familiar with the automobile model, so who does this one ?


   
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Rich Sufficool
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@marty-johnson Don't forget the tear-drop Talbot-Lagos... another F&F design.

Talbot Lago 012
Talbot Lago 014 002
Talbot Lago 009
Talbot Lago 007 001
Talbot Lago 021
Talbot Lago 030
Talbot Lago 043
Talbot Lago 044
Talbot Lago 032
Talbot Lago 038 001

 


   
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Rich Sufficool
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@mikedetorrice Minichamps did this and another F&F Delahaye as well as a more conservative Henri Chapron 145 V12 (shown here)

37 Delahaye 145 V12 033 001
37 Delahaye 145 V12 003
37 Delahaye 145 V12 006
37 Delahaye 145 V12 032 001
37 Delahaye 145 V12 005

 


   
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Christopher Moroni
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"Manufeek!"   🤗 🤗 


   
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Rich Sufficool
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@chris I forgot about these 1/24 1937 135 MS coupes

IMG 8912 001
IMG 8922
IMG 8860 001
IMG 8864
IMG 8895
IMG 8887
IMG 8916

 


   
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Marty Johnson
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Posted by: @rich-sufficool

@marty-johnson Don't forget the tear-drop Talbot-Lagos... another F&F design.

Talbot Lago 032

 

Oh my goodness, Rich!  Be still, my heart!


   
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john3976
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The rear tear drop designs of these car was actually an aerodynamic design flaw, the long tear drop rears would create turbulence that negatively affected aerodynamic performance. 

Peter Brock talks about this with his design of the Cobra Daytona coupe that went from paper to finished product in only 90 days. Fords Aeronautic division was asked to look at the Peter Brock design and they said it would not work and he needed to make the rear end longer like a tear drop. They were wrong. By shortening the rear end it removed a lot of turbulence created by the long tear drop designs. Peter Brock learned about this when he was at General Motors because they had technical papers on the design but General Motors like others at the time did not believe the concept would work. 

I forget the designer and the country but it was either French or German if I remember right, the original studies were all destroyed in WWII. Brock by accident found the technical papers that GM had filed away when he worked for GM and studied them. Peter Brock told Carrol Shelby that the car would not look like anything else and Shelby told Brock he did not car what the car looked like as long as it was fast. 

FZ6A1736

   
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