The very significant Million Franc Delahaye 145 returns to the race track for the Monterey Motorsports Reunion this August 14 to 16.

Prewar Grand Prix racing was pretty much the sport of drifting art deco buildings powered by V12s around city streets… and it was glorious.

Though, by 1937, motorsports were being dominated by German and Italian marques. France wanting some glory as well, offered one million francs (about 71.8 million in today’s scratch) to whichever French manufacturer could beat the lap record around Montlhéry.

As you’ve likely deduced from the Delahaye’s prefix, it took the top honors.

1937_Delahaye_145V12GrandPrix7

Not only that, but the following year it went up against the all-conquering Silver Arrows Mercedes 154 and bested them at the Grand Prix de Pau, thus putting France back to the forefront of motor racing.

It’s amazing what a little government money can do…

—Bryan Campbell