Iconic Classic Car: 1939 Delahaye 165 V-12 Cabriolet at Mullin Auto Museum

Only at the Mullin Automotive Museum could a car as brilliant, unique and influential as this Type 165 Cabriolet be summed up as “Car 30.”

Amid the world’s finest collection of all-things pre-war and coach-built, the Oxnard, California Mullin Museum is a must-visit for all car fans.

Those with a special passion for classics will find none other than 90-plus completely one-off models in the astounding collection.

1939 Delahaye 165 V-12 Cabriolet at Mullin Auto Museum15

Housed in a glamorous stage-type museum building, the mood is right for period flashbacks with a recreated LeMans pit area real enough to be a fire hazard.

Everything is magnificent about the museum, which has a handful of open days a month for the public to lovingly admire these cars from up close.

1939 Delahaye 165 V-12 Cabriolet at Mullin Auto Museum3

Car Details c/o Mullin Museum

1939 Delahaye Type 165 Cabriolet



DELAHAYE PRODUCED ONLY SIX 12-cylinder Type 165s as production variants of its successful Type 145 competition car. This car was built to represent France at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, an exposition promoted with the slogan “Dawn of a New Day”. While the engine was not completed in time for its display, the modernity and sublime beauty of this car’s styling drew throngs of admirers from the public and the press.

1939 Delahaye 165 V-12 Cabriolet at Mullin Auto Museum12

Europe was engulfed by war by the fair’s close in 1940 and U.S. Custom’s impounded this car in New York for the duration of the war. In 1946 Roger Barlow purchased it at public auction and took it to his Beverly Hills dealership. Later that year, installed with a special high-powered Cadillac motor, the car was purchased for $12,000 by businessman Vivan Corradini, who drove the car home to New York.

1939 Delahaye 165 V-12 Cabriolet at Mullin Auto Museum18

In 1951 a Naval Luitenant Nevels purchased the car from a used car lot in Honolulu. In 1953 Nevels sold it to an enlisted man. A Fresno garage, assumed ownership of the car after it was abandoned by the enlisted man’s widow.

Al Brewer, a tow truck driver purchased it from the garage for $1,200 in the 1970s. After four years of negotiation, Jim Hull and Peter Mullin purchased the car in 1985 and began its restoration, purchasing its original engine from Count Hubertus von Doenhoff.

This car is owned by Peter and Merle Mullin and the Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation.

 Coachbuilder: Figoni et Falaschi
 Chassis No. 60744
 Production No.:1 of 6 Produced
 Engine No. 60744
 V12-Cylinder Engine
 184 BHP at 4,000 RPM
 4,495 CC
 Overhead Valves with Hemispherical Head
 4-Speed Cotal Pre-Selector Gearbox
 Front Semi-Elliptical Transverse Leaf Spring with Upper Control Arms and Lever Action Shock Absorbers.
 Live Rear Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs and Lever Action Shock Absorbers
 4–Wheel Hydraulically Operated Drum Brakes

1939 Delahaye 165 V-12 Cabriolet at Mullin Auto Museum10

Please visit this car’s homepage on the Mullin site for more info about the collection, the museum, and how to visit sunny Oxnard via the local hotels in Santa Barbara!

Very gracious Image credits to:

– AutoWeek, Mullin Museum, Mark Fuhrman Photography Limited, Amelia Island Concours, Pebble Beach Concours.