The bright blue vintage sports car sputtered to life and spewed smoke as it roared down a Monterey back street before stalling at a red light.
Tapping the temperature gauge nervously and struggling with the grinding gearbox, the driver shouted, “It actually runs pretty well — for an 80-year-old race car!”
The following day, parked among shinier and more coveted historic automobiles on the 18th green at Pebble Beach for the annual Concours d’Elegance, the Delahaye didn’t turn many heads.
But eight decades ago, it was a champion and arguably the most important car in the racing world.
On Aug. 27, 1937, French driver Rene Dreyfus broke a world speed record with the 12-cylinder Delahaye.
Seven months later, Dreyfus and his Delahaye beat a German car at a Grand Prix race in southern France.
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