Automobiles Lombard


La Delettrez Diesel


According to S. Pozzoli, Châssis 'W' must be in this car ?

From the web :


(Photos from 24 Heures du Mans 1923-1992 - Editions d'art J.P. Barthelemy)


[...] And so, did Le Mans ever get a taste of diesel? Only after the war and the contender was very much a low key effort. The austerity of the late Forties called for a certain amount of improvisation and the French Government, in its Plan Monnet, required commercial vehicles to be diesel-powered. The enterprising Delettrez family saw a market for converting American ex-army surplus engines to diesels and it occurred to the two brothers Jean and Jacques to publicise their activities by entering the first post-war Le Mans race in 1949. Their father’s Unic agency gave access to a prototype U4C chassis to which was coupled a U6C front end, in went a diesel GMC 6-cylinder of 4395c.c. transmitting through a Cotal gearbox (with an unnecessary overdrive) and the whole was clothed in an ex V-12 Delage bodyshell somewhat cut about the cockpit and front end!
Thus was the recipe for Le Mans first diesel entry, the Delettrez, which appeared in the first three post-war races. A lack of fuel took it out in the 20th hour in 1949, a flat battery accounted for its failure in 1950, although it completed that year’s Paris 12-hours in the September albeit too far back because of a split tank to be classified, while a design fault in the modified engine’s lubrication system after only 338 kilometres caused its retirement a year later.[...]
David Blumlein


Here we clearly face a problem, and I need to investigate further as in this article they said that the frame was from an Unic and not a Lombard !

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