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Delahaye

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Delahaye automobile was an automotive manufacturing company founded by Emile Delahaye in 1894, in Tours, France, his home town. His first cars were belt-driven, with single- or twin-cylinder engines mounted at the rear. His Type One was an instant success, and he urgently needed investment capital and a larger manufacturing facility. Both were provided by a new Delahaye owner and fellow racer, George Morane, and his brother-in-law Leon Desmarais, who partnered with Emile in the incorporation of the new automotive company, "Societe Des Automobiles Delahaye", in 1898. All three worked with the foundry workers to assemble the new machines, but middle-aged Emile was not in good health. In January 1901, he found himself unable to capably continue, and resigned, selling his shares to his two equal partners. Emile Delahaye died soon after, in 1905. Delahaye had hired two instrumental men, Charles Weiffenbach and Amadee Varlet in 1898, to assist the three partners. Both were graduate mechanical engineers, and they remained with Delahaye their entire working careers. Weiffenbach was appointed Manager of Operations, and, with the blessing of both George Morane and Leon Desmarais, assumed control over all of Delahaye's operations and much of its decision-making, in 1906. Amadee Varlet was the company's design-engineer, with a number of innovative inventions to his credit, generated between 1905 and 1914, which Delahaye patented. These included the twin-cam multi-valve engine, and the V6 configuration. Varlet continued in this role until he eventually took over the Drawing Office, at 76 years of age, when much younger Jean Francois was hired in 1932 as chief design-engineer. In 1932, Varlet was instructed by Weiffenbach, under direction from majority shareholder Madam Desmarais, Leon Desmarais' widow, to set up the company's Racing Department, assisted by Jean Francois.

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