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Celebrating French Curves
938 Peugeot 402 Darl’mat Special Coupe by Pourtout

The annual Monterey car week, being the largest automobilia show in America, is always a prime opportunity to see some of the rarest and most beautiful vintage cars, as well as the occasional chance to purchase one. This year is no exception, as this stunning Peugeot will be up for auction.

This racing coupe was a collaboration between Emile Darl’mat, a licensed dealer of special-bodied Peugeots, and the Bougival-based coachbuilder Carrosserie Pourtout. Designed by Pourtout’s chief stylist, Georges Paulin, this gorgeous Art Deco masterpiece was handbuilt in northern France on a lightweight 402 “Légère” chassis provided to Darl’mat by Peugeot. It’s believed the finished car was one of the six coupes built on such chassis, and one of three which still survives today.

Presenting the epitome of the interwar French Curves design movement, this Peugeot has plenty of of unique features, including a sloping front grille, sculpted unintegrated teardrop fenders, dual rear glass panels, and chrome discs that decorate the engine bay and break up air flowing over the front fenders. Some of Darl’mat’s special pieces were dedicated competition cars, with a similar example finishing fifth at Le Mans in 1938.

Chassis number 705536 was originally finished in a two-tone exterior of French beige and black, and was given to racing team director Alfred Giauque in late December 1938 as a Christmas present. After a few changes of hands, the car received a comprehensive restoration. This vintage work of art will be available in RM Sotheby’s Monterey action on 19 August with an estimate of US$ 1,100,000 – 1,500,000.