The Fox — that gentleman thief of Shanghai — has been spotted and chased once again by the Shanghai Municipal Police, but as yet they have been unable to capture the elusive burglar. One reason is his choice of automobile. Based on witness statements, the police have established it is a European-made barchetta with a large displacement straight-6 or -8 motor. The vehicle is matte black, without headlights or indicators of any kind…

— The Shanghai Times

…and here it is: a 1932 Delage D8S, heavily modified for racing, then further tweaked for le Renard‘s night-time escapades. With a 4 litre straight-8 motor (a first for French cars at the time), and a four speed Cotal pre-selector gearbox, the standard model D8S could generate 102hp! Le Balle (the Bullet) uses a Roots supercharger to boost that to almost 120hp.  Strippred of fenders, identifying bodywork, indicators and headlights, le Balle is a machine designed to run fast and turn swiftly, and no be easily identified.

22406148_1574295129297352_6439127602740782098_n.jpg“LE BALLE” 1932 DELAGE D8S:   Size: 2   Def: 6   Str: 6   Spd: 100   Han: +2   Crew: 1   Pass: 1

The alter ego of the Fox is the famed French actor, Marcel Cointreau, who has been highly successful in romantic comedies and song & dance films for Tianyi Studios in Shanghai. His around town vehicle shows his love for the Delage brand —

1934 DELAGE D8-105

The motor size of the straight-8 was reduced to 2.7 litres for the model year to take advantage of tax scales, but the -105 model was released shortly afterward as the performance version of the D8 Normale. A 3.4 litre motor turned out 105hp, and the bespoke bodywork on this Delage is from the Parisian house Letourneur & Marchand. Recently, a supercharger was added to the motor by one of the mechanics in the Foreign Volunteer Force (aka “the Sky Rats”) giving it a 120hp (as well as shorter range and a new overheating problem…)

22491650_1574293555964176_2006534562909723281_n.jpg

Size: 2   Def: 4   Str: 8   Spd: 80*   Han: 0   Crew: 1   Pass: 4 (* With the supercharger, the speed is 100mph.)

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