Émile Delahaye

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Emile Delahaye (October 16, 1843 – June 1, 1905) was a French automotive pioneer who founded Delahaye Automobiles.

Emile Delahaye was born in Tours, Indre-et-Loire, in the Loire Valley. He studied engineering at a trade school in the city of Angers, the same school later attended by Louis Delâge, another automobile pioneer. For a time, Delahaye worked in Belgium before returning to Tours where he was married in 1873. In 1879, he took over a local business specializing in the manufacturing of brick kilns and related equipment for the ceramics trade. Delahaye experimented with steam and internal combustion engines, eventually converting part of the company's production to the manufacture of stationary petrol engines. In 1894, he displayed his first automobile at the first-ever Paris Motor Show.

In order to gain publicity for his product, Delahaye raced one of his own cars in the 1896 Paris–Marseille–Paris road race. Faced with health problems, Delahaye partnered with two industrialists from Paris, brothers-in-law Leon Desmarais and Georges Morane. By 1898, the new owners had relocated the entire operation from Tours to Paris. In 1901, Delahaye's poor health forced him to retire to the French Riviera where he died in 1905.

The company he founded would survive until 1954.

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