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Restoring Century-Old Delage Type-S Grand Prix Is Possible With This Technology

By Donna Bellevue , Mar 29, 2017 04:00 AM EDT
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In Australia, a rare Delage Type-S Grand Prix is restored to its original glorious beauty thanks to the hi-tech digital world of 3D technology. A team of specialists based in the Victorian goldfields town of Castlemaine turned to 3D printing and scanning to rescue an extraordinary piece of automotive history. Now, one of the most beloved classic cars cruises along Australian roads to display the innovative will and sheer passion for vintage vehicles of the team who restored it.

How the car survived long enough to reach such a catastrophic breakdown is fascinating in itself. There is even a black and white footage of the car in action at critical moments during the Grand Prix race, careening through the 23-mile route. Despite winning only the third place, it proves to be luckier than the ones that won first and second places.

During the first World War, the third-placer Delage Type-S Grand Prix narrowly escaped the tragic fates of the winning and second place cars in that race. The war required loads of guns causing most cars to be melted down for use in munitions. The third place car, owned by a Frenchman, made its way out of Europe and over to the town of Castlemaine in Australia, the ABC reported.

The car was treated as racing royalty as it continued to hum along despite its advanced age until the cylinder block cracked dealing a death blow to the machine. However, instead of relegating it to a museum, its new owner decided to bring the car to driving order again. He turned to Grant Cowie, a pre-war motorcar engineer, and industrial designer Phil Guilfoyle, to create the pieces needed to get the car back on the road, according to the 3D Print.

The team decided to utilize the latest in manufacturing technology for the Delage Type-S Grand Prix, scanning the existing engine block using a versatile 3D scanning arm. Next, they used a voxeljet VX1000 3D printer in Melbourne to create the mold for the new engine. It was the perfect marriage between highly skilled craftsman and modern manufacturing capabilities, leaving the car's owner satisfied with the risk that he took to keep the old car alive.

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