The annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction tends to bring out the biggest and the best of the automotive world, and 2015 was no different. A grand total of $131 million in automobiles exchanged hands during the 10-day event, with an impressive $2.7 million in cars bearing the designs of custom car legend Boyd Coddington.
One such car was this 1930s Delahaye Street Rod, nicknamed ‘Whatthehaye’. The painfully gorgeous two-door sold for an impressive $671,000 and left us in a daze, so we rang up Boyd Coddington Jr. and he shared with us a few special memories of the car, the build, and his dad.
“It’s actually kind of a funny story,” Boyd Jr. noted. “In my office, I had a couple shelves with a few die-cast cars on them, one of them was a blue Delahaye. Every once in a while my pop would come in and talk, and for about a week he would just look at this Delahaye up on the shelf. Then one day I came in and it was gone [laughs].”
“I knew exactly what he was doing. We had looked at and done some big-fender cars, and that’s really the direction that we were going with it. Pop’s philosophy was that everyone had built a roadster, what’s the next level with custom cars?”
“We were drawing up all these original renders – Packards, Delahayes – next thing you know, I see a rendering on my dad’s desk. It was the first for the ‘Whatthehaye.’”
Emile Delahaye founded the heritage French automaker in the late 1890s, and by the 1930s his sleek designs featured powerful straight-six engines. Boyd Sr. respected those iconic body lines, added his own flair, and swapped in some 21st century power.
Underneath the custom body – crafted by Marcel Delay – lies the V10 engine and six-speed gearbox from a Dodge Viper, riding atop a Coddington Pro Ride chassis. European style, chopped American attitude.
“That’s just what he did. The filing cabinets of that business were all in his head. He would think about something and next thing you know, it would be on paper. That’s why he worked so well with artists – he already had the thing in his head.”
The build, which began in 2003, was completed in 2004 for one of Coddington’s most faithful repeat customers, Scotty Gray. Fittingly, Gray originally owned a number of the Boyd Coddington cars that sold from the Ron Pratte Collection. For $671k, we’re guessing this one found quite a nice home.