Peter Portugal - Automobile Design and Fabrication
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News: The Dolphin is for sale.

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1936 Delahaye style roadster, one-of-a-kind 120 mph art piece featured in publications all over the world. It is a stunning automobile that has won awards in almost every car, woodworking, and art show it's been entered in. It has a wooden body, fiberglass fenders, leather & wicker interior, sports car suspension, and a Datsun 280ZX engine on a custom frame.

It was recently appraised at $282,000. For more information contact Peter Portugal at (707) 599--2158 or email

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120 mph art piece in the style of a 1936 Delahaye

I'm an artist who loves cars. The 1930's French automobiles designed by Figoni and Falaschi were the inspiration for this car. The wood is from a 250 year old Redwood tree that shaded my shop until it fell down in a windstorm in 1981. The car took over 5 years working full time to build and was completed in 1994.

In 2002 the car was hit by a man who ran a stop sign while talking on his cell phone. It sat in my shop under a tarp for ten years before I was able to deal with the crumpled mess. It took over a year to rebuild the frame, suspension, steering and body in order to make it roadworthy again. It's very fast, and has always been great fun to drive. I believe the best part of owning a car is driving it. The Dolphin has never been a trailer queen and it has the scars to prove it. I could take them out but then I'd be afraid to drive it.

The stunning look of the car overshadows any imperfections. It continues to win best of show awards. The Dolphin has won awards in almost every car, woodworking and art show it was entered. It was an award winner at the last Oakland Roadster Show and has been featured in publications all over the world including an award of excellence from American Woodworker Magazine and the cover car on the Woodie Times. It was on the Learning Channel's show "Understanding Cars" that has been shown in English and Spanish speaking countries.

Since building the Dolphin I have built cars that have been at Pebble Beach, Meadow Brook, and in museums in the US and England and the Dolphin remains my favorite.

Thank you for your interest at my car and please don't use your cell phone while driving.

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News: The Dolphin won the Mayor's Best in Show at The Los Altos Fall Festival Classic Car Show, 10/7/2017.

Peter Portugal Artist Statement


I am an artist who loves cars. My first car was a 1931 Ford that had been abandoned in a field, I was 15 and the year was 1957. I have been towing home dead cars ever since.

By the early 60's I had moved on to a 1932 Chrysler four door convertible sedan which I restored and a 1953 Austin Healey. I majored in architectural engineering at Cal Poly, had a model photography company, did instructional research, and became a contractor specializing in restoring and remodeling period homes and businesses. During my spare time I was building and modifying cars.

In 1988 it was time to take the engineering, art, and construction skills I had developed along that journey and apply them to my first love - cars. The result was the Dolphin. It is a wooden bodied sports car built in the style of Fagoni and Filaschi.

From there I started building Packard concept cars, customs and other fun projects. I love what I do and it is my hope that you enjoy the projects shown on this website.
Thank you,


See the Links page for Wikicars pages about Peter's automobiles.

© Peter Portugal 2015
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