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Automobile legend Horace Dodge's 1921 luxury yacht named after his daughter Delphine could be yours… for $50MILLION
22:35 GMT, 17 December 2012
The Belgian owners of an enormous luxury yacht built and owned by legendary Detroit automobile pioneer Horace Elgin Dodge have put the vessel up for sale for a staggering $50million.
Constructed in 1920, The Delphine – named after Dodge's daughter – has been restored many times since it first set sail in 1921 and these days features an on-deck jacuzzi, a hair salon, a gymnasium, sauna and eleven double rooms each with en suite bathrooms.
Dodge, the youngest of the famous fraternal partnership was well known for his mechanical excellence but died before The Delphine was launched in 1921 and never knew of its troublesome time on the water.
All aboard: The luxurious SS Delphine, built by automobile magnate Horace Elgin Dodge of Detroit, has been put up for sale by its current Belgian owners for $50million
Grand: One of the eleven double suites on board since its restoration in 1997
Not too shabby: In this picture after an earlier restoration in the 1950s, a twin room boasts luxurious carpets and panelled walls
During its very first journey to New York, The Delphine caught fire and sank.
Raised and restored, the doomed vessel then ran aground in the Great Lakes in 1940 before it was sold to the US Navy during the Second World War as a patrol boat.
Former glory: A black and white picture of one of the many function rooms on the Dodge family's 259ft yacht that accommodated 55 crew members and over 20 guests
Party time: A long bar and grand piano hints at the many parties hosted by the Dodges and subsequent owners on board The Delphine
Relax: Horace Dodge died before his beloved yacht launched for the first time in 1921 and sank on the way to New York
The Navy returned The Delphine to the Dodge family after the war and in the 1960s it left Detroit for good, bought and sold by various owners until it fell into the hands of its current owners.
In 1997 they restored the yacht again, bringing the features, amenities and detail up to modern standards of luxury and operating it out of Monaco as $1.5million per month charter.
Original owners: Automobile legend Horace Elgin Dodge built the vessel in 1920 and named it after his daughter Delphine (right)
Bedtime: The Delphine was restored after its initial disaster and again after World War II and this decadent bedroom is a product of its final refurbishment by its current Belgian owners
Light lunch anyone An opulent dining room with silk fabrics and ornate place settings
Immaculate: A state of the art kitchen where meals are prepared for guests on the $1.5million per month charter
Al fresco: Guests can eat and take drinks up on deck during the day or night
Recent photographs show expensive wood panelling, elaborate carpets, and state of the art kitchen and bathroom facilities.
The 259-foot behemoth is thought to be the largest private yacht ever built on the Great Lakes and is now permanently docked in Tunisia.
Horace and John Dodge made their fortune selling parts for the automobile industry and in 1903 won a contract to build engines for Henry Ford, a deal that would bring them enviable success and invaluable shares in the Ford Motor Company.
Pamper: The boat features a sauna, Turkish bath and on-deck jacuzzi as well as a hair salon and gymnasium
Soaking: A jacuzzi tub sits atop a platform at the rear of The Delphine
In 1913 the inseparable brothers ended their relationship with Ford and focussed their efforts on creating their own eponymous motorcar.
The Dodge brothers were notorious not only for their wealth and influence in the business community but also for their brash personalities and opulence when it came to their personal assets.
For a long while, when the Delphine belonged to the Dodge family, it remained docked at Rose Terrace, Horace Dodge's regal sandstone mansion in Lake Shore, Grosse Pointe.
Battle ship: The Delphine was bought by the US Navy in the 1940s and used during the war as a patrol boat when it wasn't docked in Washington, D.C.
Luxury liner: Restored to its status as impressive private yacht, it is thought to be the biggest ever built on the Great Lakes
The Delphine was not the boating enthusiast's first yacht, but it was by the far his most grandiose.
Photographs of the most recent restoration are not a far cry from the 1950s refurbishments and though the Dodge family used the luxury yacht for throwing lavish parties, original pictures of the boat are hard to come by.
One Detroit man who was lucky enough to board the boat in the 1960s told the Detroit Free Press that although the guest cabins were 'locked up tight' and he couldn't peak in, the unique configuration of the engine rooms were typical of Horace Dodge's habit of always trying new things.