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Surrey Vintage Vehicle Society caters for veteran cars, vintage cars & classic cars, as well as commercials and motorcycles.



:: [  cca 1939 Talbot Lago  -  Spotted in Boulogne, France  -  July  2002   ] ::

This gorgeous car was spotted in front of a Tyre Fitting Bay in Boulogne, France, by Bozi Mohacek who managed to snap off four photos before the owner, who appeared to be in a bit of a hurry, roared off. Hence it was not possible to get to talk to him and find out more about the car. The departing noise and the appearance of the car is absolutely spectacular. The photos don't even approach in doing it justice. The car is actually very large, on the scale of the famous Mercedes Silver Arrows. Subsequent investigation suggests that this could be one of the Talbot-Lago Grand Prix cars which won the French Grand Prix and the TT Races in 1939 or that perhaps it was one of the just post-war T26C cars bored out to 4.5l which subsequently went on to do consistently well during the 1950s Le Mans and sporstcar series. Pictures have been prepared for speed of loading, which even so will take a bit of time, and have been left normal size to give full flavour of the car.



  

  



From closer study of the original of the first photo it seems that the white writing on the left side is "Ecurie France". Ecurie France did indeed race Talbot Lago Le Mans cars in the 1948- 51 period. 

The story of the origins of the famous car makers Sunbeam, Darracq and Clement-Talbot, and how they came together, is long, complicated and fascinating but by 1935 the joint company STD Motors Ltd (Sunbeam Talbot Darracq) was in trouble and went into liquidation. The company was subsequently split into a number of parts. Rootes purchased ‘Talbot of London’, whereas the French part, ‘Talbot of Suresnes', was purchased by Anthony Lago, a brilliant engineer who had worked for Talbot of Suresnes developing the famous 4l engine.

Lago continued to use the engine he had helped to develop and commenced manufacture of a series of quite exotic sports cars. Some of the cars were modified to run as single seater GP cars and to publicise the name he entered his cars in the Le Mans 24 hour race. Talbot Lagos (or Lago Talbots) came third in 1938 Le Mans and eventually won in 1950, the war years intervening. A series of Grand Prix and Le Mans cars was being manufactured in parallel with sport and saloon cars with bodywork by some of Europe’s most exotic coachbuilders. Even today Talbot Lago cars are exclusive and highly sought after and generally the centre of attraction at the most prestigious Concourse de Elegance venues such as Pebble Beach ( http://www.classics.com/pbbch00.html ).


Talbot Lago cars were raced by a number of Racing Teams including Ecurie France and the Talbot Lago's own Works Team. The official GP racing programme was terminated in 1951 although sportscar racing continued a while. As quite a number of competition cars had been manufactured they remained popular with pivateers for many years in both GP and Le Mans formulas. Eventually Lago’s finances became overstretched and in 1959 he sold the company to Simca (later Chrysler).

Pebble Beach Photo of Talbot Lago Teardrops T150 and T23 courtesy of Classics.com / Ralph Kesting © 2000'. For more great images please visit Classics.com who have a superb collection !

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