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Talbot 150 / 26 Lago

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T26 Speciale Sport

When Antonio Lago took over the remnants of the French branch of the bankrupt STD concern (Sunbeam, Talbot, Darracq) in 1930 he gradually directed his factory to the production of expensive sport- and luxury cars. The company assumed the Talbot Lago name and created a strong racing competition base for establishing its name.

During the 1930s French coach builders excelled in designing and building very expressive bodywork. One of the best known examples of that is the "Goutte d'Eau" (=teardrop) shape created by Figoni & Falaschi. By some regarded as expressionist art, it made for a very elegant and exuberant styling that has become unique to that era. Here you see a coupé example of that style on a very potent 1937 Talbot Lago T150 SS chassis.

The T150 Speciale Sport was more racing- than touring car and featured a 4 litre 6-cylinder in-line engine producing 140 hp @ 4000 rpm in standard form. The Corsa model of that type, strictly meant for the track, was tuned to deliver up to 180 hp.

1948 Talbot Lago Type 26 Grand Sport Le Mans

A true sports competition car is this 1948 Talbot Lago Type 26 Grand Sport Le Mans. It was built for the famous Le Mans endurance race by Contamin and was based on the Type 26 Grand Prix car.

This neat little coupé is propelled by a big and powerful 4,5 litre 6-cylinder in-line engine, with double camshafts. For normal road use this engine offered at least 190 hp @ 4200 rpm, good for a top of 195 kph. In racing form this could be much more, depending on the level of tuning. As much as 300 hp has been recorded.

The T26 Grand Sport won the Le Mans race in 1950 in the hands of Louis Rosier.

Type 26 Grand Sport

A very pretty "civilian" version of the Type 26 Grand Sport is this coupé by Swiss coach builder Graber. Antonio Lago cherished the policy that the engines that established the Talbot name in racing should also be fitted in the cars he sold commercially. That's why the impressively powerful Type 26 Grand Prix engine also appeared in this sporty luxury car.

These cars were extremely expensive to buy, so sales remained limited. Most Talbot Lagos T26 were fitted with unique bodywork. Many customers found out to their surprise that their elegant new acquisition had a performance fit for experts. Still, reports state that the T26 GS was quite fit for normal road use too.

Unfortunately the extreme prices and engineering of Talbot Lago meant that the company became less profitable each year, leading to a take-over by Simca in 1959, and the subsequent death of Antonio Lago meant the end of this great marque (okay, so I'm not counting those awful PSA products that appeared under the Talbot name during the early 1980s).

Expect to pay a whole lot of money for a car like this these days, for it's rare and very beloved amongst enthusiasts.