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
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
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.