The name Talbot is inextricably linked in the veteran era with that of Adolphe Clément who had commenced motor car production as early as 1899, graduating like so many contemporary French manufacturers from the bicycle industry and also active involvement in the development of the pneumatic tyre. Clément's earliest cars adopted the ubiquitous De Dion Bouton engines, while a Clément-Panhard was also built to the design of Commandant Krebs of Panhard-Levassor fame. Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, 20th Earl of Shrewsbury, lent his name in 1903 to a new company established in England to import French Clément-Bayard motor cars. The Clément, Talbot, Bayard history is at best complicated and the marketing of their cars and branding thereof perhaps appeared somewhat random. This car carries supplier's plates on the footboards bearing the name of Clement Talbot Ltd, Ladbroke Grove, North Kensington and the Veteran Car Club of GB, in dating the car, record it as a Talbot. Whatever the nomenclature there is no doubting that this is a car of quality for which all the aforementioned brand names were highly respected.
This car has a truly remarkable history having been in one family for more than 80 years of its life. It was delivered new to its first owner, William Roberts of Ipswich, in 1904. Dashboard plaques suggest supply by W. A. McCurd Ltd. of Euston Road, London, and The British Automobile Commercial Syndicate Ltd., of Long Acre, London. It seems that Roberts owned this car until 1916 at which point it passed to a Robert Stiff of Manningtree, Essex, and in immediate post-war years 1919 passing into the family that would retain ownership until the turn of the 21st Century. It was H.M. Poole of White Lodge, Mistley, Essex, who acquired the car in 1919. At that time the car was in need of mechanical refreshment and correspondence survives ordering parts from Talbot for the 'veteran' car. It is not known how long the venerable Talbot remained in commission however it remained in the Poole family, later passing to son Robert at Dale Hall, Lawford, near Manningtree.
Over the years the car was kept in storage in dismantled condition and was retrieved from such storage in the early 1980's. The car was loosely assembled and found to be in remarkably complete and original condition, despite the gentle ravages of time having taken their toll. It was decided to restore DX 128 to its former glory and this work was entrusted to the workshops at The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. Following a detailed and supremely well documented restoration the file is offered with the car DX 128 took to the road again on 3rd November 1991 to complete its first London to Brighton Run, its restorer Tony Taylor, at the wheel. The car was subsequently loaned for exhibition purposes to The National Motor Museum. In more recent times the rear part of the body has been constructed, transforming the car from two seater to most useful rear-entrance tonneau, four-seater configuration.
DX 128 is very smartly presented in green livery with fine black and red coachlining. It is furnished with deep-buttoned black leather upholstery and generously equipped with Lucas 'King of the Road' No. CM52 acetylene headlamps, Castle oil side lamps and a Lucas oil rear lamp, together with a brass bulb horn and Oldfield Dependence rear view mirror. The car enjoys the added benefit of a two-piece folding windscreen and tailored tonneau covers.
Mechanical specification includes a twin-cylinder engine with separately cast cylinders and two camshafts operating the side inlet and exhaust valves. A Prested coil provides the spark along with a Ruthardt magneto and a Dubrulle oiler no.7203 provides the lubrication. Drive is through a three-speed gearbox with shaft final drive. Semi-elliptic leaf springs provide for passenger comfort and the car sits on 30 x 3 1/2in beaded edge tyres.
In all, a delightful twin-cylinder, four seat LBVCR eligible car and also eligible for all events organised for Veteran Car Club members, including the hugely popular Creepy Crawly Rally for single and twin cylinder cars. This most attractive and surprisingly nimble veteran is Veteran Car Services Ltd dated (Certificate no.2010 signed by Chairman Alan Sutton) and comes with a Swansea registration document, history file and restoration records. It will be offered with current road fund licence and MoT certificate and the Royal Automobile Club have kindly agreed that should the successful purchaser wish to drive this car on the 2011 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run on 6th November an entry will be granted subject to payment of the appropriate entry fee.