1919 Clement Talbot 25/50hp 4 ½ litre Type 4SW Allweather Tourer  Chassis no. SW10206 Engine no. 372SW

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Lot 375
1919 Clement Talbot 25/50hp 4 ½ litre Type 4SW Allweather Tourer
Registration no. CE 6486 Chassis no. SW10206 Engine no. 372SW

Sold for £ 56,500 (US$ 69,115) inc. premium
1919 Clement Talbot 25/50hp 4 ½ litre Type 4SW Allweather Tourer
Coachwork by Salmons & Son of London

Registration no. CE 6486
Chassis no. SW10206
Engine no. 372SW


  • Talbot’s powerful and sporting 25/50hp model was designed by G W A Brown (later of Coventry Premier), working under Talbot Chief Designer Mills and, like the Pomeroy-designed Prince Henry Vauxhall, its side-valve engine gave little outward indication of the startling potential the engine had. This potential was manifest in November 1912 when English racing driver Percy Lambert, driving a streamlined 25/50hp Talbot, recorded the fastest lap for which a Brooklands Certificate had ever been issued. At 109.43mph the 25/50hp car had exceeded all expectations, taking also the Class F record at 113.28mph for the half mile and 111.73mph for the mile. Little surprise therefore that the Talbot marque, marketed by Clement Talbot Ltd., of Barlby Road, North Kensington, London, was advertised as ‘The Invincible Talbot’. Few comparable cars of the era could even get close to the 120bhp developed by the 4 ½ litre engine at 3,000rpm, the Talbot ranking highly with the likes of the Prince Henry Vauxhall and the Alfonso Hispano-Suiza, both as a fast touring and sports car.

    Clement Talbot factory records confirm that this car was ordered by Messrs King & Harpers Garage of Cambridge on 11th April 1919 and was delivered to them during March in 1920. Its subsequent pre-war history is not documented. VSCC Past President Barry Clark was to discover the car in the late 1950’s at a garage in Byfleet, by then fitted out with a crane and in use as a breakdown truck. It was reputed to have belonged to ‘Bentley Boy’, Woolf Barnato, and had been used in connection with his mighty successful racing exploits.

    Barry Clark, a Talbot aficionado, acquired the breakdown truck, removed the crane and truck body and located the magnificent all weather tourer coachwork by Salmons which was found to fit the chassis perfectly. The car was duly campaigned in more rigorous VSCC events by a number of well-known personalities in that club, although it was clearly worthy of more special attention.

    CE 6486 was bought by the present owner in 1987 and was to receive that special attention. A complete dismantle showed that everything that could be worn out was. The vendor reports that CE 6486 was ‘only keeping going by great good fortune’. Restoration was entrusted to noted Worcestershire restorers Jim and Bruce Young, with the brief that no stone would remain unturned. The engine was entrusted to Trevor Hawkes of Evesham with a similar brief. The resulting car is testimony to the restorers’ skills and substantial expenditure by the owner to ensure that the car would meet his demands for a fine and powerful touring car with bullet-proof reliability. The Salmons coachwork is superbly liveried in blue over maroon and chassis detail finished in maroon. All brightwork was refinished as appropriate, the coachwork furnishings were re-trimmed in red leather and new red carpets fitted. All weather equipment was replaced as necessary and a most practical tonneau cover fitted. The car is equipped with Duco lighting by Brown Bros Ltd of London, a minor concession to modern motoring being the indicators incorporated in the side lights and separate flashing units at the rear. Although the original Autovac is in place it is fed by twin electric fuel pumps. The dashboard retains a magnificent sweep of period instruments and the car is equipped with twin side-mounted spare wheels. Following the culmination of a long and meticulous restoration from 1993 to 1996, the car has on occasion been shown on Concours d’Élégance lawns, achieving the Best Car of the Show Award at the VSCC 65th Anniversary gathering at Malvern in 1999 and, in 2001, winning awards for best restoration and best under-bonnet condition at the Sunbeam Talbot Darracq Register National Rally. Since completion of the restoration the car has covered in excess of 5,000 miles, proving its reliability and restoration quality.

    Here is a rare car (one of just a handful in running order known to the vendor) of outstanding quality from a leading British manufacturer of the day, well capable of keeping reasonable pace with modern traffic and yet having that quintessentially Edwardian charm. The car comes from private ownership, having nestled in a motor house with other quality and interesting motor cars. It is offered with an old style log book, Swansea registration document, current licence and MoT through to January 2009. The Allweather Tourer coachwork provides fully open or exceptionally snug closed comforts so necessary in the English climate.
1919 Clement Talbot 25/50hp 4 ½ litre Type 4SW Allweather Tourer  Chassis no. SW10206 Engine no. 372SW
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