Factory demonstrator; ex-Louis Rosier,1956 Talbot Lago T14 LS Spécial Coupé  Chassis no. 140031 Engine no. 16025

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Lot 129*
1956 Talbot Lago T14 LS Spécial Coupé

€ 220,000 - 260,000
US$ 250,000 - 290,000
Factory demonstrator; ex-Louis Rosier
1956 Talbot Lago T14 LS Spécial Coupé
Chassis no. 140031
Engine no. 16025
•One of 54 T14 LS models made
•Rare Spécial variant
•Restored in 1994

Talbot-Lago introduced a sensational new 2.5-litre model at the 1955 Paris Salon - the T14 LS - an altogether superior sports car powered by a four-cylinder, twin-camshaft, overhead-valve engine. In standard tune the latter developed 120bhp, which was transmitted via an all-synchromesh ZF gearbox. The chassis frame was fabricated from large diameter tubes, featuring independent front suspension, while the styling borrowed much from the Record Grand Sport, the sleek 2+2 coachwork being a wonderful example of Gallic elegance.

The Talbot-Lago T14 LS was both exclusive and expensive; only 54 examples were built, of which a very small number (believed seven or eight) were to Spécial specification. The Spécial featured aluminium doors, bonnet and boot lid, Borrani wheels and high-lift camshafts, giving enhanced performance. This unique example was a factory demonstrator provided for the use of its distributors, one of whom was the ace Grand Prix driver, Louis Rosier, who had won the 1950 Le Mans 24-Hour Race at the wheel of a Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport co-driven by his son, Jean-Louis. This car's frontal styling was especially modified to echo the looks of the T26 Grand Sport that Rosier used on the Carrera Panamericana. Louis Rosier, being the Talbot-Lago distributor for Auvergne, certainly used this car and might have been instrumental in its subsequent sale. Records suggest that the Talbot-Lago was owned from 1959 to 1980 by a close friend of Rosier - a Mr Gay - and in total it has had only nine owners.

Chassis number '140031' was restored in 1994 while in the ownership of a Mr Grolleau and comes with a detailed restoration file containing photographs and invoices together with a comprehensive history file relating to the model and this car in particular. One of the recent previous owners, a well-known Talbot aficionado, drove the car enthusiastically at Talbot events both at home in the UK and overseas, taking part the STD Register's 80th Anniversary celebration trip to Tours in 2003. The immediately preceding owner purchased '140031' at Bonhams' Goodwood Revival Sale in September 2003 (Lot 102), and the car was carefully stored, regularly maintained and occasionally exercised during his stewardship. The current vendor purchased the Talbot-Lago at Bonhams' auction at La Halle Freysinnet, Paris in February 2012 (Lot 230) at which time it was registered in the UK.

Superbly equipped in all areas, the car features grey upholstery to the interior, opening rear quarter lights, sliding Perspex side windows, quick-release filler cap, SEV Marchal headlamps and Jaeger instruments. Later twin-choke Weber carburettors have been fitted to enhance performance, while an electric fan and alternator have been added for reliability and convenience (the original dynamo is offered with the car). Although not original to this car, the engine is of the correct high-lift-camshaft type.

This thoroughbred sports car from France's last truly great racing car manufacturer comes with an impeccable and distinguished provenance.

* Should the vehicle remain in the EU, local import taxes of 5.5% will be applied to the hammer price.
* Dans l'hypothèse où le véhicule resterait dans l'Union Européenne, une taxe locale d'importation de 5.5% sera appliquée sur le prix d'adjudication.
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Factory demonstrator; ex-Louis Rosier,1956 Talbot Lago T14 LS Spécial Coupé  Chassis no. 140031 Engine no. 16025
Factory demonstrator; ex-Louis Rosier,1956 Talbot Lago T14 LS Spécial Coupé  Chassis no. 140031 Engine no. 16025
Factory demonstrator; ex-Louis Rosier,1956 Talbot Lago T14 LS Spécial Coupé  Chassis no. 140031 Engine no. 16025
Factory demonstrator; ex-Louis Rosier,1956 Talbot Lago T14 LS Spécial Coupé  Chassis no. 140031 Engine no. 16025
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* Import low rate

VAT at 5.5% on the hammer price and the prevailing rate on buyer's premium if the car remains in EU.

Dans l'hypothèse où le véhicule resterait dans l'Union Européenne, une taxe locale d'importation de 5.5% sera appliquée sur le prix d'adjudication.