1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179

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Lot 49Ω
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet Décapotable
Coachwork by Figoni et Falaschi

Sold for US$ 1,875,000 inc. premium
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet Décapotable
Coachwork by Figoni et Falaschi

Chassis no. 3179
Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234
Engine no. 26179

4,482cc Twin-Cam 6-Cylinder Engine
3 Zenith-Stromberg Carburetors
190bhp at 4,200rpm
4-Speed Wilson Pre-Selector Transmission
Independent Front Suspension – Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Drum Drakes

*Comprehensively documented with exciting period Concours history
*Fresh from an exacting decade long restoration
*One of only two survivors of its design
*Yet to be shown at Concours level anywhere in the world



TALBOT-LAGO

The Talbot Lago story had commenced with the dissolution of the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq combine in 1935, when Venetian-born Major A F 'Tony' Lago bought the Darracq factory at Suresnes and continued production, selling his cars as Darracqs in the UK and Talbots in France. The revitalised marque embraced both sports car and Grand Prix racing, and in 1937 achieved victories in the French Grand Prix and the Tourist Trophy; from then on it was an uphill struggle against the might of the German and Italian opposition. There were, however, many notable successes in the immediate post-war years, including three Grand Prix wins for French Champion Louis Rosier and victory at Le Mans.

The first Lago-built cars retained the existing X-braced, independently front suspended chassis, but were powered by new six-cylinder engines designed by Walter Becchia, in sporting guise featuring inclined overhead valves set in hemispherical combustion chambers and opened via pushrods by a single camshaft mounted in the block. The marque's ultimate pre-war road car - the 4.0-liter Lago Special - produced 165bhp and was good for more than 160km/h (100mph). This successful series of cars was later renamed 'Talbot Lago' and Becchia's engine would be one of the few that saw service in Grand Prix cars both before and after WW2.

The model was revived in 1946 as the 'T26 Record', now sporting hydraulic brakes, a Wilson pre-selector gearbox and a 4½-liter, twin-cam version of the classic long-stroke overhead-valve engine producing 170bhp. Its 'T26' designation had been used before – for the 4½-liter GP racers in the late 1930s – and referred to the car's taxation rating of 26CV. For serious competition work there was the short-wheelbase 'Grand Sport' with a 190bhp version of the new '2AC' engine featuring an aluminum-alloy cylinder head and triple carburetor induction, and it was this model that formed the basis of the Rosiers' 1950 Le Mans winner as well as the monoposto Grand Prix car. Further development kept the Talbot Lago competitive at Le Mans for a few more seasons.

Not to be confused with a Delahaye of the same period, which in six-cylinder form mirrored its pre-war production, the post-war Talbot-Lagos were all new, and altogether far more sporting and powerful.

FIGONI ET FALASCHI

In the hierarchy of automobile coachbuilders, Figoni et Falaschi earned their place in the highest tiers, if not at the top. From the late 1920s right through to the late 1940s, the exquisite lines that they penned transformed the way automobiles were designed. This was never more apparent than with their series of 'Goutte d'Eau' or 'Teardrop' coupes on the Talbot T150CSS chassis. The automobile had moved from man sitting atop the machine, to man being at one with the machine, then beyond this they shaped coachwork aerodynamically, cheating the wind, and in doing so increased potential outright speed and efficiency.

It was not just the curvaceous main sections of bodywork to which attention was focused, but also in the intricate detail accessories from end to end of the body, accented by chrome trim pieces. Epitomizing Figoni's design philosophy were their elegant blade bumpers, which turned an increasingly necessary safety precaution into a beautiful, delicate feature of an automobile.

As ever in business, the partnership was a marriage of artistic genius and commercial wisdom; Joseph (Giuseppe by birth) Figoni, was the craftsman, while Ovidio Falaschi was the well-connected businessman. While their heyday may be considered to have been the 1930s, Figoni made a good recovery after the war, despite the troubles they faced when the Germans occupied Paris. When Figoni's workshops were taken over in order to manufacture aircraft components, Figoni & Falaschi kept going by making domestic electric stoves and heating radiators in a corner of the factory. Once he had completely recovered his factory, Joseph Figoni lost no time in creating a new post-war style, the swoopy, spatted wings were there, as were the chrome accents.

At the 1948 Salon Figoni and Falaschi acted as though times hadn't changed, and exhibited a gold-painted Delahaye with gold-plated brightwork on the manufacturer's stand and 'an elaborate and enormously long roadster' on their own stand. The Roadster had a 'flush-fitting ivory-bound' copy of the Michelin Guide on its dashboard: the binding alone had cost 40,000 francs! No wonder the better French coachbuilt bodies cost over two million francs.

The late 1940s were, paradoxically, relatively successful for Figoni & Falaschi, due to the demand for custom coachwork from the United States. The company, now under the direction of Joseph Figoni's son, Claude, actually made more money after the war than before - a unique situation for a French coachbuilder. Perception of the company was undoubtedly enhanced by the inclusion of Figoni's Talbot 'Goutte d'Eau' coupe in the New York Museum of Modern Art's famed '8 Automobiles' exhibition.

The work of these fashionable carrossiers brought color and glamour into the drab postwar European world just as Dior's 'New Look' brought fresh interest to the world of fashion. Indeed, Ovidio Falaschi summed up the role of the custom coachbuilder to perfection when he recalled:

"We really were true couturiers of automotive coachwork, dressing and undressing a chassis one, two, three times and even more before arriving at the definitive line that we wanted to give to a specific chassis-coachwork ensemble."

TTHE MOTORCAR OFFERED

The pairing of Talbot-Lago's engineering with Figoni and Falaschi's design was rarely bettered at any time when they were active, and arguably since either. Here is a stunning example of their collaborative work, with many of their hallmark styling cues and fresh from exhaustive archival research and extensive restoration. It is a very serious ticket to enter any major concours around the country or the globe...
Respected historian and author Peter Larsen has compiled considerable documentation on the history of the car which allows us today to chart its full career. That begins with the order to Talbot-Lago by the wealthy industrialist, Gilbert Fayol of Paris. M. Fayol made zippers and his company, Applications Éclair was a household name in France, as one can imagine this comfortably afforded him the luxury of being able to commission his own coachbuilt Talbot-Lago. Factory archives note this to be a T26 with the potent Grand Sport 4.5 liter power unit, and specifically the aforementioned more desirable aluminum head version, of which a mere 3 dozen were equipped. Their designation for these was T26 Record Sport.

Figoni's production record states that they received the Record Sport chassis from Talbot-Lago on January 29, 1948. They proceeded to cloth the chassis with a Cabriolet Décapotable, one of only four ever to have been completed this way, of which just this and another survive today. A triumph of design and purpose, it incorporates the most appealing styling cues of the day, including the dished 'butterfly' front fenders long swept back tail, chrome hood spears, flush door handles, rear wheel 'spats' and lower body chrome trim. Additionally, the front of the car is a cleverly designed feature which gives a clue to the performance hidden beneath the hood, it is surely not by accident that the 'fire-breathing' 190hp hemi has a large opening grille to assist its cooling, but even this is beautifully tailored, and from some angles has the cheerful appearance of a smile, something far more appealing than the oft times awkward looks of Figoni's pronounced Narwals.

M. Fayol's striking Figoni automobile was completed in the spring of 1948. We know precisely how it looked, since he elected to debut the car at the Concours of Deauville in July that year. There it can be seen in a single dark color scheme which was understood to have been a Bordeaux red, with chestnut leather. As much a fashion show as a car display, Gilbert Fayol was joined in his presentation of the car by Michelle Cancre an equally elegant horse-riding champion. His tenure of ownership is not recorded. We know that within a year he had also purchased a Talbot-Lago Grand Sport and that he would later acquire a 1954 Chrysler Ghia, but whether they were replacements or stable mates for this car is unknown.

For certain, by early October 1954 it did have new ownership and was now the property of Albert Poirer in the 7th Arrondissement of Paris, he is the last charted custodian in period. A decade would pass before the Talbot-Lago re-surfaced, rather unceremoniously then in a scrapyard at Meulan some 50kms northwest of the city. Its finder, Pierre Grunberg of Paris would spend some months haggling for the car before securing it in 1967 for some 67,000 French Francs. As a picture demonstrates in the car's impressive history file, the Talbot-Lago was in an amazingly complete state, bearing all the chrome pieces.

Grunberg had the intention to restore the car for his own use, but cost consideration let him to eventually sell the car to noted French enthusiasts and classic car dealer Bruno Vendiesse and Roger Tainguy on March 8th, 1989. Tainguy would restore the car in a dark blue finish and with beige leather trim and matched blue top. Between the scrapyard and restoration, a masquerade of the real identity of 100234 occurred, and the car would be known as 100047 for the next 20 years. In 2010 the Talbot-Lago Owners Club documented that 100047 was a standard Talbot-Lago with standard limousine coachwork, which was scrapped in 1958 in Belgium while owned by M. Muytten.

From Tainguy and Vendiesse the Figoni passed to M. LaFuge, also known as Athane another trader in France, offered for sale on a stand at the 1992 edition of Retromobile its next owner was Sam Achio and the car remained in France, until passing into the fabled Rosso Bianco Collection of Peter Kaus in the late 1990s where it would join other important examples of French coachwork, including a Teardrop Figoni Talbot-Lago. Offered from the Rosso Bianco collection here in Quail Lodge in 2006, the purchaser on that day was the class action lawyer John O'Quinn at that time amassing one of the largest collections of cars the hobby has known. O'Quinn elected to have the car re-restored and sent it to the renowned house of Tessier, returning it to France for the work to be carried out there. On his demise, the collection was dispersed and this car mid-way through the journey of its rebuild was stalled and sold.

The present owner acquired the car from the O'Quinn Estate in 2010. The first task on hand was to reveal the true identity of the Talbot-Lago. In the process great help and support by the French Talbot Lago Owners Club, Claude Figoni, noted historian Peter Larsen, and Dominique Tessier was received. Fortunately, its state of being stripped for restoration made the process of identification easy. Analysis of the chassis frame revealed the number 3179, the engine bears the number 26179, and the rear axle number 3028; all matching the Talbot-Lago build sheet for car 100234. On multiple coach work and chrome pieces the number 27 was found, pointing to the post war coach build records of Figoni et Falaschi, project 1027. The Figoni record for 1027 confirms Talbot Lago 100234 and customer M. Fayole plus registration 4954 RQ3 (fitted to the car at Dauville concours) – les jeux sont faits – the car was unmasked.

Safe in this knowledge, its restoration has continued with both careful adhering to its inherent originality, but also the availability of the period images of the car, to ensure its accuracy. The color choices are two tones of French blue contrasted with a rich burgundy trim, which both accentuate its lines and style, as well as being very much of the period. As depicted on these pages, the result is a tremendous success and one fitting to the car's importance.

After its decade long rebuild, and the journey of its research, in place of chasing the rewards that it would no doubt garner on the show field, the current owner has elected to leave that fun for the next keeper - today, that could easily be you!

Footnotes

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Saleroom notices

  • Please note, the title will be in transit.
Contacts
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet D&#233;capotable <br /> Chassis no. 3179 <br />Talbot-Lago Car No. 100234<br /> Engine no. 26179
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