The Talbot-Lago is a rare breed of classic cars, many haven’t even heard about it but the Talbot brand has a very long history that started back in 1903. In fact, the Talbot was the first company to build a car that could reach a 100 miles in 1 hour. Talbot started as a cooperation of Anglo-French companies Talbot, Sunbeam, and Darracq but was sold in 1935 to the Italian Antonio Lago and was then renamed to Talbot-Lago. It was during this time that Talbot-Lago stepped it up and prove to the motor-sport world that their cars are no pushover.
1954 Talbot-Lago T26 GSL
Talbot-Lago started to grow their reputation in 1935 by producing extraordinary cars that were all designed around their 4 main chassis types but this was short lived when the World War II started. In 1942 when the war was still going on, engineer Carlo Machetti and Antonio Lago worked together to create a new design for Talbot-Lago’s 4 L straight 6 cylinder engine that proved to be successful in previous races. The redesigned engine featured twin overhead camshafts went into production by the end of World War II in 1946. The new 4483cc engine was mounted on the Talbot-Lago Grand Sport 26CV and the Talbot-Lago Record saloon. The 26CV code for the Grand Sport refers to 170 horsepower rear wheel drive.
By October 1947, Talbot-Lago released the T26 Grand Sport with a shorter chassis. The engine had a significant power increase from 190 bhp to 195 bhp which gave the T26 a top speed of over 120 mph based on the body style it used. The Talbot-Lago T26C race car’s chassis and engine setup were used to create a Grand Prix car that became an icon in the post-war era, the perfect combination of power and luxury was embodied in the Talbot-Lago T26 luxury grand touring coupe.
Talbot-Lago T26C Grand Prix car
In 1952, Antonio Lago wanted to have an upgraded version of his creations, he based the design on the shorter Talbot-Lago Record Chassis instead of the T26C that had a transverse leaf front independent suspension. The Record featured coil spring fully independent front suspension, live axle rear, and leaf spring and is powered by the 4483cc 6 cylinder DOHC engine matched with 3 Solex carburetors that increased the power to 210 bhp at 4500 rpm. The result was the Talbot-Lago Grand Sport Longue and was first shown to the public at the Paris Salon in 1953. It featured the uniquely styled body created by Carlo Delaisse, it was a car that was made to charm the sophisticated car enthusiast that had money to waste.
Talbot-Lago T26 GSL’s Luxurious Interior Design
Standard Talbot-Lago T26 models featured 4-speed manual gearbox and some opted for the Wilson pre-selector gearbox add-on but the Talbot-Lago T26 GSL started with the Wilson pre-selector to ensure that every GSL would be the at the top of its game. It also featured large drum brakes on all four wheels. The finished product was a very classy sports car that delighted the sophisticated rich with its power and beauty.
The Talbot-Lago was also a very roomy coupe that had enough space for 4 adults and a luggage space that is more than what’s expected for a sports car.
This featured Talbot-Lago T26 GSL with a chassis number 111006 was fully restored 25 years ago and other more recent exterior restorations that include that newly done finish. It will be auctioned during the Monterey auction by RM Sotheby’s which will be at the Portola Hotel & Spa, Monterey, California, this coming August 19-29. The auction will feature a number of rare and historic classics but this Talbot-Lago T26 GSL is surely going to be one of the stars of the event. A unique example of a 50s Grand Prix car that you will surely enjoy driving.
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