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1949 Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport

Elegant, One-Off Franay Fastback Coupe with Sunroof

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sold

VIN 110123
Exterior Color French Racing Blue
Interior Color Blue Leather with Grey Carpets
Mileage 9608 KMS
Engine Straight 6-cylinder
Transmission Pre-selector
Status Sold
Stock FJ114

Comments

1949 Talbot Lago T-26 Grand Sport by Franay
s/n 110123, Engine No. 123
French Racing Blue with Blue Leather

Talbot Lago is responsible for some of most elegant and capable pre and post war motorcars. After a merger with Sumbeam and Darracq collapsed in 1936 Anthony Lago took over control of the Talbot factory in Suresnes. By 1937 he had introduced a new line of vehicles, two of which were entered in the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans. He continued his racing endeavors by moving to single-seat racers and by 1939 a purpose-built Grand Prix car had been completed. The onset of World War II slowed the racing endeavors but after the war and with the assistance of Carlo Marchetti an overall win at Le Mans was achieved.

In addition to their racing cars, Talbot Lago produced artistic and elegant road going cars with racing inspired components fit for high speed trans-continental travel. The French referred to these cars as Grand Routier models. The most advanced of these cars were the T26 Grand Sports. Almost all of the T26 Grand Sport automobiles received custom coachwork from various coachbuilders. Many were used to display their artistic creations at Motor Shows while a few sat atop shortened chassis and were used for sporting events.

The T26 was powered by a six-cylinder, twin rocker shaft engine that produced nearly 200 horsepower. The massive drum brakes on all four corners provided ample stopping power while the live-axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs rear suspension provided the necessary support needed when cornering at speed.

The Talbot Lago T26 models were exquisite creations outfitted with coachwork provided by some of the world's greatest coachbuilders. Never produced in large numbers, these T26 models are extremely rare and exclusive by today's standards.

This Talbot Lago T26 GS is chassis number 110123, and has elegant coupe coachwork by Franay on a 2.65M wheelbase `short` chassis. Only three of the Grand Sports were produced with Franay coachwork, two as coupes and one as a roadster, believed to now be in Austria. Franay created a sporting and aerodynamic shape similar to the now multi-million dollar Figoni et Falaschi bodied cars. Although similar to the Figoni et Falaschi cars, Franay managed to produce and shape different to anything in the motoring world at the time, making this car a rare piece of history. The only other Franay bodied coupe has a slightly different grille and rear fender treatment making this a one-off design, and the only T26 Franay to feature a sunroof. There were approximately 30 Grand Sports built but only 8 with the short chassis of 2.65M, the same as used on the Grand Prix cars. The engine in this car is a matching numbers 4.5L inline 6 cylinder with three carburetors.

This example has been totally restored in the 1990s and has since been shown at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concourse. The car remains in excellent cosmetic condition with no paint or body flaws of any significance. The interior too, is excellent. The grey carpets show very minor discoloration, but the seat, dash, and door panel leather, and headliner, are near perfect. The chrome inside and out is all very good, and the car sits on impressive 18 inch wire wheels with polished drums behind them. The cockpit is roomy with an adjacent luggage shelf. The front and rear windows are both articulated, which, with the sunroof, generate an impressive air flow within the cabin at speed. The detailing, metal work, and panel craftsmanship on this car eclipse that produced by other companies of the era.

Mechanically, the car is also in excellent condition. It starts easily, runs smoothly with good power and minimal smoke. The brakes are effective, and the Wilson pre-selector gearbox operates properly.

Simply from a styling and rarity standpoint, this car is an obvious choice for the astute collector. Alternatively, eligible for many of the world`s premier historic car events such as the Miglia Mille and California Mille, this car would make an thrilling ride across the countryside.

Photo Credit: Philip Hall, www.philhall.biz 


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