This 1950 Talbot-Lago Grand Sport T26 Coupe is one of just 36 Grand Sport's constructed by Talbot-Lago between 1947 through 1953. It has coachwork by the flamboyant coachbuilder, Jacques Saoutchik of Neuilly-sur-Seine. Saoutchik was born in the Ukraine in 1880 and arrived in Paris in the early 1900s. During his younger years, he worked as a cabinet maker and later moved into the craft of automobile making. His first motor bodies were on display in 1905. Many of the bodies he created featured graceful flowing contours who created unique designs that shared little resemblance to other vehicles on the road. His designs were aggressive, bold, and daring. Some featured removable windshields, parallel opening doors on pantograph linkages, and an overstated use of chrome detail.
This T26 GS is a combination of pre- and post-War influences. The teardrop style was popular during the pre-war era and was created as a defiance of wind, giving the vehicle the illusion of motion even at a standstill. Aerodynamic principles were carried throughout the vehicle. The pontoon style of this vehicle is reminiscent of the post-War era. This vehicle is mostly engine, as the engine bay is about 50% of the vehicle and the steering wheel tub marks the midpoint of the body's length. The car rests gracefully on its short 104-inch wheelbase. The engine is a 4.5-liter unit derived from the Grand Prix power of the pre-War era.
The cars first owner was Monsieur Cayala who took ownership on October 17th of 1950. It was later sold to a German and then to Maurice Harloux of Belgium. The car remained in his possession until it was purchased by Paul Myers. Later, it became part of the Rosso Bianco Collection.
This car was offered for sale at the 2006 Bonhams & Butterfields auction held at the Quail Lodge in Carmel, California where it was estimated to sell between $350,000 - $400,000. Compared to some of the Saoutchik designs of this era, this car is modest. There is only slight use of chrome and its lines are fairly traditional. Other designs of this time that were very flamboyant were the Delahaye 175 MS and Cadillac Series 62 bodies created by Saoutchik.
At auction, this car found a new owner, and sold for $348,000.Also photographed at :
At the 1950 LeMans 24 Hour race, a pair of Talbot-Lago T26 SC racers took first and second place. Adding to their accomplishments and legacy were victories in Formula 1 Grand Prix racer. The Grand Prix road cars were basically a widened and lengthened version of these dominate racing machines. They claimed the worlds fastest production chassis with a top speed of 125 mph.
The Talbot-Lago GS was offered in two wheelbase lengths, 104 and 110 inches. With elegant and luxurious coachwork created by Saoutchik and Figoni and Falaschi, these cars demanded top dollar and were affordable by only the prominent in society.
From 1947 through 1953 only 36 Grand Sport Talbot-Lagos were created. This example has coachwork by Jacques Saoutchik of Neuilly-sur-Seine, on the west side of Paris. Born Iakov Saoutchik in the Ukraine in 1880, he moved to Paris in the early 1900s. His trade was as a cabinet-maker but he quickly moved into the coach building craft with his first motor bodies finished in 1905.
The Saoutchik Firm would continue to offer bodies in the post War era, but by this time it had become very difficult. The industry as a whole was suffering due to the switch to unibody construction with most manufacturers creating the bodies in-house. There were fewer and fewer suitable chassis in which these artisans were able to practice their craft. In 1952 Saoutchik's son Pierre took over the responsibilities of the company and for its designs. It was not long before fate brought an end to the company.
This vehicle features the pontoon style with the tapered teardrop style with a hood that is virtually longer than the rest of the body. This example rests on a short 104-inch wheelbase and is powered by a hemispherical head twin cam six-cylinder engine with seven main bearings and produces nearly 200 horsepower. There is a Wilson preselector gearbox and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.
This vehicle was brought to the 2007 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by RM Auctions, where it had an estimated value of $575,000 - $700,000. As the gavel fell the lot had been sold for $535,000.