1949 Talbot-Lago T-26C Grand Prix
|Model History||Auction sales research||Specifications||Body styles and Chassis Data|
Engine/Mechanical Component Photos
This large manufacturing group collapsed in the post-Depression aftermath of 1935. Major Lago organized funding to set up SA Automobiles Talbot in the S-T-D factories at Suresnes, Paris, France.
Marjor Lago was a strong proponent of racing, especially for promotion of the up-market cars. The companies' ex-Fiat engineer Walter Becchia designed a 4-liter six-cylinder overhead-valve sports car which in 1937 won the French, Tunis and Marseilles Grand Prix races, and also dominated the British RAC Tourist Trophy at Donington Park.
On the heels of this success, Major Lago went aggressively after more Grand Prix victories. He had Becchia design both a supercharged 3-liter V16 cylinder racing engine and an alternative un-supercharged 4.5-liter power unit for the company's high-performance sports car line.
Though a few V-16 cylinder engines were produced, the program soon came to an end. For 1939, three entirely new single-seat Grand Prix cars were commissioned using Becchia's latest 4.5-liter six-cylinder engine. These new cars made their racing debuts during 1939. They re-appeared after World war II with one winning four times in 1947.
This new success encouraged Marjo Lago to produce no fewer than 20 Formula 1 Talbot-Lago T26Cs for customer sale. Mounted under the carefully sculpted bonnet was a twin-camshaft version of the reliable six-cylinder engine. The engine rocker covers bore the title 'TALBOT-LAGO'.
Louis Rosier gave the first Talbot-Lago T26C its racing debut at Geneva in 1948 and four T26Cs were completed and race-ready in time for that year's French Grand Prix at Reims. As the season came to a close, seven of the cars had been built. One of those seven examples was chassis number '110 006'. It made its racing debut driven by its owner Georges Grignard in the Coupes du Salon at Montlhéry, that October.
Grignard's first major win was in the Paris Grand Prix and followed by the Doullens and Ars hill-climbs. He finished 7th in the major Penya Rhin Grand Prix in Barcelona, Spain, and co-driving with Charles Pozzi to an impressive 8th place at Pau.
In 1951, the car was sold to the Belgian racing syndicate of Jacques Swaters, which included Baron Charles de Tornaco, Roger Laurent and André Pilette. This Belgian racing team campaigned this Talbot-Lago wearing national livery of bright yellow and riding under the banner of 'Ecurie Belgique.' The car was entered in the Belgian, Dutch, German, Italian and Albi Grand Prix races. Their most successful race was in their home Belgian GP at Spa-Francorchampes where it finished 6th with Pilette at the wheels. Roger Laurent placed 7th at Albi.
In early 1952, Baron de Tornaco drove ‘006' to 6th place in the Turin Grand Prix in Italy. Roger Laurent piloted it to victory in the Finnish Grand Prix around the Elaintaharnajo Park in central Helsinki. Jacques Swaters then used the car for the last time in Europe during practice for the Albi GP in southern France, on May 31, 1953.
In the 1960s the car was acquired by American Ray Dubois who later sold it to Gerry Sherman of Pennsylvania. Mr. Sherman performed a long and difficult restoration where he sought original spares from Monsieur Grignard himself. Upon completion, the car was raced at Watkins Glen, NY in October 1973, after which it was acquired by Henry Wessels.
The present owner commissioned a complete, no-expense-spared engine rebuild and cosmetic refurbishment. The cost of the project was estimated at $150,000.
In 2009, this freshly-restored racer was offered for sale by Bonhams Auction at the Quail Lodge Resort and Golf Club in Carmel, CA. As bidding came to a close, the lot had been sold for the sum of $557,000 inclusive of Buyer's Premium.
In 2010, the car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Pebble Beach, CA. The car was estimated to sell for $650,000 - $850,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $616,000, inclusive of buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2010
|Auction Sales Information|
|Auction||Bonhams - Quail Lodge Resort and Golf Club|
|Auction||Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auctions|
|Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auctions||1949-1959|
|Bonhams - Quail Lodge Resort and Golf Club||1939-1961|