Image credits: © Talbot-Lago.

Talbot-Lago was a company formed by the collapse of Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq in 1935. Anthony Lago, founder of the company, set-out to produce a line of exclusive and expensive sports cars. The cars initially used six-cylinder engines, but later models featured eight-cylinder engines, and the occasional cheaper engines to help increase sales.

In 1936 the T150-C entered the scene. Lago was able to persued the famous driver Rene Dreyfus to leave the Ferrari organization, and race for the Talbot-Lago driving team at the French Grand Prix at Montlhery.

The Talbots featured metallic paints and dual-tone finishes. This was the influence of Figoni. Chrome was decorated along the edgework of many of his vehicles.

There were fourteen Talbot-Lago T150C SS Series created by Figoni between 1937 and 1939. Many still exist today. A true testament to the beauty and craftsmanship of these vehicles.

In 1959 the company was taken over by Simca.


By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2010

Vehicle Profiles

Teardrop Coupe
Coachwork: Figoni & Falaschi

Chassis Num: 90109

Almost 70 years after they were created, one of Figoni & Falaschi's voluptuous teardrop coupes will stop any viewer in their tracks. The dramatic teardrop shape is echoed in both the windows and the fenders and is considered Joseph Figoni's masterwor....[continue reading]

Cabriolet Roadster
Coachwork: Figoni & Falaschi

Chassis Num: 90019 T1500
Build Num: 703

Figoni & Falaschi was known for producing some of the most flamboyant, if not elegant coachwork for the French carrossiers. Talbot-Lago was formed following the collapse of Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq in 1935, with the Darracq name being continued for use....[continue reading]

Goutte d'Eau Coupe
Coachwork: Figoni & Falaschi

One of the famous Figoni et Falaschi-designed goutte d'Eau, or teardrop, coupes; this Talbot Lago T150C is built on the longer Speciale chassis. The rounded rear windows, large headlamps and notchback rear are features of the five Jeancart-st....[continue reading]

LWB Teardrop Coupe
Coachwork: Figoni & Falaschi

Chassis Num: 90034

Anthony Lago took control of Automobiles Talbot in 1935 and re-named the Suresnes, France-based enterprise Talbot-Lago. He also hired an engineer named Walter Brecchia to aid in the development of the first Talbot-Lago, based on a Talbot-Darracq thre....[continue reading]

Goutte d'Eau Coupe
Coachwork: Figoni & Falaschi

Chassis Num: 90117

When Figoni & Falaschi unveiled the first Talbot-Lago T 150 C SS with Joseph Figoni's streamlined coupe coachwork at the 1937 Paris Salon, onlookers were take aback by its beauty. The press, tasked with describing this symphony of curves and subtle ....[continue reading]

Teardrop Coupe
Coachwork: Figoni & Falaschi

Chassis Num: 90112

The Talbot-Lago T150C or Corse, the French word for racing, was designed as a race car in 1937. The Super Sports variant was designed with a shorter chassis for the road. The most famous of these T150s are the goutte d'eau or 'teardrop' cars designed....[continue reading]

Lago Spéciale Cabriolet
Coachwork: Figoni & Falaschi

Chassis Num: 90039

The French Talbot factory in Suresnes outside Paris had built a list of automobiles but by the early 1930s, it longevity was in question. It had been experiencing financial difficulties and their vehicles were becoming dated. In 1932, the Depression ....[continue reading]

Teardrop Coupe by Figoni & Falaschi
Chassis #: 90109 
Cabriolet Roadster by Figoni & Falaschi
Chassis #: 90019 T1500 
Goutte d'Eau Coupe by Figoni & Falaschi
 
LWB Teardrop Coupe by Figoni & Falaschi
Chassis #: 90034 
Goutte d'Eau Coupe by Figoni & Falaschi
Chassis #: 90117 
Teardrop Coupe by Figoni & Falaschi
Chassis #: 90112 
Lago Spéciale Cabriolet by Figoni & Falaschi
Chassis #: 90039 

History

Anthony Lago had taken over control of the Talbot factory in Suresnes after the merger with Sunbeam and Darracq had collapsed in 1936. 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.

The T26 was powered by a six-cylinder, DOHC cam engine that produced nearly 200 horsepower. The 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 in the corners at speed.

The Talbot-Lago T26 models were exquisite creations outfitted with coach work 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.

Giuseppe Figoni was a brilliant artist who worked with metal to produce some of the most unique and flowing coach-bodies of all time. His designs amplified his hatred of the wind; the force that caused drag and crippled the cars power. His creations often centered around this hatred, evident by the streamlined designs, flush door handles, steeply raked windshield, sloping fastback, and enclosures for wheels and tires. The elegance of the Figoni et Falaschi designed vehicles are sensual and their curvy creations are regarded as art. Ovidio Falaschi provided the working capital and business expertise while Joseph Figoni created the sophisticated three dimensional design concepts.

In 1936 the T150-C entered the scene. Lago was able to persuade the famous driver Rene Dreyfus to leave the Ferrari organization, and race for the Talbot-Lago driving team at the French Grand Prix at Montlhery.

The Talbots featured metallic paints and dual-tone finishes. This was the influence of Figoni. Chrome was decorated along the edgework of many of his vehicles. Nearly all of the T150Cs were bodied by Figoni & Falaschi in a two-seater roadster design with the intent of using them for competition. A coupe version was created and offered to their wealthiest of clients.

The T150Cs had very curveacous body that were inspired by aerodynamic principles and aided the six-cylinder powerplant in doing its job of carrying the cars past their competition. The very elegant yet dramatic and bold design of the T150C was able remain stable at high speeds, a luxury it enjoyed on the long straight stretched of the LeMans raceway.

The first car was on display at the 1937 Paris Motorshow where it was given the nickname 'Goutte d'Eau' meaning water drop. The English translated the word to 'teardrop', in either case, the terms were appropriate, as its cycle fenders and body designed mimicked the form and gave the vehicles the illusion of motion even at stand-still.

There were two design of the Teardrop, the first being the notchback coupe dubbed the 'Jeancart'. This name was given to the car after the individual who commissioned the design. The second version was the 'New York' style which made its unveiling in the city of New York. There were eleven New York styles created and only five of the Jeancart. Again, since these were custom built, hand formed automobiles, each possesses their own unique qualities.

At the 1938 24 Hours of LeMans, a Talbot T-150C finished in third place behind two very fast Delahayes. In other types of competition, such as concours events and other 'beauty' contests, the Talbot-Lago's are regular winners. Though the duo of Figoni & Falashi only produced vehicles for a short part of history, they are among the most celebrated and memorable ever created.


By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2007
 
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Image Left 1937 T150C SS1939 T150 C SS Image Right
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