1948 Talbot-Lago T-26 news, pictures, specifications, and information
Cabriolet d'Usine
Chassis Num: 100064
Sold for $352,000 at 2017 RM Auctions.
Talbot-Lago made about 750 T26s. The firm offered convertibles, sedans, and coupes, but some customers just bought the chassis and hired outside coachmakers to build the body. The new T26 Record model was exhibited at the Paris Salon in October of 1946.

The car is powered by a 'hemi' 4.5-liter six-cylinder engine developing 170 horsepower and coupled to a 4-speed semiautomatic (Wilson pre-selector) transmission. The engine was developed by Major Anthony Lago during the war in conjunction with chief engineer Carlo Marchetti. It was one of the most powerful production engines in the early post-war world. The 3,970-pound vehicle has an estimated top speed of 105 mph. The chassis also was given an independent coil springs front suspension.

The body styles were based upon the original 1934 factory bodies conceived with the assistance of coachbuilder Joseph Figoni. They were tastefully updated by Carlo Delaisse, whose resume includes work at the shops of Vanvooren and Letourneur et Marchand.

This Cabriolet d'Usine T26 Record was originally sold in Belgium. It is an early production Record, delivered to Belgian agent Guerret of Brussels in late 1947 and sold to its first owner the following year. Its first-series 'factory convertible' bodystyle has a windshield surround, with no top bar, full chrome trim, and free-standing chromed headlamps.

Believed to have come to the United States in the early 1960s, it remained in Mr. Joseph Cantore's collection until the mid-1990s. William Ruger Jr. acquired the original and unrestored car which had just 26,000 miles on its odometer. In 2004, it was given a comprehensive restoration. In all, more than 4,200 hours were spent on the restoration work.
In 2017, it was offered for sale at RM Sotheby's auction in Amelia Island on behalf of the Orin Smith collection.
Grand Sport Coupe
Coachwork: Saoutchik
Postwar Talbot-Lagos benefitted from the company's many racing successes, but the Grand Sport was built for luxury as well as speed. Many T-26 Grand Sport coupes of the late 1940s, with their powerful 4.5-liter straight six dual-overhead camshaft engines, were fitted with coachbuilt bodies. This Saoutchik-bodied example was conceived and built as a work of art as well as a luxurious means of transportation. It was shown at several European Concours during the 1950s before arriving in America in the early 1960s. After several owners, including noted collector Jacques 'Frenchy' Harguindeguy, the car was purchased by the present owners.
Grand Sport Cabriolet
Coachwork: Franay
Chassis Num: 110121
One of the early postwar cars noted for its speed was the Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport. It was built for either racing or luxury and benefited directly from Talbot's successful T26 Grand Prix car. As such it was expensive and rare, and coachbuilt examples are highly collectable.

Three Grand sport chassis were clothed by the Parisian coachbuilder Franay, two coupes and this cabriolet (chassis number 110121), which also features an interior by Hermes. It was shown at all the best concours in Europe and won several industry and design awards. Many stars, including Marlene Dietrich and Christian Dior, were linked to this car.

By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2012
Grand Sport Coupe
Coachwork: Oblin
Chassis Num: 110106
Engine Num: 103
Sold for $1,485,000 at 2014 Bonhams.
The post-War era Talbot T26 Grand Sport was a direct descendant of the pre-war T150SS road car, a few of which had received the teardrop coupe body by Figoni et Falaschi. Anthony Lago conceived the Grand Sport strictly as a two-seater, and the layout and most of the mechanical details from the GP cars were retained. Lago mounted the engine, gearbox and suspension components on the short 265-centimeter pre-war Grand Prix chassis rails with a few modifications. The front suspension was independent with a transverse leaf spring, and there was a short transaxle between the engine and the gearbox, followed by a short driveshaft. The result was the SWB Grand Sport chassis which weighed just 850 kg compared to the 1,280 kg of the new T26 Record family car chassis.

Anthony Lago and chief engineer Carlo Marchetti developed the free-revving Type 26 4486cc 6-cylinder engine during the War and first showed it at the Paris Salon in 1946. The twin camshaft in the upper part of the block operated large overhead valves inclined at an efficient 90 degrees via short pushrods and rockers on either side of the head, giving it the appearance of a DOHC design. With the help of two carburetors, an impressive 170 bhp was produced when mounted in a T26 Record chassis. The engine found in the Grand Sport models were further improved. Like the GP engines, the cylinders were sleeved, the cylinder head was in aluminum, compression was raised, and three Zenith Stromberg carburetors with no air filters were fitted. Grand Sport power was conservatively rated at 190bhp. This made the T26 GS one of the most powerful passenger car motors in the world at the time. The four-speed Wilson pre-selector gearbox made it possible to shift the Grand Sport much faster than conventional gearboxes of the period.

This new chassis was designed for the sporting and affluent clientele, who were seeking a fast daily driver that would not be adverse to entering various rally and racing events as privateers, with the occasional appearance at a Concours d'Elegance.

In total, just 28 chassis of the Talbot-Lago Grand Sport were built on the short 265 centimeter wheelbase.

This particular example is the second chassis signed off by the factory on August 3, 1948. It was exported to the Anciens Etablissements J. Guerret, the Talbot concessionary in Belgium. Guerret sold the chassis to the English racing driver Goldie Gardner, who was living in Brussels at the time. Gardner commissioned a one-off fastback coupe body by Van den Plas. The result was a cutting edge slab-sided pontoon shape, which failed rather miserably from an aesthetic point of view. The completed car was first shown at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1949.

Gardner kept 110106 for about a year and a half. In 1950, Claude Nias, a Belgian privateer, bought the car and raced it twice with a Mr. Brancart in the Liège-Rome-Liège rally. He placed 20th in 1951 and 12th in 1952.

Chassis 110106 was too heavy to be competitive. So in 1952, Nias decided to have the car re-bodied by Martial Oblin in Brussels in its current coupe style coachwork. Martial Oblin began bodies in the late 1940s, developing a number of modern construction techniques for light competition bodies. For chassis 110106, Oblin gave it a technically advanced 'spiderweb' which consisted of thin steel tubes welded into a structure, which was able to absorb a considerable impact. The body was completed in a mere six weeks. The 'Superleggera'-type body weighed just 145 kg including lights, glass and seats. By moving the greenhouse towards the rear, the resulting body design was a fastback silhouette with a long sleek hood.

The completed chassis-body ensemble was displayed at the 1953 Brussels show. Also that year, Nias raced 110106 with its new Oblin body in the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. He started from pole position and was running in fourth place at the 8th hour when a problem with the rear axle forced him to retire prematurely. He also participated in the Liège-Rome-Liège rally in 1953, but was again forced to retire early after going off the road on a downhill corner.

In 1957, Nias sold the car to a Mr. Vanderkele in Brussels. The car remained in Venderkele's care for the next 19 years, but there is no record what he did with it during his long tenure.

François d'Huart bought the car from Mr. Vanderkele in 1976. d'Huart rallied the car many times, including participating in the January 1987 Montecarlo-Sestriere rally. In 1999, the car was sold via Christophe Pund of the Galerie des Damiers, who exhibited the car at Rétromobile. The next owner, who retains the car today, subsequently raced and rallied 110106 extensively.

In 2002, the car was involved in an accident at Spa-Francorchamps. The car rolled onto its roof, and Martial Oblin's 50-year-old web of steel tubes did a remarkable job of absorbing the energy. After the accident, 110106 was sent to Rob Jolley Coachbuilding in the UK for a sympathetic restoration.

Currently, the car is powered by a 4482cc overhead valve inline-6 cylinder engine fitted with 3 Zenith Stromberg carburetors. The 190 horsepower produced is sent to the rear wheels via a 4-speed Pre-Selector gearbox. At all four corners are drum brakes.

By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2014
Grand Sport Cabriolet
Coachwork: Saoutchik
Chassis Num: 110110
Engine Num: 108
In war, life still goes on; dreams continue to color sleep and hope sees the sun rise after the darkest of night.

Anthony Lago was just such a dreamer. Though interrupted by the war, the Frenchman still held out visions of a grand tomorrow, a tomorrow filled with elegance and performance, a world where sport and pleasure mixed seamlessly.

His dreams would be interrupted when he was only able to get as far as the T150C SS. However, throughout the war he would continue tinkering with the chassis until the T26 was birthed, at least in his head.

It wouldn't be until after the war the T26 Grand Sport would become a reality. And, what a reality it would become. The elite of the elite, the shortened-wheelbase version could not have been more rare, more exclusive, but it wasn't just about luxury and opulence.

Eccentric and exorbitant and not a little preposterous, the Grand Sport was only for those who could afford it, and even then it still cost too much. But, for the 29 examples that would be built, the owners could claim an exclusivity that practically no one else on the planet enjoyed.

The rarity came in the fact that each of the 29 T26 Grand Sports to be built on the shortened-wheelbase chassis all had individually-crafted bodies. No two were alike. And, chassis 110110 clearly attests to this fact.

To say this car could be seen coming from a mile away would be a gross understatement. Certainly one of the most striking and over-the-top festooned designs ever created by Saoutchik, this car would be a shoe-in for display and was a part of the Geneva Motor Show upon its completion in 1949.

Not long afterward, the car would be purchased by New Yorker Louis Ritter. He already had a Saoutchik-bodied Cadillac on order, but, when he saw the Talbot-Lago in Geneva in 1949 he would determine right then and there that he had to have the car.

All about the image, Ritter would have the Talbot-Lago for just a matter of few months before returning it to the dealer to sell again. This was not such an easy task given the upper reaches of the heavens the car's price touched. Nevertheless, Roger Barlow would prove equal to the task. Selling the car for an ungodly sum of $17,500 in 1950, Barlow would nevertheless succeed in reselling the car some three times.

The final owner of those three would be Walter L. Burghard of Mansfield, Ohio. In 1953, Burghard would have the body removed from the Talbot-Lago chassis and placed atop a Mercury chassis that was fitted with a V-8 engine from a Lincoln.

The final time the car would be seen would be 1970. Earl Weiner, the man who had removed the body from the Talbot-Lago chassis, still retained the chassis and would eventually put it up for sale. In 1975, the chassis would be purchased by Jerry Sherman of Malvern, Pennsylvania. Sherman would be interested in building a racing car version of the Talbot-Lago and would set about having a custom body designed for the chassis.

Sherman would use the car for races and would drive the car regularly right up until 1990 when a fire damaged the chassis. The car would then sit around until Sherman passed away and the car transferred to Tony Carroll's ownership. Carroll would determine it was time for a full restoration.

This restoration effort would take more than 10 years to complete and would include extensive metal-preparation and fabrication work and even Eno DePasquale, of New Hampshire, designing and building a Grand Sport racing body taken from a design of Tunesi. All of this work would be completed in 2009.

Mr. Carroll would only get to use the car for a couple of years before failing health caused him to sell the car to a French collector who would determine he wanted the original Saoutchik body recreated.

Patrick Delage of Auto Classique Touraine would be given the task and he would not overlook any detail of the car. In fact, the work would be to such a high degree of detail that it would earn high praise from experts the world over. It was as if those at Saoutchik had designed and built it themselves.

Offered for sale as part of RM Sotheby's 2015 Monterey auction, this 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Cabriolet is not only sure to be a highlight, but a show-stopper as well. It is certain to leave its new owner a bit more obvious than before buying the car.

Estimates for the Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Cabriolet ranged from between $1,700,000 and $2,100,000.

By Jeremy McMullen
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 others sat atop shortened chassis and used for sporting events.

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.

Marchetti and Lago created a 4.5-liter version of the six-cylinder engine, and used it in the T26 Record and T26 Grand Sport cars. The 4.5-liter displacement size was selected because it meant requirements for Grand Prix competition. A 1.5-liter displacement size limit was placed on vehicles that were aided by superchargers.

The 4.5-liter engine produced 165 horsepower, which made it inadequate in comparison to the competition, which was producing over 300 horsepower from their engines. The engine would require more tuning if it were to compete in Grand Prix Competition. Marchetti and Lago began work on a revised head for the engine. The new design had two lateral camshafts partway up the block, and shortened pushrods to operate the twelve valves. The modifications improved the engines output to 240 horsepower. Further improvements pushed that figure to around 260 and in range of its competition.

In 1948, the Talbot Lago T26C made its racing debut at the Monaco Grand Prix. The car was fitted with large drum brakes, a Wilson Pre-Selector four-speed gearbox, and a conventional box-section chassis. Shortly after the race began, it became clear that the Talbot Lago was no-match for the Maserati's and their two-stage supercharged 4CLTs. The main advantage that the T26C employed was their ability to run the entire race without refueling or changing tires. The Maserati cars pitted half-way through the race, which gave the Talbot-Lago T26Cs a chance to regain some ground. As the checkered flag fell, Nino Farina and his Maserati were in the lead followed closely by a T26C driven by Louis Chiron.

The Talbot-Lago T26C competition career continued during the 1949 season. Their superior fuel mileage and reliability gained them two major Grand Prix victories. In 1950, the T26C's did well in non-championship competition.

For the 1950 running of the 24 Hours of LeMans, Anthony Lago entered a T26C for competition. The LeMans race is a grueling race that tests driver, car, and team for 24 hours of competition. Just finishing the race is a victory, itself. Anthony was convinced that the T26C's proven reliability would reward them with a strong finish. The car was slightly modified for the race to comply with regulations; it was given lights, fenders, and a wider body to allow for a driver and co-driver.

At the 1950 24 Hours of LeMans, the T26C was driven by Louis Rosier and his son Jean-Louis Rosier. At the end of the race, the T26C had captured its most important victory of its career.

The T26 road-going cars were powered by a six-cylinder, DOHC Cam engine with triple carburetors that produced nearly 200 horsepower. There was a four-speed Wilson Preselector gearbox, four-wheel drum brakes and a live-axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs rear suspension. This setup provided the necessary power, performance, and comfort required by cars of this caliber.

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. In total there were around 750 examples of the T26 constructed, with only 23 being the T26C version. There were about 30 examples of the T26 GS (Grand Sport) constructed with eight built atop the short chassis of 2.65M. This was the same chassis used for the Grand Prix cars.

By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2007
Recent Vehicle Additions

2017 Jaguar XE SV Project 8

2017 BMW Concept 8 Series

2018 GMC Yukon Denali

2018 Fiat 500L

2017 Audi A4 Black Edition

2017 Renault Mégane R.S
The Mullin Automotive Museum's 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS 'Goutte d'Eau, which was just honored as the very first recipient of the Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award at The Quail, will be on public display in the Mullin Grand Salon at the Petersen Automotive Museum for the next 10 weeks. Los Angeles, Calif. (August 18, 2016) – Every year the best automobiles in the world gather in Monterey, California for Monterey Car Week – a collection of events honoring the finest vehicles ev...[Read more...]
2015 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Best of Show
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (August 17, 2015) -- An Italian Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A Cabriolet that once turned heads and garnered top prizes in the classic era glided to victory at the 65th Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on Sunday. The competition drew 219 cars from 16 countries and 29 U.S. states to the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links. It also raised over $1.8 million to help people in need. Through the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this ...[Read more...]
Polo BlueMotion, Polo Blue GT and CrossPolo in top form New efficiency TSI: For the first time, Polo BlueMotion with petrol engine (4.1 I/100 km) Even more charisma: Polo BlueGT now with 150 PS, CrossPolo perfected Ten key facts on the world premiere of the new Polo TSI BlueMotion, Polo TDI BlueMotion, Polo BlueGT and CrossPolo: 1.The world's most fuel-efficient five-seater with a petrol engine: The new Polo TSI BlueMotion consumes just 4.1 l/100 km. 2.The world's most fuel-efficient ...[Read more...]
1997 Monaco Grand Prix: If There Ever Was a Time…
Hindsight being twenty-twenty, the move from Jordan to Stewart Grand Prix would certainly seem ill-advised as the 1997 season would be an absolute shambles with the team having just eight race finishes between them out of seventeen races. However, if there was ever a time to look more competitive than what reality would suggest it would be in front of the royal family at Monaco. And, on one wet afternoon on the 11th of May, Rubens Barrichello would be out enjoying himself dancing around in the r...[Read more...]
Even though the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is feverishly busy celebrating Shelby Cobra's 50th Anniversary, it is simultaneously revealing the rich heritage of historic automobile racing as a whole with 17 different period-specific race groups running the road course at Monterey, California's Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The event, in its second day of well-attended qualifying rounds, will swell with even more spectators come tomorrow, when weekend competition begins and the natural rhythm...[Read more...]


1949 T-26 Record Image Right
© 1998-2017. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.