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1938 Talbot-Lago T23 news, pictures, specifications, and information

Coupe
Designer: Figoni & Falaschi
Chassis Num: 93041
 
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.

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.

In 1959 the company was taken over by Simca.

This 1938 Talbot Talbot T23 Coupe with coachwork by Figoni & Falaschi is a previous Ault Park Concours d'Elegance 'Best of Show' winner. Italian Giuseppe Figoni immigrated with his family to Paris where he apprenticed in a coach works that eventually became Carrosserie Automobilie in Bologne-sur-Seine near Paris's famous Longchamp race course, a mecca for the Parisian carriage trade. in 1935 Figoni acquire a partner, businessman Ovidio Falaschi creating 'Fignoi et Falaschi'. Figoni's automobile designs were flamboyant, graceful and gorgeous, carefully sculpted with the eye of an artist who had an inherent appreciation for the air flow.

Upon the collapse of STD (Sunbeam-Talbot-Darrocq) in 1935 the French Talbot Company was reorganized by Anthony Lago and since then, the Talbot-Lago name was used.

This vehicle is built on the company's long-wheelbase chassis and is powered by a 4-liter six-cylinder engine with dual carburetors. Its radical Figoni & Falaschi coachwork was the first of several teardrop coupes that followed. The original owner was Ms. Beatrice Cartwright, heiress to the Standard Oil Company fortune. In 1938 she entered the car in the Nice Concours d'Elegance, winning the grand prix d'honneur in the coupe category. That same year she entered and won the Concours d'Elegance at Cannes. The Museum of Modern Art displayed this car in its 1951 exhibition titled 'Eight Automobiles,' showcasing the emerging art of aerodynamic styling. The car was treated to a restoration in 2000.

Designated a 'Coupe Royal' by Figoni, this luxurious car was originally owned by Mrs. Beatrice Cartwright, a Standard Oil heiress and sometime wife of car enthusiast Freddy McEnvoy. It was recently the subject of a painstaking restoration and today remains one of the most authentic Talbot-Lagos of its kind.
Cabriolet
Chassis Num: 93001
Engine Num: 23152
 
Sold for $152,784 (£87,300) at 2005 Bonhams.
Sold for $209,000 at 2006 RM Auctions.
In 1934 Tony Lago was promoted to the position of general manager of Automobiles Talbot's. A year later he acquired the company and hired Walter Brecchia, an engineer. Together, they began work on the first Talbot-Lago; they were driven by the desire to create the world's greatest sports car. The engine created was a four-liter unit that was similar to the Talbot-Darracq Type K78, three-liter, seven main bearing six-cylinder engine. The Talbot-Lago engine had a hemispherical head design featuring a new cylinder head that improved volumetric efficiency and air flow. With the help of dual Solex carburetors, the engine produced 140 horsepower.

Backed by the company and the competition engine, Lago approached the racing legend, Rene Dreyfus with a proposition to manage his new racing team. Miraculously, he accepted. At the French Grand Prix at Montlhery, Lago's request was simple, 'stay ahead of the Bugattis for as long as you can.' Though the request may have been simple, the task was monumental but not impossible. At the conclusion of the race, the three Talbot-Lagos had finished and in respectable style. All were in the top ten and had provided competition for the Bugatti's throughout most of the race, only being slowed near the end due to mechanical difficulties.

The following year at the French Grand Prix, the Talbot-Lagos showed their true potential by finishing first, second, third and fifth. The racing variants had proven their merit but it was the road going versions that paid the bills. Talbot-Lago vehicles were renowned for their style and attractive bodyshells. The wheelbases varied as did the engines which was available in three- or four-liter configuration.

The example shown is a 'Baby' T23 Cabriolet right-hand drive powered by a four-liter engine. It sits atop a 2950mm chassis with the body carrying a dark blue paint color while the interior is a pale blue-gray leather. This was a promotional vehicle that was used in sales literature and at the Paris Auto Show. Since that time it has had three owners and is believed to still have the original mechanical components. A mechanical restoration was performed by a former technician at the Talbot Works Suresnes in Paris before it was shipped to the US. At the 2006 RM Auction in Monterey, CA it was expected to sell between $225,000 - $275,000. Bidding fell just short of this estimate but since there was no reserve the vehicle was sold at a price of $209,000.

By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2006
Teardrop Coupe
Coachwork: Figoni & Falaschi
Chassis Num: 93064
Engine Num: 23294
 
Sold for $2,145,000 at 2006 RM Auctions.
Sold for $2,836,378 (£1,792,000) at 2010 RM Auctions.
Sold for $2,640,000 at 2012 RM Auctions.
- Winner of the Concours d'Elegance de l'Auto in 1938
- The only four liter T23 true Jeancart style teardrop coupe built
- One of five jeancart style cars built; one of four remaining.
- Holder of a Certificate of Originality, signed by M. Claude Figoni.
- Cherished and cared for by just four owners since the late 1940s.
- Restored by French master coachbuilder Chapron.

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.

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.

Chassis 93064, like all of the Teardrops, is unique and built specifically for its original owner. Unlike all of the other Teardrops, it was outfitted with a four liter T23 chassis and sat atop a 2.95 m chassis. It was longer and had a wider track than most Teardrops but in comparison to other coachbuilt vehicles at the time, it was shorter and retained its sporty appeal. The longer tail compliments the hood and creates a surreal balance while the wider track gave it excellent balance while driven through corners at speed.

Chassis 93064 has Figoni production number 685 which can be found stamped throughout the car. The original owner is unknown but it was ordered in metallic blue with red leather interior. It was built by Figoni et Falaschi and given Style 9221 Model Jeancart coachwork. Delivered to a French resident on February 21, 1938, it was registered with plate number 199ADY75.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2007
Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Figoni & Falaschi
Chassis Num: 93122
Engine Num: 23343
 
Sold for $649,000 at 2010 Gooding & Company.
Talbot is one of the oldest French marques having been founded by Messrs, Darracq, Serpollet, and Clement in 1893. It merged in 1922 with sunbeam Wolverhampton to form Sunbeam Talbot Darracq Motors, Ltd. When the company was acquired by Major Anthony Lago in 1935, a new era of innovation commenced. Lago, a gifted engineer (having worked for the British Society of Aircraft Engineers, the Wilson Gearbox Company, and Pratt & Whitney) further developed the existing Talbot Darracq 4-litre engine. With that, a new sports car was created which quickly gained considerable racing success due to its excellent reliability. He also set about making his cars attractive to prestigious clientele interested in touring automobiles. He fitted the car with a modern Wilson pre-selector gearbox and in cooperation with some of the world's leading coachbuilders, his Talbot Lago automobiles became some of the most sought-after and exciting designs of the late-1930s.

This Talbot-Darracq T23 four-place Drop Head Coupe wears coachwork by the famed French coachbuilder Fogoni & Falaschi. It has a number of unique features including a folding windscreen, three-position Cabriolet top, tear-drop fenders, and rear-hinged doors. It is a four-litre car that has 115 horsepower and an advanced Wilson pre-selector gearbox. The single overhead cam engine has twin Zenith-Stromberg carburetors. There are 4-wheel hydraulic drum brakes, an independent front suspension and a live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs.

The original owner of this car was Mrs. Britta Appelgren. It was sold to another Swedish owner in 1946, who would retain the car until 1985. It was sold to another Swiss collector, who, during the 1990s, gave it a complete restoration in France and subsequent mechanical improvements were carried out under the guidance of the leading Talbot authority in England.

This car still wears its original factory colors. It is one of only two such examples constructed and features coachwork by Figoni et Falaschi. It was produced under the auspices of Anthony Lago and was among the most fashionable French automobiles of the late 1930s.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2013
Cabriolet
Coachwork: Figoni & Falaschi
 
Figoni & Falaschi are known for producing some of the most flamboyant, if not elegant coachwork of the French carrossiers. Joseph Figoni loved working with the designers of high fashion who created gowns, hats, gloves, and shoes that perfectly matched the designs and colors of his cars. Falaschi once said, 'We were truly couturiers of automotive coachwork, dressing and undressing a chassis one, two, or three times and even more before arriving at the definitive line that we wanted to give to a specific chassis-coachwork ensemble.' Talbot-Lago was formed following the collapse of Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq in 1935. Anthony Lago, founder, set out to build a line of exclusive and expensive sports cars. He introduced the T-150-C in 1936 which enabled him to persuade Rene Dreyfus to leave Ferrari and drive for him at the French Grand Prix.

The T23 was produced in 1938 and 1939 with the body designed by Figoni & Falaschi. This example is powered by a 4 liter straight 6-cylinder engine equipped with dual carburetors. It rides on the short wheelbase chassis and is equipped with a Wilson Pre-selector gearbox. The body is one of a series of about 20 built by Figoni & Falaschi for Talbot Lago.

This car was built for the Paris Auto Show in 1938 and rides on the shorter or 'Sports' chassis offered by the firm. It is equipped with a 4-litre, dual carburetor-equipped inline 6-cylinder engine and Wilson pre-selector gearbox. It was restored in the early 2000s in France and restored to its original color of French Blue. The matching blue leather interior is accented with exotic python skins.
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.

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.

By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2006
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1939 T23 Image Right
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