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 Talbot-Lago T-26 photo

1947 Talbot-Lago T-26

Talbot was one of the oldest automobile manufacturers in France, absorbed by several acquisitions over the years, eventually ending up as a subsidiary, albeit in poor health by that point, of Britain's Sunbeam. Sunbeam management sent Antonio Lago to the Automobiles Talbot factory in the Paris suburb of Suresnes in 1933, to either cure or kill it. Smitten by the company's potential, he acquired the firm in 1935, continuing to produce the existing lines, which were now called Talbot-Lagos. A new higher-performance engine was soon developed by grafting on an overhead-valve head with hemispherical combustion chambers, resulting in the creation of the Grand Sport models. This model, along with a companion chassis-only model called the Lago SS, was very successful and largely responsible for the company's survival.

A new twin-camshaft 2AC engine with a displacement of 4.5-liters was developed during World War II. When peacetime resumed, it powered Talbot-Lago's successful Grand Prix monoposto cars including the car driven by Louis Rosier's 1950 Le Mans winner. This modern and state-of-the-art engine was also used to power the company's flagship road car, the short-chassis Grand Sport.

With 190 horsepower at its disposal, the Grand Sport, for a period of time, was the world's most powerful and fastest production sports car. The T26 Record was equipped with a slightly lower state-of tune engine - delivering 170 horsepower - yet still among the wold's most powerful cars when launched. It had twin Stromberg EX 32 carburetors, hemispherical combustion chambers with a compression ratio of 7.0:1 (the highest that the poor quality postwar fuels could cope with), and twin camshafts mounted high in the cylinder block on either side of the crankshaft centerline. The lightened valve gear arrangement gave it a more dependable high-rpm operation. The engine was backed by a Wilson pre-selector gearbox, in which the epicyclic gear trains were engaged and disengaged by brake bands operated by a pedal that occupied the position usually reserved for a conventional clutch pedal. The next brake band to be actuated was manually selected by the driver, with a lever moving in a quadrant on the steering column. It was cradled in a substantial box-section chassis that also sported independent coil-and-wishbone front suspension and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.

During its production lifespan, circa 600 examples of the T26 Record chassis were made. The Record was available with factory bodywork or as a rolling chassis for bodying by independent coachbuilders. Both the Record and Grand Sport lines were produced until 1955, the same year Lago bowed to the inevitable and for the first time introduced a chassis with left-hand drive. Up to this point in history, nearly all France's aristocratic grand-routiers had stuck with right-hand drive.


by Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2018

Related Reading : Talbot-Lago T-26 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....
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1947 Vehicle Profiles

1947 Talbot-Lago T-26 vehicle information

Cabriolet
Designer: Figoni & Falaschi

Chassis Num: 100109

The featured Talbot-Lago T26 chassis 100109 was given a hemispherical cylinder head design engine, courtesy of Anthony Lago, that is capable of producing 170 horsepower. Drum brakes provided stopping power while a live rear- and independent front-sus....[continue reading]

1947 Talbot-Lago T-26 vehicle information

Record Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Dubos

Chassis Num: T26100365

Talbot was one of the oldest automobile manufacturers in France and one of the oldest in the world. Its history includes several acquisitioned, ending as a subsidiary of Britain's Sunbeam. In 1933, Antonio Lago was sent by Sunbeam management to the A....[continue reading]

1947 Talbot-Lago T-26 vehicle information

Grand Sport Coupe
Coachwork: Franay

Chassis Num: 110113

This Talbot Lago T26 GS is chassis number 110113 and has coupe coachwork by Franay on a 2.65M wheelbase. It is believed that only three of the Grand Sports had Franay coachwork, a coupe in California and a roadster now in Austria.....[continue reading]

1947 Talbot-Lago T-26 vehicle information

Cabriolet
Coachwork: Worblaufen

Only three Talbot-Lago T26 Cabriolets were built with a Worblaufen body and all three are different. Worblaufen was one of the most important Swiss coachbuilders for passenger cars. It produced many elegant cabriolets and roadsters on prewar Isotta-F....[continue reading]

1947 Talbot-Lago T-26 vehicle information

Record Sedan

Chassis Num: 101035

This Record Sedan is an unrestored, original example that was first registered in France in July of 1950. From 1953 to 1961, it served with the Consulate General of France at their Denver, Colorado administrative center. The car was then transferred ....[continue reading]

1947 Talbot-Lago T-26 vehicle information

Record Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Dubos

After acquiring the company in 1935, Antonio Lago developed a range of executive and sporting cars complemented by a high-profile motor racing program. The Talbot Lago-Record Type T26 is an executive car and closely resembled models from the 1930s su....[continue reading]

Cabriolet
Chassis #: 100109 
Record Drophead Coupe by Dubos
Chassis #: T26100365 
Grand Sport Coupe by Franay
Chassis #: 110113 
Cabriolet by Worblaufen
 
Record Sedan
Chassis #: 101035 
Record Drophead Coupe by Dubos
 




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Performance and Specification Comparison

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Talbot-Lago
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)
1951Chevrolet (1,229,986)Ford (1,013,381)Plymouth (611,000)80
1950Chevrolet (1,498,590)Ford (1,208,912)Plymouth (610,954)433
1949Ford (1,118,308)Chevrolet (1,010,013)Plymouth (520,385)
1948Chevrolet (696,449)Ford (430,198)Plymouth (412,540)
1947Chevrolet (671,546)Ford (429,674)Plymouth (382,290)
1946Ford (468,022)Chevrolet (398,028)Plymouth (264,660)
1942Chevrolet (254,885)Ford (160,432)Plymouth (152,427)

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