The British Talbot Company was founded in 1903 by the Earl of Shrewsbury-Charles Chetwynd-Talbot and Adolphe clement to sell French-built motorcars. The company branded its imported cars as Clement-Talbots and assembled their own models, which they called Talbots. In 1916, Swiss born Georges Roesch became chief engineer, and in the 1920s Talbot built a number of successful cars, including the 3-liter Talbot 105. In the 1930s, Roesch-designed Talbots enjoyed racing success with the Fox & Nicholl team at LeMans and Brooklands.
This Sports Tourer with James Young coachwork is typical of the touring Talbots of the period. Having spent most of its life in England, the car arrived in the United States in 1969. Its current owner bought it in 1996 and has restored the car to its original specification.
The British firm Fox & Nicholls approached Talbot to build a vehicle that they could use to compete in the 1930 Brooklands Double 12 race. Talbots chief engineer, Georges Roesch, modified the existing cylinder head of their 76 horsepower 2.3-liter six-cylinder engine, and increased the compression to 10:1. The result was a 93 horsepower engine resulting in the Talbot 90. The Talbot 90s were impressively quick, battling Bentleys Speed Six's and the supercharged Mercedes-Benz SSKs. At the 24 Hours of LeMans in 1930, the Talbot 90s finished in third and fourth place.
For the 1931 season, the displacement size was enlarged, making sure the engine could still be housed in the chassis. The nearly 3-liter engine produced 100 bhp for the road going cars and 140 bhp when fitted with the higher compression competition specifications. The engine featured a seven bearing crankshaft and chrome plated camshafts. The result of this work was the Talbot 105.
The first competition Talbot 105 cars were supplied to the Fox & Nicholls firms. They were painted dark green and given lightweight aluminum bodies with cycle fenders, folding wind screens, and boat-tail bodies. Other distinguishing features included a large 35 gallon fuel tank and a close-ratio four-speed transmission.
For the 1931 season, the Talbot 105 finished third at LeMans, plus several other podium finishes at other races, including Brooklands.
The Talbot 105 was a very successful car, both in regards to racing and the business it generated for the company. It helped Tablot become the most profitable division of the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq union. Over 330 examples were produced and sold to the public.By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2010