Lot 265 - 1949 13082 Lago T26 Record Cabriolet
|Odometer reading||62,575 km|
|Estimate||£120,000 - £150,000|
|Result||Sold - £120,960|
Adolphe Clement had realised early on that exporting his
vehicles, particularly to the more affluent and therefore more
lucrative UK market, would help ensure his company's success - and
so he soon became associated with the Earl of Shrewsbury &
Talbot. The Earl set up an assembly plant in London in 1904, and
the imported cars were naturally enough called 'Clement-Talbots'.
The cars would prove successful and, in 1912, their reputation was
bolstered by Percy Lambert who would become the first ever driver
to achieve 100 miles-in-an-hour at Brooklands.
In 1919 the Earl of Shrewsbury sold his business to Darracq, an English owned company building its cars at Suresnes, who then went on to form the first major international alliance when they merged with Sunbeam and set up the S-T-D (Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq) combine in 1920.
Anthony Lago, a Major in the Italian Air Force in the First World War, fell out with Mussolini's Fascists and moved to London in the early 1920s becoming the agent for IsottaFraschini. In 1935 when STD failed, with financial backing from London, he bought Suresnes from under the noses of the Rootes brothers.
Lago was an excellent engineer and set about rationalising and restyling the range of six-cylinder cars and developed the existing six-cylinder engine into a high-performance four-litre one. The T150 variant was initially based on the three litre and was increased to four litres in 1936. The special sports racing version proved successful in competitions taking the first three places at the 1937 Montlhery Sports Car Grand Prix and the Tourist Trophy race at Donington Park.
Figoni provided styling input for the 'works' bodies from 1934 onwards, as well as building bodies to order on bare chassis such as the famous 'Teardrop' T150's. Lago continued to refine the wonderful four litre engine and, in 1938, for competition, the size was increased to 4.5 litres; racing successes for the Lago Special would continue with a win in that year's Paris 12 hour race. The Great War then intervened and afterwards Talbot-Lago resumed car manufacture, releasing a totally new 4.5 litre, six cylinder car, the T26 Record in 1947.
The Talbot Lago Record T26 was a large car with a fiscal horsepower of 26CV and a claimed actual power output of 170bhp delivered to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual gear box with the option, at extra cost, of a Wilson pre-selector gearbox and supporting a claimed top speed of 105 mph. It was commonly sold as a stylish four-door sedan but a, now very rare, two-door cabriolet was also offered. Its 'T26' designation had been used before for the 4½-litre GP racers in the late 1930s and referred to the car's taxation rating of 26CV.
The example offered here has Talbot Lago's own undeniably handsome cabriolet body with its 4½ litre engine and hugely elegant coachwork. A proven chassis and running gear coupled to an under-stressed and long-legged engine made these very desirable cars in their day and they still offer an extremely attractive package if one is looking for a car to enjoy on the many international rallies available today.
The factory build sheets show that it was first owned by a
Mr.Galluzia in the USA and as he bought the car there, it is
probable that it was supplied there new. The car was then bought
from a dealer in part-restored condition, having previously formed
part of the collection belonging to the late Ed (Edgar Allen)
Morgan. Ed Morgan had acquired the T26, in poor condition, in about
1980. His son recalled that it had been caught up in a divorce
dispute and left in the garage at the marital home. It is therefore
reasonable to assume that the car was taken off the road in the
late 1960s or early 1970s. Ed Morgan's son was able to provide many
photographs of the restoration which the current vendor
subsequently completed to the same very high standard.
The factory records show this to be matching numbers car, identical in configuration to the car that left the factory, except for one significant aspect. It has undergone a comprehensively painstaking restoration including, first and foremost, a full bare chassis rebuild over a number of years. This was stripped to the bare frame, shot blasted and painted on-site immediately after blasting. It was then built up with all components stripped, checked and rebuilt as necessary. The rear springs have been dismantled, stripped and rebuilt with all bushes replaced by 'Silentbloc' parts. The front springs and wishbones were then blasted and powder coated with a satin finish. New front shock absorbers were installed and the steering box stripped and rebuilt with new top bearings, new outer column and new track-rods. The king-pins were also stripped and rebuilt.
Retardation is also important of course and to this end, all the
wheel cylinders and master cylinder have been rebuilt and sleeved.
New brake pipes are fitted throughout using new flexible pipes by
Flexolite and the hand brake cables have been stripped and rebuilt
with the handbrake lever re-chromed and shaft re-bushed. Dunlop
tyres with heavy duty inner tubes (as per original specification)
can be found at each corner set off by five new chrome rims and
hubs with stainless steel spokes and new chrome knock-off spinners.
The engine has been stripped and then checked over by Formhalls
Ltd. New piston rings were supplied and fitted although, when
opened up, 'engineer's blue' was still in evidence on the
crankshaft suggesting a recent rebuild. The head was stripped, new
valve seats fitted and new inlet valves and the carburettors
stripped and rebuilt. The inlet manifold was also dismantled with
new unions fitted and a custom made stainless steel exhaust system
The gearbox was totally rebuilt by Cecil Schumacher, one of the UK's foremost specialists in the field of pre-selector gearboxes and was connected to a brand new prop-shaft. The electrical system did not escape the vendor's penetrating gaze and a new wiring loom was fitted alongside a rebuilt dynamo and starter motor. Headlights were up-graded complete with indicators positioned within the sidelights and double filament bulbs. All the OS instruments were rebuilt by Patrick Henry with new dials made from the originals by Bedford Dials. Prior to restoration, the speedometer showed just under 100,000 kilometres
The body has been totally dismantled and the timber frame replaced using the original as a pattern. Thesteelpanels have been repaired and the body re-skinned using the original panelling. The bonnet was rust damaged on a flat area and rather than repair and fill, a new bonnet was made.
The body was painted off the chassis to ensure no overspray appeared on any chassis parts and then the body was replaced on the chassis and re-assembled once painted. This was all done by Sean Watson of the Old Coachworks, Over Wallop. Sean has painted many top level classics, many of which have been shown at the Pebble Beach ConcoursD'elegance. All the chrome work has also been re-chromed; the most critical parts being the bumpers which were entrusted to Derby Plating, one of the finest specialist firms in the country.
Finally, the interior; this has been replaced using top quality leather throughout and laid down by ex-Rolls-Royce specialists. The spring bases have also been renewed by Charles Blyth and Co. of Castle Donington. The woollen carpet has been leather bound and the new hood is a high quality mohair unit.
Accompanying documentation consists of the aforementioned photographs and factory build sheets, sundry restoration invoices and a more detailed synopsis of the works carried out and new parts used. The car has covered a minimal mileage since this work was done and this delightful and hugely significant example of the classical French penmanship is registered in the UK, taxed and carries a current UK MoT test certificate. Welcome at any prestigious concours event around the world, this T26 Record convertible is also eligible for important historic competition events such as the Mille Miglia. A true Grand Touring car in a grand style and more than capable of keeping pace with modern traffic.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.