Lot 187 - 1916 Talbot 4CY 15/20 ‘The Qantas Flyer’
|Estimate||£3,400 - £42,000|
Available with a choice of 9'4" or 10'1" wheelbases, the 'Invincible' Talbot 4CY was powered by a 2,610cc, four-cylinder engine that developed some 38bhp. Built on 31st May 1916, chassis 8529 was despatched three weeks later to the Canada Motor & Cycle Agency of Brisbane, Australia. Believed to be the Talbot which served as Qantas Airways' first car whilst it was still a fledgling concern, the 4CY was discovered on land adjacent to one of the airline's original sites during the early 1990s. Fitted with a rudimentary flatbed loading deck, the Qantas Talbot was used on trips to the Outback as a service and rescue vehicle, repairing downed aircraft and collecting crew; a role it performed until at least 1927. An Australian restoration of chassis 8529 was stalled by a lack of funds. Put back on the market, the 4CY was acquired by a Scottish collector during 2001 and work recommenced thereafter. After due consideration, the decision was made to re-body the Talbot as a balloon car complete with simple rear deck that echoed its probable Qantas' heritage. Balloon cars were used to recover balloonists, the rear deck designed to carry the basket.
The refurbishment was completed during May 2002 in time for the 4CY to contest the Liege-Rome-Liege Retrospective Rally, finishing in Venice, in the very capable hands of long-time Mille Miglia racer and collector, Warren Kennedy. The two-seater made light work of the event and complete each stage with alacrity. It has since completed various other European rallies including the 'Circuit des Ardennes'.
As well as a comfortable 55mph cruising speed accessed via its four-speed transmission, 'SV 9179' boasts an 'instant start' mechanism whereby a suitable spark is sent to all four cylinders which burst into life providing they are charged with sufficient fuel/air and the car has been running recently (electric starters were still far from commonplace). This charming Talbot has covered circa 10,000 miles since the restoration was completed and has recently had its rear axle overhauled with a new crown wheel and pinion. This appealing and well-travelled 4CY comes with FIVA papers and original hand book.
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