Chassis n° 140 080B
- Emblematic car reminiscent of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
- Performant on track and usable on the road
- Interesting reconstruction
- One of very few examples produced
Winner at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1950, Anthony Lago wanted to repeat the feat and in 1956 entered two elegant cars equipped with a Maserati engine. Despite the financial difficulties experienced by the brand, which has been in receivership since 1951, its charismatic boss believed that the aura of a result at Le Mans would reverse the sales curve and save the company. Equipped with a 6-cylinder engine, the Talbot-Maserati Nos. 17 and 18 celebrated the newly signed agreement with Omar Orsi allowing Talbot to license a two-litre Maserati engine to power its future new model. Unfortunately for Talbot, Le Mans 56 turned out to be a failure, the Louis Rosier-Jean Behra tandem had to give up at the 21st hour while the other car entrusted to the Zehender - Lucas crew had been out of the race since the first third of the contest. The defeat was complete, as the agreement with Maserati would never be honoured, requiring Anthony Lago to find another engine supplier. It was BMW with its eight V-shaped cylinders already seen under the hood of the BMW 507 that would equip the new Talbot T14 America for the North American market. The first car of the brand to have the steering wheel on the left, it took over the Grand Sport chassis already powered by the 2, 476 cc V8 engine which develops 125 DIN hp and promises a top speed close to 200 km/ h. Unfortunately, this new model did not prevent the collapse of the business and despite the takeover of Talbot-Lago's assets by SIMCA in 1958, the company went into liquidation a year later. It was at this point that Georges Grignard, a former Talbot driver, was able to acquire a large stock of parts, including "America" type chassis and more particularly the n°071 that equips the car we are presenting. It is thanks to these chassis and the will of the brothers Dominique and Marc Dupont, (Dominique had been president of the Talbot Club for a long time), that a handful of these Sport Talbots were rebuilt in the same way as those entered at Le Mans 1956.
The file contains a letter of confirmation by Dominique Dupont, dated 19 May 1999, recounting his purchase of this stock of parts from Georges Grignard in the 1970s and specifying that the Talbot Type 14 EXP (series no. 140. 080 B) was part of this stock. The same year, the current owner bought parts from Dupont that allowed him to reassemble the car. Having the chassis, along with other mechanical elements and gauges, he set about reconstructing a barchetta inspired by the 1956 Le Mans Talbot Lago, driven by Louis Rosier and Jean Behra and which had been bodied at Pichon-Parat, in Sens. The unique body of our car, in aluminium, was inspired by this car, while also having some stylistic features of its own. It was constructed in a workshop in Brittany. The V8 BMW engine, capable of strong acceleration, was rebuilt by a specialist, and is mated to a four-speed box. For this large-scale project, the owner had to have certain parts specially made, such as the brake drums.
Completed in 2002, the car has been driven very little since and, in 2020, it benefitted from a major service. This included work to the fuel system and an overhaul of the ignition and brakes.
This original car offers the sensations experienced by drivers of the 1950s. Usable on the road, it honours the glorious swansong of one of the greatest French marques.
Auction estimate: €80 000 /€110 000
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