Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este

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Talbot Lago – T26 Grand Sport – Prototype (1953)


Vehicle Type:
Coach Builder:
Inline 6
Engine CC:
Kaspar Fleischmann (CH)

Class B


Talbot Lago - T26 Grand Sport - Prototype
Class B24

In 1935, Anthony Lago, a Franco-Italian businessman born in Venice, took over the French portion of Automobiles Talbot, originally part of Anglo-French company Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq. He renamed the manufacturer Talbot-Lago. In the mid-1930s, the company ranked among the leading makers of racing sports cars in France, alongside Delahaye and Bugatti. Some of the most extravagant pre-war bodies were laid down on Talbot-Lago chassis. After the Second World War, Talbot Lago started to produce its first model as early as 1946. This was the ‘Talbot Lago Record’, with most of the cars being delivered wearing factory bodies. From 1947, the T26 Grand Sport was produced on a shortened chassis. A total of only 36 rolling chassis were delivered with a 195 hp 4.5 litre six-cylinder engine. As had been the case prior to the Second World War, the bodies were to be produced largely according to special customer requirements by the cream of external artisan coachbuilders. As a result, no two Grand Sport models had the same appearance. This car started life in 1950 as a Talbot-Lago Record powered by a more muscular Grand Sport engine, surmounted by a factory coachbuilt ‘surprofilée’ body and delivered in 1950 to a keeper in Switzerland. In 1953, it was shortened by Carrosserie Graber, re-bodied with a unique convertible haute-couture metal dress and re-classified as a Grand Sport. Confusingly, Graber referred to bodies built on a full-length Record chassis as Grand Sport. The convertible was first shown finished in pale Silver Metallic paintwork on the Talbot-Lago stand at the 1953 Paris Salon – rumours have it that Graber himself drove the show car from Berne to Paris in order to deliver it on time. This beacon of iconography was seen at the 1954 Geneva Show with a couple of subtle body modifications paying homage to design trends of the time and painted in dark vermilion. Records suggest that chassis 101069 was Hermann Graber’s personal transport conveyance for many years. Since the 1980s, the car has been liveried in Burgundy Red.

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