Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport Le Mans Replica
French car manufacturer Talbot has a long and tumultuous history, going in and out of bankruptcy numerous times between 1900 and 1960. For the last few decades of its existence, the company was known as Talbot-Lago thanks to the new ownership of Italian engineer and businessman Antonio Lago. Lago first worked at Isotta Fraschini and British gearbox builder Wilson before he was appointed as head of Talbot’s Suresnes factory. Three years later, Lago acquired control of the company and renamed it Talbot-Lago.
It did not take long for Lago to reintroduce his brand to motorsport, being convinced that racing was both an excellent way to test cars but also a marketing tool like no other. Talbot-Lago’s first racing car, the T150C, was introduced shortly before the outbreak of World War II. However, it would be surpassed by the introduction of the T26 in 1946. The T26 was powered by its signature 2AC engine, a 4,5-liter inline-six featuring a block and cilinder heads constructed from Alpax (a type of aluminium alloy), magneto ignition, dry sump lubrication and three Zenith EX 32 carburettors. The result: a power output of 240 horsepower, a significant number for that period. The engine would be developed further in the years that followed, boosting the power to 270 to 280 horsepower. Combine that with a relatively low rpm and fuel consumption compared to rivals, the 2AC engine proved a valuable tool.
Six examples of the T26 Grand Sport were built, specifically for endurance racing. Success followed: the father-and-son pairing of Louis and Jean-Louis Rosier won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1950, leading a 1-2 finish for the brand. One year later, Guy Mairesse and Pierre Meyrat finished second overall for the second consecutive year only behind winners Jaguar.
This particular T26 (chassis number 100388), began its life as a T26 Lago Record, the variant built for Grand Prix racing. The car was once owned by French collector Henri Malatre but fell into disrepair and lost most of its bodywork. An unnamed enthusiast subsequently started an extensive rebuild of the car, converting it to a Grand Sport complete with a new chassis and rolling gear. The authentic engine (number 26499) with Alpax cylinder heads was also meticulously rebuilt, complete with three Zenith carburetors, the trademark “bazooka”, a six-in-one exhaust and coupled to a confirming Wilson pre-selective gearbox. A new, aluminum bodywork was constructed to make the car resemble those that raced at Le Mans in 1950 and 1951 complete with a new coat of blue paint that closely resembles the factory cars of the time.
This T26, chassis 100388, is a rare relic from a bygone era of motorsport. Embarking on a similar restoration project would be practically impossible in 2023 because of the lack of surviving chassis. Moreover, this chassis is race-ready, usable both in endurance races or in historic Grand Prix races if the wing, headlights and spare wheel are removed. Participation in Le Mans Classic is among the possibilities: the event organizer confirms that the car is eligible for the event.
Deze T26, chassis 100388, is een zeldzaam overblijfsel uit een vervlogen tijd. Het aanvangen van een soortgelijke restauratieproject zou anno 2023 praktisch onmogelijk zijn vanwege het gebrek aan overgebleven chassis. Bovendien is dit chassis raceklaar, zowel inzetbaar in endurancewedstrijden of in historische Grand Prix-races als de vleugel, koplampen en het reservewiel worden weggehaald. Deelname aan Le Mans Classic behoort tot de mogelijkheden: de organisator van het evenement bevestigt dat de auto aan de start kan verschijnen.
The Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport is rarer than a Bugatti or Delahaye from the same time period and is currently available for purchase.
Zeldzamer dan een vergelijkbare Bugatti of Delahaye uit de dezelfde periode, deze uniek Talbot T26 Grand Sport is te koop. Feel free to contact us for more information and pricing.Back