1933 Talbot AV105 Alpine Speed Model

  • Brand: Talbot
  • Car Code: 560512

1933 Talbot AV105 Alpine Speed Model Coachwork by Vanden Plas

'The international reputation achieved by Talbot products has gained an added lustre through racing successes, but is fundamentally based upon the good repute which these cars enjoy amongst Talbot owners in all countries. The make is definitely numbered in that select group of cars of distinction which endear themselves to the heart of the true enthusiast.' The Motor, May 1935.

The most successful division of the Anglo-French Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq (STD) combine, Talbot, might well have escaped takeover by Rootes in 1935 had it not been shackled to its weaker partners. The company's healthy position had been achieved by a succession of well-engineered products penned by its designer, Swiss-born Georges Roesch, whose obsession with the pursuit of high performance through increased engine revolutions led to some of the most memorable cars of the 1930s. Talbot's Chief Engineer from 1916, Roesch rescued the company from the brink of failure with the launch of the 14/45. Introduced in 1926 as the basis of a one-model policy, the 14/45, like all Roesch's Talbot creations, was powered by a smooth and flexible six-cylinder overhead-valve engine endowed with a remarkably high output for its size.

Abandoning the one-model programme, Roesch developed the 14/45 to produce in 1929 the 2.3 litre 75 and, in 1930, its sporting derivative the 90, the latter setting Talbot on the path towards renewed sporting success.

Talbot's reputation for producing highly effective competition cars owed a lot to the efforts of the Tolworth based motor dealership and racing preparation specialist, Fox & Nicholl, which looked after the works team from the beginning of 1930, to the end of 1932. The Fox & Nicholl Talbot 90s had dominated the 3-Litre class in prestigious international events such as the Le Mans 24-Hour race, despite displacing only 2.3 litres. For 1931 Roesch produced a new car with a full 3 litre engine which was lighter than its 2.3 litre predecessor and featured much larger valves in a staggered layout, giving improved breathing. This engine was fitted to a lighter and lower chassis, the new model being the AV105.

Famously registered 'GO 51' to 'GO 54' consecutively, the four Fox & Nicholl Talbot 105s enjoyed an outstanding run of successes during the 1931 and 1932 seasons, highlights of which included 1st, 2nd and 3rd in class at the Brooklands 'Double Twelve' in 1931, 3rd overall at Le Mans and 1st un-supercharged car in 1931 and 1932, 1st, 2nd and 3rd in class in the Brooklands 500 in 1931 and 1st and 2nd in 1932, 1st and 2nd in class in the TT in 1931 and 1932, and a glorious failure in the Mille Miglia in 1932 when a lone entry crashed when in 4th place after 900 miles.

In addition to its racing successes the AV105 proved to be a formidable rally car. Roesch had always tested his cars in the Alps so it was no surprise when "The Motor" journalist Humfrey Symons borrowed an example to compete in the 1931 Coupe des Alpes (Alpine Rally). He lost no marks and won a Coupe des Glaciers, the highest possible award for a single entry.

The following year a more serious bid was mounted. At the 1931 Motor Show an attractive new four seater sports tourer by Vanden Plas was shown on the AV105 chassis and a team of three of these cars was prepared for the 1932 event by Fox and Nicholl and funded by Warwick Wright, the main distributors. These cars, PJ7361, PJ7362 and PJ7363, were extremely successful, finishing without any penalties, and winning the Coupe des Alpes outright. Another AV105 team, the famous BGH cars, repeated the feat in 1934.

For the 1933 model year the Vanden Plas body of the successful 1932 Alpine trial entries underwent minor styling changes and was marketed by Talbot as the "Alpine Speed Model". The car offered here today is one of these. There was more technical innovation for 1933 in the form of Luvax adjustable dampers and the Roesch-designed, Wilson patented, pre-selector gearbox. The adjustable dampers are featured on this car but not the preselector gearbox. Clement Talbot Sales Ledgers show that this matching-numbers Talbot AV105 Alpine Speed Model is the fourth from last manual gearbox car out of fewer than 60 Talbot AV105s made with that form of transmission, the majority having the pre-selector type. The ledger also shows that Warwick Wright took delivery of the chassis on 16th March 1933. Vanden Plas records show the completion of the fitment of its body, number 1967, in April 1933.

Descriptions & Pictures by bonhams

Production Start 1933
Country of origin Great Britain