1938 Talbot-Lago T23 Cabriolet by Figone & Falaschi

1938 Talbot-Lago T23 Cabriolet by Figone & Falaschi

Talbot was founded by Messrs, Alexandre Darracq, Serpollet, and Clement in 1893 and merged with Sunbeam Wolverhampton in 1922 to form Sunbeam Talbot Darracq Motors, Ltd.

Talbot-Lago enjoyed racing success at LeMans, Indianapolis, and the French Grand Prix by the early 1930s but it was not enough to divert the company from the verge of bankruptcy. In 1934, a young Italian engineer named Anthony Lago was appointed General Manager, initially working with Sunbeam and Wilson before finding his way to Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq, who sent him to France to help save Automobiles Talbot.

Automobile engineer Major A. F. 'Tony' Lago bought the Darracq factory at Suresnes following the dissolution of the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq combine in 1935, and continued production, selling the cars as Darracqs in the United Kingdom and Talbots in France. Lago hired an engineer named Walter Brecchia, with whom he created the first Talbot-Lago to be based on a Talbot-Darracq three-litre Type K78. The first Lago-built cars used the existing X-braced, independently front suspended chassis, but now powered by new six-cylinder engines of 3.0- and 4.0-liters designed by engineer Becchia. The list of models included the Baby, Minor, Major and Master using various wheelbase lengths up to 3,450mm, with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder model offered on the French market only. The larger models used a Wilson pre-selector gearbox developed in England.

The Talbot-Lago and Talbot-Darracq motorcars built a reputation on their advanced Wilson pre-selector gearboxes, straight-six power plants, pedigree earned in concours and competition, and elegant bespoke coachwork performed by the finest European coachbuilders of the time, including Figoni et Falaschi.

The Talbot-Lago T-15 offered impressive performance by the time the T Series came to an end, they were some of the fastest cars in the world earning victories at tracks all over Europe. The T-23 short chassis (Baby) was powered by a 4,082cc inline six-cylinder engine with twin Solex carburetors. It was based on the seven main-bearing six-cylinder K78 block with a new cylinder head, which greatly improved volumetric efficiency and breathing. The hemispherical combustion chambers used a valve gear that was actuated by a low-set camshaft and crossed pushrods acted through both long and short rocker arms. Depending on the configuration it produced 115 to 140 horsepower at 4,200 RPM which was sent to the rear wheels via a four-speed Wilson pre-selector transmission. The front was an independent suspension setup with the rear using a live rear axle and semi-elliptic leaf springs. Drum brakes were placed at all four corners and kept the 126-inch wheelbase vehicle in the driver's control.

The Talbot-Lago T23 was available with factory body styles or custom coachwork, including those by Figoni & Falaschi and other European coachbuilders.

In 1936, three Talbot-Lagos were entered in the French Grand Prix, finishing in the top 10 and put a valiant fight before mechanical problems slowed them down. A year later, Talbot-Lagos came in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th at the same race. Additional victories followed including at the Tourist Trophy before the state-subsidized German and Italian opposition became too great. In the immediate post-war era, other notable successes following including three Grand Prix wins for French Champion Louis Rosier. This one is a 1938 Talbot-Lago T23 Cabriolet by Figone & Falaschi

The T23 was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 1937. It was equipped with an independent suspension, a 4-liter in-line six-cylinder with racing roots, and, for an additional fee of 4,200 francs, a modern Wilson transmission (developed by Tony Lago himself).

Descriptions & Pictures by conceptcarz & auto-veteran & Wikimedia

Production Start 1938
Country of origin France