Monterey

19-20 August 2016

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Lot 151

1954 Talbot-Lago T26 GSL

  • Chassis no. 111006

Sold for $385,000


210 bhp, 4,482 cc OHV twin-cam inline six-cylinder engine with three Solex carburetors, Wilson four-speed pre-selector transmission, independent front coil-spring suspension, live rear axle with leaf springs, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 104.3 in.

  • Powerful and rare Talbot-Lago T26 with large 4.5-liter engine
  • Older restoration that has been recently freshened
  • Magnificent and beautifully styled French grand routiére


In 1952, the Grand Prix-derived short-wheelbase Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport chassis with transverse leaf-front suspension was quietly dropped. To create a new car, Anthony Lago redesigned, lightened, and shortened the existing Lago Record passenger car chassis to a wheelbase of 2.90 meters. It was a good choice, as its independent front coil-spring suspension had excellent road manners and sporting driving qualities.

The magnificent six-cylinder T26 engine was given three inverted Solex carburetors but otherwise left alone, as it was already one of the most powerful and strongest passenger car engines in the world. Power was up by 20 horsepower to 210 at 4,500 rpm. On these gratifying underpinnings, a slinky factory body was mounted to a design by Carlo Delaisse, who can be seen as a French Giovanni Michelotti.

The new model was named the T26 GSL, or Grand Sport Longue, and made its debut at the Paris Salon in October 1953. It was a very elegant car in the French manner, but not a commercial success, and the model was short-lived: production ended in late 1954 or early 1955, a mere 12–18 months after its debut. Somewhere between 19 and 21 T26 GSLs were built, of which only 11 to 13 survive. As the Lago Record was out of production by then, these were the last automobiles to be fitted with the great T26 engine. The passing of the big Talbot marked the end of an era in French luxury car manufacture.

Chassis number 111006 was the recipient of a high-quality restoration approximately 25 years ago. It has since been in the hands of caring long-term owners, until the current owner acquired the car about five years ago. The previous owner had attended to fettling the engine, fitting a new exhaust and tires, as well as a new original style carpet. Since then, current owner had the car completely rewired, with all instruments and electricals rebuilt. The brake system has been rebuilt, while the transmission has been serviced. The engine was serviced, including replacement of the rear crank seal and rebuilding of the oil pump. Additionally, the suspension was also addressed and rebuilt, including replacement of the rear springs to properly level the car. Cosmetically, the interior was redone in the original color, while the engine compartment and trunk have been freshened and the rear windows replaced. Finally, the car was repainted in a pleasing burgundy tone that offsets the cognac leather to perfection.

Like all Talbot-Lago big sixes, chassis number 111006 is fitted with the special Wilson pre-selector gearbox that enables the driver to shift with an almost spooky speed when compared to the wide-ratio manuals of other early 1950s cars.

A Talbot-Lago T26 GSL is a powerful sporting machine and an exhilarating car to drive, accompanied by the throaty powerful sound of its big Grand Prix-derived engine. It is not only very rare and lovely to contemplate, but also a large and magnificent grand routiére in the old style with classic fast-car road manners that speak deeply to the knowledgeable enthusiast.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more