22 May 1997
Estimate On Request
1938 TALBOT DARRACQ T23 DROP HEAD COUPE
COACHWORK BY FIGONI & FALASCHI
Chassis No. 93122
Engine No. 23343
Two-tone blue with navy blue top and interior trim.
Engine: six-cylinder in-line, overhead valves, two Stromberg carburettors, 3,996cc, 115bhp at 4,000rpm; Gearbox: Wilson 4-speed preselector; Suspension: front, independent, transverse leaf spring, rear, live axle; Brakes: drums all round. Right-hand drive.
The complex history of Sunbeam-Talbot Darracq is a hazardous subject to unravel. When Talbot-Darracq acquired Sunbeam, the French Darracq factory at Suresnes continued to build cars of Darracq origin but introduced none from the British Talbot line. In 1933 Sunbeam appointed one of its executors to manage the Suresnes works while continuing to oversee the Wolverhampton factory. He was the French born Major Antoine Lago who then acquired the Darracq factory in Suresnes when Rootes bought the goodwill and Wolverhampton factory of the Sunbeam Motor Car Co in July 1935. Under Lago's direction, the French Talbot organisation performed a major role on the automobile scene. Not only was the marque very active in racing, both in Grand Prix and in Endurance, it also produced high performance road cars, their technology being closely related to the competition cars.
French coachwork was also at its pinnacle in those years, with the much celebrated Joseph Figoni at the top of his art. Talbot was a regular supplier of chassis to the coachbuilders and was one of Figoni's preferred. The teardrop coupe will remain a major achievement of their cooperation.
This strikingly elegant Talbot Darracq T23 is another illustration of Figoni's talent, on the theme of a 4-seter open car. It was supplied new in Sweden, where the present owner found it and bought it in 1987. It is in outstanding condition, having undergone a "body off" restoration, and is finished to concours standard.
The car is said to be in excellent mechanical condition and should provide immense satisfaction when driven or shown.
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