Two owners from new
1936 TALBOT 110 3½ LITRE FOUR SEATER SPORTS TOURER
COACHWORK BY VANDEN PLAS
Registration No. DGW 581
Chassis No. 4536
Engine No. 39
Steel Dust grey with red leather interior and black hood with tonneau cover
Engine: six cylinder, overhead-valve, monobloc, bore 80mm., stroke 112mm., capacity 3,378cc; Gearbox: four speed pre-selector with 'Automatic Upsweep'; Suspension: front, semi-elliptic leaf spring, rear, quarter elliptic; Brakes: four wheel drum, cable-operated. Right hand drive.
The British Talbot company was struggling by 1925 with outdated models and George Roesch was transferred from the French Talbot company in Paris to design a new range. The new car dubbed 14/45 was launched in 1926 and proved to be an immediate success. It was George Roesch's superb six-cylinder engine that provided such efficient power and although using a conventional type chassis did provide good road-holding and excellent brakes. The next stage was to increase the power and the first development was the 75 series providing 75bhp at 4,500 rpm from 2,276c.c. Chassis and brakes were suitably improved and sales were buoyant, much against the trend of other quality manufacturers who were suffering the effects of the economic depression. This would lead to the 90 which provided many racing successes at Brooklands, the 105 famed for its Alpine Trial and then to the Talbot 110, the ultimate development of the famous line of Roesch-designed Talbots.
Occasionally it is possible to find a car from the 1960s, 1970s or more recent times that has remained in just two ownerships from new, but to find one that approaches its 70th year and has an uncomplicated life is a rare find, this Talbot 110 is one such car. Happily, Christie's is able to evidence this limited history since we sold the car on behalf of its original buyer in 1979.
At that time, our vendor a Mrs Claire Lovell had confirmed to us that the car had been originally supplied to her in November 1936 and that it had seen regular use until the war in 1939, when it was laid up, then put back on the road in 1946. It remained active for a decade, before being laid up again until 1979, with brief periods of use in 1967, at which time Mrs Lovell moved from Linlithgow to Glastonbury and 1969, its total mileage to the year of sale being approximately 95,000miles. Being the sole custodian, our vendor was able to confirm that these had been covered in a straightforward manner and that it had never been 'rallied, raced or over-driven' and even when on blocks the car's battery had always been charged and the engine regularly turned over, prior to its sale it had been repainted to the original 'Steel Dust' metallic grey livery. The car sold at the Christie's auction to a motor trader for £6,500, but quickly passed on to the present owner within the year.
This simple chain of ownership, is not only interesting to note but importantly has ensured that this example of this rare model has survived in much the form it would have been supplied new and importantly retains a number of the details for which the model was known. One of the most interesting of these is the 'Automatic Upsweep' aspect to its preselector gearbox, this ingenious device moves the selector up one gear on the release of the clutch, so that the driver merely has to depress the clutch alone to change up, thereby speeding and simplifying acceleration through the gears. The car also has a 'Traffic Clutch' which allows it to come to a complete standstill below 900 rpm, yet move again with the slightest depression of the accelerator. Another is the original choke mechanism, which requires only pulling the Bakelite steering wheel centre toward the driver to engage the choke, amazingly the two 'ear' handles on the console remaining intact. In many respects this is a unique example, from these details to the bodywork itself, which features raised seams to the centres of the wings and running boards, perfectly highlighting one of Vanden Plas' most popular and practical rakish touring designs of the Thirties, a style which was at home on these and other Talbot chassis, Derby Bentleys and the like.
Our current seller has maintained the car sympathetically and over the last 25 or so years its mileage has risen by 35,000. During this time work carried out included rewiring and refurbishment of the fuel system, while marque expert Ian Polson has rebuilt the chassis, rear end spring shackles and top end of the engine with new 'knuckle' valves and expert engineer Arthur Archer of Great Dunmow sourced a higher ratio back axle which was fitted some time ago.
In general, the cosmetic condition of the car may be described as a little aged, though its 1970s repaint has worn well and the car is extremely presentable. If testament of the mechanical aspect were required, none can come better than the vendor's confidence in its 100 mile drive to the Jack Barclay showroom earlier this year.
A fine, benchmark example of the model, which Christie's is proud to offer for only the second time of public sale in its life. Accompanying the car are its old continuation log book, current V5 certificate, MoT and copies of the former catalogue entry for the car.