Sunday 13 July 2008

Talbot-Lago T26C: La gloire de la France

All photos and illustration © Paul Chenard

One of my all-time favorite Grand Prix race cars has to be the Talbot-Lago T26C. It is such a beautiful piece of machinery, usually painted in it’s International Racing Colour French blue.

It was developed under the guidance of Anthony F. Lago, who had taken over the ailing SA Automobiles Talbot in 1935.

His company developed a straight-six competition 4.5 litre engine, mated to a Wilson pre-selector gearbox, and wrapped in a tradition yet gorgeous body.

Though not the most powerful racer on the grid, it was fuel-efficient, reliable and easy to pilot. These strengths became very apparent in races, and the T26C found some success in the hands of drivers like Louis Rosier, Louis Chiron, Philippe Étancelin, Guy Mairesse, Raymond Sommer and Pierre Levegh.

I was lucky enough to see, and sit in, the Talbot-Lago T26C of Aldo and Denis Bigioni at the Mosport Vintage Racing Festival in 2007.

It is a stunning example, this one sporting an egg-crate grill … perfect!

Prismacolor pencils and pencil on blue archival stock 12"x 9" © Paul Chenard 2008

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