1938 Talbot-Lago T150-C Speciale Teardrop

Decried by some as vulgar when new—the British press notably nicknamed the coachwork “Phony and Flashy”—time has been kind to Figoni’s work.

While all Teardrops were quite unique, chassis 90034 may well be the most unique of all. It is the only example built on the longer Lago Speciale chassis—some 11.8 inches longer than the SS. In the world of important French cars, provenance is second only to design, and 90034 stands as one of the best of the Teardrops, having a continuous history from new, a commendable and unique competition record, and no history of fire, accident or deterioration.

First owner Antoine Schumann was killed while serving in the French army. The next owner was Freddy Damman, who entered the Lago Speciale for the 1948 24 Hours of Spa, taking 1st in class. The Talbot remained with the Damman family until 1979. It then passed through the ownership of industrialist Michel Seydoux before being sold at auction in 1981. The purchaser was an avid motoring enthusiast who retained the Lago Speciale for 23 years. The next owner fell in love with the car at first sight. An avid collector of important cars, he intended to restore it for Pebble Beach or to display as a piece of fine art.

On a previous road test in 2005, the Talbot proved to be an absolute delight to drive. That year, 90034 joined the collection of the late Mr. John O’Quinn, who embarked on a comprehensive restoration following his successful purchase. Without argument, it truly remains one of the most stunning cars in the world today.

Simon Kidston

Simon Kidston - SCM Editor at Large

Simon is from an old British motor-racing family. He started his career at Coys, leaving to co-found Bonhams Europe in Geneva. Over the next decade, he staged high-profile auctions around the world, branching out on his own in 2006 to found Kidston SA, a consultancy responsible for some of the larger deals you rarely hear about. Simon also judges at Pebble Beach and is “the voice” of the Villa d’Este Concours and the Mille Miglia.

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