1938 Talbot-Lago T150C SS Teardrop Coupe

The Talbot-Lago T150C SS chassis is arguably one of Anthony Lago’s greatest achievements. The “C” stood for competition, a reference to the marque’s racing success, while “SS” signified “Super Sports,” the short, 8.7-foot wheelbase version of the competition chassis. Its race-bred 6-cylinder engine featured an overhead valve train, hemispherical combustion chambers, high compression, triple carburetors and a large-capacity oil pan. Other competition items included a punched handbrake lever and a dual braking system. Intended for sporting two- or three-place coachwork, it was also the lightest chassis and offered exceptional road holding by virtue of its advanced independent front suspension, plus excellent braking.

Racing success certainly enhanced the appeal; it was this demand, combined with Lago’s collaboration with the Figoni et Falaschi coachbuilding firm, which resulted in the creation of what many believe to be the most beautiful automobiles ever conceived.

In the world of French cars, chassis 90112 stands as one of the best Teardrops, having a continuous history from new and no history of fire, accident or deterioration. All of its major components remain intact and together, including its chassis, engine and coachwork. It was ordered new by M. Troussaint, Director of the Casino at Namur, Belgium, and delivered to him in May 1938. Notably, it was shown at the 1939 Brussels Concours d’Elegance, and it was presented at the 1939 Concours d’Elegance in Deauville, France.

With the onset of war and the fall of Belgium in the face of the German Blitzkrieg in May 1940, 90112 disappeared from view. The car eventually resurfaced in storage during the 1950s.

At some point in time, 90112 was partially disassembled, in preparation for restoration, but the work was never undertaken, making 90112 one of the most original unrestored examples of its kind when the present owners acquired it during the mid-2000s.

In testament to the authenticity and quality of its restoration, 90112 earned several awards at the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, including the J.B. and Dorothy Nethercutt Most Elegant Closed Car Trophy; First in Class J-2: European Classic Closed; and the Art Center College of Design Award. In 2010, 90112 continued its winning ways by earning the Breitling Watch Award for the Car of Timeless Beauty at Amelia Island in March, followed by Best in Class: European and Best of Show at the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance in July.

Any surviving Talbot-Lago is a rare and delightful thing, particularly when it has been restored to such a high level. 90112 is exceptionally rare and attractive and is sure to garner invitations to the world’s most exclusive concours events, where its combination of performance and breath-taking “teardrop” coachwork is sure to impress.

Toby Ross

SCM Contributor

Toby was born in England where his enthusiasm for fine automobiles started at a young age, preparing his father’s Aston DB 2/4 for concours events, and later using it in hill climbs. He moved to France 25 years ago, and after a couple of years working for the Aston Martin importer, became a classic car broker, mainly for Ferrari. Living in France awakened an interest in the great French marques, and a long learning curve began. Over the years, Toby has discovered some great cars sleeping in France ranging from a Ferrari Daytona Competition to a Talbot Teardrop. Toby now lives on the small island of Malta, where he helps organize races and shows for the thriving classic car community.

Posted in Etceterini