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Talbot-Lago Darracq T150-C S Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi, #90019, 1938

  • In my humble little world, the Talbot-Lago Darracq you see here is the most popular car I have ever featured. However, though the car is very well known today, much of what I can find concerning its history through the latter half of the 20th century is either hint or rumor. What we have here then is eye candy—eye-popping graphical candy, for sure, but with less substance than I'd like to support the extravagance.
  • Numerous sources state that chassis #90019 was ordered new by the Count and Countess de Colhiva of Oporto, Portugal. The car wears coachwork from Figoni et Falaschi of Paris, build order #703. This Torpedo Roadster coachwork is best known as having been penned by illustrator Geo Ham, then appropriated by Giuseppi Figoni on a Delahaye 135 prepared for the 1936 Paris Motor Show, (chassis #47247). Legal shenanigans ensued, and Figoni paid a claim to Ham for the design. Chassis #90019 is the only Talbot-Lago to use this Geo Ham Torpedo Roadster design; it is one of three open T150-C cars built—each of which was undertaken between 1936 and 1938—and of those it is the only long-chassis car.
  • During the War, the Count and Countess fled to Brazil, but this Talbot-Lago remained in their possession for over 30 years. The family also owned T150-C #90020, which was bodied by Pourtout. At this stage, history flows by murky waters... One source notes that the car was first restored in 1985 by Carrosserie Le Coq. And when it came to the United States before the millennium, chassis #90019 still wore its original blue-on-blue livery. Then around 2006 the light blue body was changed to bright yellow, which is how we all know the car today. More familiar sources note that remnants of the original blue-on-blue paint might still remain underneath.
  • Rumors surrounding chassis #90019 include that it won the 1997 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance in completely original condition; I can find no evidence of it being there, much less having won. Other rumors—these from across the Atlantic—include mention of a serious accident sometime after the War, though this has been impossible to verify, and sources say that it is altogether untrue. So my refrain remains the same: Where this car appears, people are happy. The Geo Ham enveloppante design captivates onlookers. And despite its murky history, the resplendent Talbot-Lago T150-C Cabriolet proves to be a foundational artifact of the most extravagant cars ever made.

 

Last Updated: Apr 8, 2018