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Talbot-Lago T150-C SS Roadster by Figoni et Falaschi, #82928, 1937

  • Is #82928 an original factory competition car, a luxury super sports built on one of six competition chassis? The chassis number could be low enough to substantiate that claim, and upon restoration RM found that the chassis and many of the car's mechanical components had been drilled in an effort to make it as light as possible. RM reports the motor is very responsive, as a high-compression setup should be, and that the steering is geared to be exceptionally quick, like a competition car. In any case, this chassis has appeared in various configurations since its birth, and I am depending on RM's information to confirm that all the old pictures and references are of the same car.
  • Chassis #82928 was shown at the Paris Salon in 1937—see photograph 3 in this set. At the time, the car wore dark paint and a pair of smooth front fenders that fully enclosed the insides of the wheels. But then reference photos from the car's first owner, a Parisian by the name of B. Alsan-Finlay, show a car wearing a light shade of paint with numerous changes throughout the body. When restoration at RM began in the early 2000s, the car looked very much like it had in Paris, but included the second set of fenders seen at the time of its first owner. RM's restoration replicates those features of the car as delivered to B. Alsan-Finlay, although the level of finishing befits a luxury super sports more than a lightweight racing car. Thus the result is quixotic, a lithe sports racer polished to show car refinement.
  • Luigi Chinetti, best known for his work with Ferrari in the post-War era, was closely aligned with Talbot-Lago. Chinetti was both businessman and racing supporter, serving as the marque's distributor while also running a racing team. According to correspondence from Mssr. Alsan-Finlay, Chinetti delivered chassis #82928 personally. Alsan-Finlay offered the car for Chinetti to have a run at Montlhéry, site of the 1937 French Grand Prix, but whether this arrangement materialized remains unknown.
  • Giuseppe Figoni's forté was touring cars, with modest beginnings comparable to the work of Castagna. Clothing an ex-racer in a svelte roadster body would have been a very different assignment, and RM cites the firm's lead designer, Jean Andreau, as the party responsible. Andreau can be termed an early aerodynamicist, albeit one whose theories in speed were adapted to the prevailing style of the decade. My personal opinion is that the Paris design bears more resemblance to Andreau's style, and that the Alsan-Finlay configuration is a sporting deconstruction based on the owner's desire to race the car.

 

Last Updated: Aug 23, 2017