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Lot 341: Talbot 14/45hp Doctor's Coupé

Collectors' Motor Cars, Bonhams (30 April 2012)

Formed in 1903 to import French Clément cars into the UK, the British-owned Clément-Talbot concern quickly dropped the Clément name and by 1905 was assembling partly British-made Talbots at its new factory in London. A wide variety of French-built models continued to be imported but by 1906 the first all-British Talbot had arrived. Talbot merged with Sunbeam in 1919 and the following year combined with the French Darracq concern to form the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq (STD) conglomeration. Confusingly, the products of the Suresnes factory were badged as Talbots in France and Darracq elsewhere, and the former should not be confused with the British-made Talbots designed by Georges Roesch. Talbot was the most successful division of the Anglo-French STD combine and might well have escaped takeover by Rootes in 1935 had it not been shackled to its weaker partners. The company's healthy position had been achieved by a succession of well-engineered products penned by its designer, Swiss-born Georges Roesch, whose obsession with the pursuit of high performance through increased engine revolutions led to some of the most memorable cars of the 1930s. Talbot's Chief Engineer from 1916, Roesch rescued the company from the brink of failure with the launch of the 14/45. Introduced in 1926 as the basis of a one-model policy, the 1.7-litre 14/45 offered roomy, comfortable transport at a competitive price and, like all Roesch's Talbot creations, was powered by a smooth and flexible six-cylinder overhead-valve engine endowed with a remarkably high output for its size. The chassis was a substantial, X-braced affair featuring semi-elliptic front and quarter-elliptic rear springing, and equipped with effective brakes. Well-built but heavy, the 14/45 was nevertheless capable of around 65mph, not that ultimate performance would have been top priority for most of its prospective customers, for whom quality counted above all else. This particular Talbot 14/45 was purchased by its late owner at auction in 2003 having previously belonged to marque specialist Ian Polson. The car had been acquired in 1987 by one G Walters, who restored it recording this in a photographic file which is offered with the lot, and in 2002 passed on to David Howell. Bills on file include those from marque specialists Archer's of Dunmow relating to engine servicing, work on the rear axle and rebuilding the dynamotor. The engine has been rebuilt by Ian Polson but there are no bills available for this, and it should be noted that an SU carburettor has been fitted in place of the original Smiths unit to improve performance. Winner of a First Class Award at the STD Register Annual Rally in 2004, this rare, Vintage-era Talbot is offered with old-style buff logbook, original instruction handbook, technical literature, assorted expired MoT certificates, MoT/tax to November 2012 and Swansea V5C document.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars
Bonhams, The Royal Airforce Museum, London, UK
Lot Number341
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£26000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£29900
Condition rating
Registration numberVJ 2343
Chassis numberAG26677
Engine number5650
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2